Me, Myself and MRI

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Tajinder Singh Hayer - Writer and Playwright

Christine Talbot - Television Journalist

Tony Dias - Martial Arts Instructor

Seonaid Sutton - Health Care Assistant

Dean Riley - Science Teacher

Richard Nihill - School Chaplain
As well as the ethical issues related to the use of MRI scan data in the exhibition pieces, we also had to think about the following areas. We discussed them all fully with the young people we were working with to make sure they understood and to give them the chance to add their thoughts and opinions to the discussions.

Selecting and inviting participants

When it came to selecting the people we were going to invite to take part in the project we had some ethical issues to consider.

As, the young people we were working with were responsible for coming up with the list of those we were going to invite, there was the issue that some of those we approached may not be willing to undergo an MRI scan. We discussed this and the group came to the conclusion that this was a valid reason for not wishing to take part and that we shouldn't question it.

Following discussions held during our sessions at York Art Gallery the group decided that it might be interesting to select 'pairs' of people. Examples that they came up with included: a fat person and a thin one; a beautiful person and an ugly one; an old person and a young one. This led to a lengthy discussion around why, ethically-speaking, these weren't perhaps the best categories to use.

For example, we asked the group how they would feel if someone contacted them and said "we'd like you to take part in our project because we think that you're ugly". We discussed the fact that, as well as considering the feelings of those we were inviting to take part, we also had to think about what visitors to the exhibition might think about our reasons for selecting people.

On reflection, the group agreed that it would be better to look at different reasons for approaching people and we eventually agreed to approach people who represented different realms of work. This is how we ended up with six individuals who each represent one of the following areas of work: arts, media, sport, medicine, science and religion.
   

Editing audio and video recordings and photographs

During the sessions on photography, audio and video techniques we explored the ethical issues that the artists would have to consider when it came to editing and selecting the images, audio and video that would appear in the final exhibition.

Using examples we showed how easy it is to manipulate creative digital media in a way that might misrepresent what the individual in question believes. For example, when editing an audio or video interview it is possible to select certain phrases and change the context in which they were originally spoken. This can make it possible to represent the person in question as having very different views to the ones they actually expressed during the interview. This is often used for comedy effect. For example, editing an interview with a leading politician so that it sounds as if they don't believe in their own party's policies.

We all made a commitment to ensure that none of the people featured in the exhibition would be mis-represented in any way and that the final portraits would be a true reflection of their opinions and beliefs.

We also discussed the manipulation of digital photographs. Most digital cameras (including the cameras in mobile phones) come with software or tools that make it very easy to manipulate photographs by changing colours, distorting the image, adding captions etc. We all agreed that we wanted the photos displayed in the exhibition to be as true a portrait of the individuals as possible and that a minimum amount of 'touching up' or image manipulation should take place.

Next Section: Ethics - Classroom Session