This article investigates the aesthetic potential of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), a medical imaging technique, both inside the laboratory and in the arts. By combining Rancière’s understanding of aesthetics with Merleau-Ponty’s notion of embodied perception, it argues that an image-generating technique conceived in the scientific field can successfully migrate into the realm of fine art, opening up new aesthetic and perceptual possibilities. Although aesthetic qualities are already present in the laboratory, they remain hidden by the necessity of reading the image-data obtained according to the interpretative framework of the medical discourse. Two paths are covered: the first goes from the viewer’s encounter with the MRI-based sculptures by Marc Didou, the case-study examined, to the principles of MRI; the second describes the principles of MRI concluding with the artwork. The process of travelling along these paths highlights the aesthetic potential inscribed both in MRI and in our seeing.

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Aesthetics Commons



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