Over the first half of 2005, Ohio-based artist W. Logan Fry traveled to Wisconsin four times to undergo MRI scans at the Waisman Center, a UW-Madison research institute that conducts research about and provides education and services for persons with developmental disabilities and neurodegenerative diseases. The artist was one of many volunteer subjects the center regularly solicits for its research, which in his case consisted in part of four multi-hour scanning sessions in a psychiatry study.
Inspired by his longtime interest in neuroscience and the structure of the brain, Fry was interested generating an image of his grey matter, "a neuroanatomical self-portrait" as he describes it as a template for his weaving. He therefore enrolled in a study and commuted regularly to Wisconsin. "Four thousand miles of interstate driving," he describes, "punctuated by nearly 12 hours of rigid confinement in a clattering, banging tube, unable to scratch my nose of cough, just to obtain my treasured source material."
Though the 120 images resulting from the scans indeed served as an inspiration for a series of weavings, they are also the basis for his Brain Scan Movies project. The anatomical images are displayed in sequence and set to music to create another kind of self-portrait.
This video sequence follows below.
Since launching the exhibit, Fry has solicited musicians to contribute their own tracks to his brain scan series. This particular version of the video featured original music by Jeremy Hight, a California-based multimedia artist and writer.
The scans were created at the Waisman Laboratory for Imaging and Behavior, located at the center adjacent to the UW Hospital where the facilities include a 3T MR scanner, a PET scanner, a microPET scanner, a scanning simulation room, and an EEG facility. Its latest solicitation for research subjects involves a study of brain changes in persons with anxiety and mood disorders, and involves two MRI scans.