Chicken McCAT Scan.


Most third-year students of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College use a Computed Axial Tomography scanner for medical purposes. But for Satre Stuelke, the technology works best as a new form of camera. By running children’s toys, cell phones, and electrical appliances through this advanced scientific tool, Stuelke produces rather unearthly images, of a kind perhaps never before seen. Radiology Art, he calls it.

799px-64_slice_scannerAs Wikipedia explains,

Computed tomography (CT) is a medical imaging method employing tomography. Digital geometry processing is used to generate a three-dimensional image of the inside of an object from a large series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis of rotation. The word “tomography” is derived from the Greek tomos (slice) and graphein (to write).

screen32So, basically, the subject lies inside, or through the large hole in the scanner, right; along its axis. Inside the housing, the X-ray scanner goes in a circle around the subject, like a donut rotating around a pencil. At regular, fine intervals, it makes a narrow, slice-like X-ray scan. When done, a computer puts the intricately detailed and shaded images together in a way that enables one to not only see their nuances, but to manipulate that data in new ways. (This YouTube, above, should give you some sense of what’s being described but, be forewarned: The music is annoying as hell.)

Atop this post, a six-piece order of McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets dies just a bit more, from X-ray radiation, all in the service of art. “They are so beautiful with their breading,” Mr. Stuelke told The New York Times. “The box design is truly elegant as well. I mean, who knew a bunch of chicken nuggets could be gorgeous?”

tvdinner-medSo sweet. But the really cool action happens with the part the Times somehow missed: Because the scanner encircles the image making pictures, when one reconstructs the scans in the order they were made, then plays them back in sequence, what one sees is a ghostly, rotating, 3D-like, silent X-ray movie of the object. On his site, Stuelke includes such a QuickTime with many of his images. Peep the chicken nuggets, this wind-up mechanical bunny, a toaster, this eerie porcelain doll, and a Swanson’s Hungry Man chicken TV dinner, above, for starters. Now, don’t you wish you’d finished your medical degree?



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