The concept of noise in medical visualisations perceived through a contemporary drawing practice

Patel, Daksha (2018) The concept of noise in medical visualisations perceived through a contemporary drawing practice. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

Text (Doctoral Thesis)
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This research project explores how the concept of noise in medical visualisations is perceived through an analogue visual arts practice. Noise – which is the informational opposite to signal in science – is an unknown and visually ambiguous aspect of medical visualisations.

A residency in a medical imaging institution was undertaken to investigate scientists’ perceptions of noise and to identify its key attributes. Conversations with contemporary artists and an examination of their work, explored how noise attributes are used as a strategy in their practices. Theories from art history and the neuropsychology of vision were used to interrogate how noise is implicated in visual perception. Critically, my on-going drawing exploration using instruments of vision, biosensor technologies and responding to unknown stimuli was a primary method of investigation used to understand how an analogue drawing practice perceives noise.

My research identified that unknown movements and interactions are deeply implicated in the generation of noise and that the distinction between signal and noise is unstable. My practice-based investigations revealed that all my sensory perceptions become heightened in response to noise, so that vision becomes inseparable from them. This was an important difference between scientists’ and artists’ perceptions of noise, for scientists do not recognise the full sensorium in their practice. The writings of Jean-Luc Nancy and Michel Serres were used to elucidate this process.

This research demonstrates the differences between artistic and scientific perceptual responses to ambiguity, the unknown and to noise. It evidences that artistic responses to noise can be a catalyst for change, generating new ways of perceiving, working and making. It contributes to an under-represented area of research: how an analogue arts practice perceives the digital concept of noise. Furthermore, my project indicates that analogue drawing could be used as a method in scientific training to explore visual ambiguity.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Visual ambiguity, Biosensors, Imaging the human body, Visual Perception, Analogue/Digital
Subjects: W100 Fine Art
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Arts
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2020 08:39
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 18:33

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