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"The Rhythm of the MRI Scanner" - My Visual Depiction

by Diana de Avila, co-author of Soldier, Sister, Savant

"Ba-da-da-da-da-da-dahhhhhhhh, click, click, click, click, click. Waaaaap, waap, waaaaap, waap, waaaaap." Such an array of mechanical sounds during an MRI.


And, I’ve had plenty of them. They have been a constant part of my journey. Every time I hear the sequences of clicks, bangs, and buzzes, I imagine what the coils might look like inside the big machine. 1.5T. 3.0T. They all sound the same to me, but I have purposely never looked at actual magnetic coils because I want to imagine them in my own way—in the way my art portrays them as the coils continuously spin, catch, and click.


This piece is my visual depiction of how I hear the MRI scanner's rhythm. This depiction in my mind’s eye is a way of self-hypnosis while being tested, making the MRI go more quickly. This same image always comes when I hear the clicks close together, then louder clicks, buzzes, and whirs.


Perhaps this artwork can demystify the experience and fear so many others fear and, instead, create a way for a mind to doodle the time away amid the clicks and clacks and hums and whirrs of those magnificent, all-knowing magnets.

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