Data + Design Project

Tragedy & Science Turned Into Art

Friday 04.29.2011 , Posted by
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On the 5th of August 1993, convicted murderer Joseph Paul Jernigan was put to death in Texas. Before his execution he agreed to give his body to science where it was later segmented, millimeter by millimeter, and photographed for medical research. Part of the Visible Human Project, the resulting 1,871 slices where transformed into a video journey through the body. In 2011, Project 12:31 (named after the time of death) put Jernigan’s body back together again in this haunting and controversial photo series.

Using a laptop computer playing the video against a dark nighttime backdrop an assistant smoothly moved the screen through space as scenes were captured using long-exposure photography. In effect the body was extruded out of the computer screen, using the changing image as a dynamic light paintbrush.

Once again the body of Joseph Paul Jernigan found it’s 3D form in the real world. Fitting of their subject matter, the images are ghostly and surreal.






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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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