medical bodies


What do art and medicine have in common? How can an investigation of the inner-workings of our bodies and its depictions in early art/anatomy/medicine dialogues inform our view of the current state of the world, our own art practice, and our selves?

• 8. September - 6. October 2020
• Online!
• Five-weeks, Tuesdays, 7-9PM CET
• Small class of participants

Pricing (For tickets click here)
Artist / Student (Full Time)*



Generous Supporter Ticket*

Solidarity ticket*
Donation (Limited)


The curiosity and urge to discover and understand human nature is not a novel phenomenon. Representations of the human body have been a part of our visual culture since prehistoric times. Cave men were the first natural philosophers manifested by their outstanding observations of animals and nature in their drawings.

Before the invention of photography and X-rays, drawing was the only medium used to document the findings on the human body. Anatomists needed skilled artists, and artists needed to practice their observational deep seeing and drawing skills through their exploration of anatomy, physics, and engineering. Naturally there was a sense of co-dependency and fruitful exchange of knowledge between artists and anatomists.

Later on, before the invention of preservation methods and due to the lack of cadaveric specimens, another artistic medium and technique- wax modeling- was used. These artistic mediums played a huge role in the exploration and visualisation of human anatomy and the identification of diseases and pathological conditions conveying physical symptoms of diseases.

As science advanced, microscopy and other methods of medical visualisation were invented, artists were no longer natural philosophers, and scientific discoveries caused paradigm shifts that have affected the way we see the world and our human bodies. The results of the paradigm shifts can be observed in many artists work from the beginning of the 20th century.

The work of contemporary visual artists demonstrate the interdisciplinary exchange between artists and scientists. How did the adoption of new technologies and scientific methods in visual art reintroduce the subject of self and the human body? How does visual- and Sci art help us to learn more about ourselves and how our bodies react to outside stimuli?

Each week, an assignment will invite online class participants into an exciting journey of self discovery through the investigation of intersections in visual arts and science.

course outline

Week 1: A moment to get to know each other.

There will be introductions of who we all are but also discussions regarding expectations and what you hope to gain from the class. The topic of personal games is VAST and any suggestions as to what interests you the most are welcome! Most importantly, these exchanges will help make the online classroom experience a bit more convivial and a bit less virtual. In these Coronavirus times, physical distancing is recommended but intellectual distancing is not!

#petswelcome #humanconnectedness

Week 2: Early art/medicine dialogues and the evolution of the depiction of the human body

Part 1: Will give a brief historic overview of the early art, science and anatomy intersections of the Renaissance period and the common history of these subjects. This part will be dedicated to investigating works of art and anatomy that illustrate, investigate and convey the early interdisciplinary dialogue and fruitful cultural exchange of artists and anatomists.

Part 2: There will be a debate and a mini investigation and observation on the evolution of representation of the human body through analyzing examples of historical medical illustration and wax models.

#medartdialogues #sciartintersection #interdisciplinary #artandanatomy #medicalillustration #anatomicalwaxmodels #humanbody #representations

Week 3: Know thyself, curiosity and micro/macrocosmic realities

Part 1: The exploration and scrutinization of the cosmos, human nature and the act of dissection by artists and anatomists were the epitome of the ancient tag “Know thyself”. Artists, scientists and natural philosophers saw it as their duty to explore every single layer of the inner and outer self through dissection. Back then, artists were able to draw, paint and sculpt better because the more they observed, understood and studied natural phenomena and the order of things, the better artists they became.

Part 2: Curiosity doesn’t kill cats, it saves them! Curiosity, a fundamental human drive that has resulted in fruitful exchanges between artists and anatomists that evidently has had a huge impact on our knowledge of the human body. The ability of artists to use visual analogies and micro/macrocosmic examples to understand the cosmos and the complex human body is still being used today in modern science.

#knowthyself #selfexploration #curiosity #humandissection #cadavers #cosmos #microcosm #symbioticrelationship #knowledgeexchange #deepseeing #symbiosis #visualanalogies #macrocosm

Week 4: Paradigm shifts, scientific discoveries and developments. How do they affect the way we view ourselves?

Part 1: Advances in scientific developments, thought, and visualisation techniques cause paradigm shifts. They affect the way we view the world and our bodies, microcosmically and macrocosmically. In this part, we examine how these advances and paradigm shifts have catalyzed art-science-tech intersections. We examine the social, scientific, intellectual and cultural impact of these intersections and the new values and narratives of helping us to better understand science, nature, and how our bodies react to outside stimuli.

Part 2: In this part there will be a discussion on how the work of contemporary visual artists can communicate deep aspects about out inner selves. How does visual art help us to get to know ourselves in a deeper level? By making the invisible, visible, through the visualisation and demystification of viruses and other diseases, through the use of new technologies to present scientific data and concepts.

#paradigmshifts #newperspectives #humanbodies #virallandcapes #HIV #DNA #geneticrequencing #viruses #neuroscience #medicalvisualisation #sciart #techart #visualarts #microscopy #visualcommunication

Week 5: New Medical Bodies

Part 1: How is the human body represented through the lens of visual art today? Why do contemporary visual artists and designers use medical imagery, scientific methods, real viruses and bacteria, medical visualisation technologies and instruments in their work?

Part 2: Discussion on the dimensions and impact of the new materials and tools in visual art and brainstorming on future Sci-Art intersections. Can we say that the justification of the ancient tag “know thyself” in the Renaissance is evident in today’s contemporary visual art?

Part 3: A show-and-tell of student work created during the course.

#sciartfuture #newbodies #newrepresentations #knowthyself #newmedia #visualarts

who is this
class for?

Artists, designers, makers, researchers and humans with a general interest or curiosity in the intersections of art, science, medicine and the human body. For multifaceted individuals that see no boundaries between disciplines. Enthusuiastic like-minded community included. No experience necessary.

about live classes

Classes are 'live' meaning that you can directly interact with the instructor as well as with the other participants from around the world. Classes will also be recorded for playback in case you are unable to attend for any reason. That said, we kindly ask that you please only purchase a ticket if you plan to attend regularly. For specific questions, please email us and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

about fees

We realise we're living in uncertain times. We are a small organisation with no outside funding and like many, we are also in survival mode. During this time, we are offering a limited number of pay-what-you-can solidarity tickets for this online class. Preference is given to women, POC, LGBTQ+ and persons from underrepresented communities in tech who would otherwise be unable to attend. We are greatly appreciative of your understanding and support.

about tickets

Tickets for this class are currently available via Eventbrite. If you would like to avoid Eventbrite fees, please email us for direct payment options. We kindly ask that all “pay-what-you-can” students register through Eventbrite. Due to reduced staffing, we’re unable to handle specific payment requests for these registrations.

waiting list

This class is full. If you’re interested in being put on a waiting list to be notified in the event we run the class again, please send us an email.

meet the