How do you evoke the visceral, dynamic, friable, complex materiality of the human body in a shareable form, other than with flesh itself? This is the conundrum which drives many technologies of medical teaching, and which I explore in a textile-essay just recently published in the journal Multimodality & Society called “On the fabric of the human body in seven text-iles: The multimodality of learning anatomy“.
The first issue of the journal has a host of wonderful articles by artists and scholars interested in exploring the boundaries of modality. Many of them explore a theme close to the heart of Making Clinical Sense: bodies, and touch. They look specifically at how this is enacted in times of quarantine. You can find pieces by Dutch artist Marloeke van der Vlugt, Kate Elswit, Carey Jewitt and others, on dance, diaries, touch documentation, technology, architecture and movement amongst other fascinating topics. In my own essay I try to expand what it means to think about learning anatomy beyond the walls of the medical school, through learning anatomical Latin with everyday fabrics in the home (see my photos below).