Mandy Eugeniou

Research project: What kind of (sick) object am I as an MRI?


This practice-based PhD examines how the experience of pain can be seen as a potential form of agency, as well as an aesthetic & political space in the context of hegemonic and medical discourses. The biomedical disinterring of bodily secrets occurs through a kind of ‘digitally flaying' by emerging biotech producing visualisations through a phantasmatic register. These imaginings enter new kinds of proximal relationships with the human body as it is captured informatically and mapped out as a site of knowledge. What can these technologies know?  

The work stages an encounter between medical aesthetics, embodied pain, film practice and culture. Utilising the MRI as a metonym and metaphor, what is suggested is how this ubiquitous cultural icon impacts on the experience of the neoliberal body, its fleshy idiosyncrasies and glitchy instabilities. Contemporary pain might be the purview of science, but a tradition continues whereby the different perspectives of medicine, art, film, cultural theory and AI all share the notion that suffering can be transformed into an object to become shareable. This perspective brings about an iconography of corporeal matter which enables a form of witnessing influenced by photography, X-ray and film-making. What becomes elided/hyper-looked/overlooked by the medical gaze is the subjective and intersubjective dimension. Through medical visualisations, the suffering body is in a state of becoming and even more iconic in its iconicity.  

The imaging of pain is seen to be an entangled assemblage of images, scripts, practices, and processes within a grid of representation that modulates across epistemic frameworks and diffuse gazes. What kind of potential object does the vulnerable, suffering body become in the pursuit of objectivity, and what kind of disobedient object is a body that refuses to share?

The research examines the performance of pain -  my own making and unmaking - through its co-option by imaging technologies in an age of AI. What kind of (sick) object am I as an MRI? involves me, my sonic presence and image-script within a feminist, crip and phenomenological methodology.  I follow traces of the poor image to establish the ground upon which I can explore its authority and affective intensity as it travels across anonymous rhizomes of biopower. The aim is to open up spaces between code and experience, image and script, script and voice, and, embodiment and time. Practice involves performative storytelling, embodied film-making, scripting and lo-fi, punk/collage aesthetics to explore a closer understanding of the experiences around the chronicity of pain.


Practice poses questions about image proliferation as body and image collapse into each other amid the ever-shifting ground of the control society. Work encompasses film, drawing, and performative gesture. This endeavour explores how consciousness can appear and disappear throughout the hierarchies of the apparatus. It examines visual regimes leading  to work which confronts the viewer-witness with realities of visual subjectivity, by developing themes which focus on traumatic images and counter-memory. The Black Tower is an experimental film made exclusively from crowd-sourced, aftermath images from Londoners who had documented the burnt shell of Grenfell Tower after the catastrophe in 2017.  The award-winning film explores the role of viewer and embodied memory in the aftermath of the unconscionable violence, paying homage to the original The Black Tower, and has been screened internationally.

Areas of research interest

  • Embodied pain, Medical Visualisations, Informatics
  • Phenomenology, Feminist, Psychoanalytic, Post-structuralist, Crip theory
  • Film Practice, Improvised scripting, lo-fi punk aesthetics, Affective Sense-making
  • Biopolitical story-telling, Citational practices
  • Becomings
  • Intra-action, Distributed Agency
  • The Poor Image
  • Scanning, Copying, Collage
  • Archives, History of Medicine, Contested Illnesses
  • Ocular-centricity


  • MA Art & Politics, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • BA Economics and Public Administration Royal Holloway, University of London

Funding or awards received

  • KSA Race and Equality Studentship
  • Alan Little Award, Highest Programme Dissertation Award, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Awards for The Black Tower: Sea of Art Festival, Athens International Art Film Festival, and long-listed for Aesthetica Art Prize


SELECTED PUBLICATIONS FEATURING WORK (See website for exhibition details)

2023  KOMPROMAT              MicroActs Artist Film  Screenings on Substack

2023 KOMPROMAT                MicroActs FilmArchive

2022  THE BLACK TOWER    Hidden in Plain Site exhibition Review

2021  THE BLACK TOWER    Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology. Future Now 2021:125 Contemporary artists  p54

2021 THE BLACK TOWER      Aesthetica Art Prize  (long-listed)

2019  #WHATCANABODYDO  Third Text  159-160 July-September 2019 Exhibiting the Experience of Empire, Dr Esther Chadwick 'Notes on a Revolutionary Legacy: Haiti and Touissant Louverture' at the British Museum  p502-520