ART AND EPILEPSY

WIRED

 

One of the recent representation of epilepsy is the recent painting of Iris Hauser. Iris Hauser was born in Cranbrook, British Columbia (BC) in 1956. At age 10, the family returned to her father’s home town in Victoria, BC. Art studies brought her to Nova Scotia (1975), Saskatoon (1977-79) and Germany (1979-80), and in 1980 she moved to Saskatoon to take up permanent residence. Her work has been collected by many patrons, including the Canada Council Art Bank, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the University of Regina, the Kenderdine Art gallery and the Mendel Art Gallery, and has been exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions in public and private galleries throughout western Canada and abroad.

Iris describes this painting as a visceral response to her frustration with operating a computer, but the image and the name possess an ambiguity that lends itself to multiple interpretations. To be wired could mean emotionally on edge, amped up on caffeine or cocaine, or it could refer to connection, as in the wiring of the brain, or in the science fiction rapidly becoming science fact possibility of a direct brain/machine interface, with all the concomitant questions about the nature of man vs machine. On the other wired could be a modern representation of epilepsy. One of the main abnormalities in epilepsy is the abnormal connectivity that can produce seizures (abnormal wiring). The person in the painting is suffering problems of connectivity. Another aspect that is represented in the painting is the implantation of electrodes. Many patients require depth electrodes to determine the seizure focus. The patient is having an event with the hope that the seizure onset can be identified with the wires or electrodes. Although the initial representation of the painting is trying to represent the interphase between technology and brain, the painting describes accurately the current theories of epilepsy and the way to investigate patients for potential epilepsy surgery.

Iris Hauser
www.irishauser.ca