day 732: more art, riff on hallmarks and a tribute to Christopher Hitchens

A while ago I wrote about my first venture into the world of art (I use the term very loosely here…) with a piece that put my tumor in a box. Several other ideas have been with me since then, and I just completed a new piece, which I call The Hallmarks of Cancer.

If you are in the world of cancer medicine and science, you can see right away that it is a riff on perhaps the most famous review articles on cancer, written by Dr. Douglas Hanahan and Dr. Robert A. Weinberg. The original was called Hallmarks of Cancer and was published in 2000. Then in 2011 it was updated, to add more hallmarks (Hallmarks of Cancer: The Next Generation,) These reviews do a great job of summarizing the exploding knowledge about cancer, and categorize it into the different biological processes that go wrong to make a normal cell turn into a cancer cell.

Ever since I added a very personal, first hand experience of cancer to my understanding of the disease, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hallmarks of cancer would look like from that perspective. But, how to express these, meaningfully? I was stumped on that, until several months ago I came across Christopher Hitchens’ Mortality.

The Hallmarks of Cancer

Not sure how I missed that earlier. I wished I’d had it during the rougher parts of the first year, as it spoke to me in a way that no other book about cancer has. Mr. Hitchens was a fiercely intelligent man, and astoundingly articulate. While I by no means agree with all he said and wrote, I love much of his writing and admire him for fighting his corner, always. Mortality though spoke to me directly. So, he gave me the words. Thank you, Christopher.

Lastly, the technology to make it easy to realize what I had in mind came via, dare I say it, Kickstarter. If you know me personally, you may know that I have a bit of an addiction problem with this site, where you can participate in crowd funding inventors who make cool things. It speaks to my inner geek and my enthusiasm for inventiveness. So thank you very much to Bare Conductive!

Its hard to convey a mixed media piece like this with sound – sorry. Perhaps one day it’ll be somewhere people can see it.

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