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Biomedicine in museums

The Data Body on the Dissection Table — a joint Leonardo/Olats and Medical Museion event

It’s less than four weeks left to yet another event here at Medical Museion — ‘The Data Body on the Dissection Table’ — organised by Annick Bureaud from Leonardo/Olats together with our own Louise Whiteley.

The event takes place in Medical Museion’s unique late 18th century anatomical lecture theatre in the old Royal Academy of Surgeons in Copenhagen in Tuesday 4 June, 6.30 — 9 pm.


Dissection reveals what lies beneath the skin, but for a brief moment in time, and for a privileged few. Depictions, models, and preservations have long been used to share what dissection uncovers; from ancient anatomical drawings to today’s virtual 3D anatomies.


In the 18th Century skinned “écorché” figures and anatomical waxes were constructed to reveal systems of interlocking bones, balanced pairs of muscles, and delicately entangled traceries of nerves and blood vessels. The Anatomy Lesson by Rembrandt, and the écorché The Horse Rider by Honoré Fragonard are famous examples at the border between medicine, science and art.


Contemporary medical sciences reveal ever more about the complex systems of the human body – but at a barely perceptible level. The (medical) human body today is understood, tested, and treated as a huge system of data, including complex interactions between our genetic material, our environment, and our host of microbial companions.


How do we grab hold of this data? How do we make sense of it and communicate it to others? How do contemporary artists and designers give our ‘data body’ material form through images, sound, and touch? What kind of tools are complex networks science proposing, and what kind of body do they reveal?


The Data Body on the Dissection Table brings together scientists, artists, philosophers, and designers to explore these questions, through roundtable presentations and audience discussion. The event takes place in Medical Museion’s auditorium – the Danish Royal Academy of Surgeons’ former anatomical theater.

Speakers at the roundtable include

  • Albert-László Barabási, Distinguished Professor and Director of Northeastern University Center for Complex Network Research, Boston
  • François-Joseph Lapointe, Professor at the Biological Sciences Department, University of Montreal
  • Annamaria Carusi, Associate Professor in Philosophy of Medical Science and Technology, University of Copenhagen
  • Jamie Allen, Artist and Head of Research, Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.

The event is co-organised by Leonardo/Olats and Medical Museion under the EU Studiolab framework, and in conjunction with the Leonardo Day “Arts, Humanities and Complex Networks” satellite event for NetSci 2103.

Attendance is free within the seat limits, refreshments provided, but for logistical reasons it would be nice of you would like to register in advance at 

And again — the event is taking place on Tuesday 4 June at 6:30 – 9 pm

Venue: Medical Museion, Bredgade 62, DK-1260 Copenhagen K

Relevant web sites:

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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