Variance I

Ingham, Karen (2011) Variance I. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Variance continues my long-standing interest in the Victorian polymath Francis Galton, having first researched Galton as part of my (2000) publication Death’s Witness and associated MPhil. This research formed the basis of my (2005) artist’s film Vanitas: Seed-Head, based on Galton’s composite photographic portraits and his proto-genetic inheritance studies. Variance is also influenced by Galton’s studies of inheritance (all six photographs are of my extended family) but extends this research into an exploration of his pioneering work on statistics and biometrics. According to Elizabeth Edwards (1997) Francis Galton’s composite photographs constituted “…lived concepts – embodied or concrete ideas to render the unseen or non-existent empirically: in other words, a taxonomic essence within a dialectic of the visible and invisible.” Variance plays on this tension between the seen and unseen, the known and unknown, to comment on the impossibility of ever being able to construct human typologies in the way Galton attempted. Variance incorporates scanning electron microscopy images of brain activity to create a series of ‘thought portraits’, which bring into question contemporary neuro-biological imaging technologies and interpretations, which allegedly allow neuroscientists to ‘see’ and ‘measure’ our thoughts and emotions. Variance raises awareness of the hidden nuances of scientific interpretation and meaning that lurk just below the surface of the posited reality of neuroscience.

Item Type: Other
Additional Information: Citation: Karen Ingham, Variance.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Photography, Digital Film, Neuroscience, Typology, Francis Galton, objectivity
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Wales Institute for Science & Art (WISA) > Academic Discipline: Art & Media
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Depositing User: John Dalling
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2013 18:16
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2023 14:04

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