Joseph Paul Jernigan was a Texas murderer who was executed by lethal injection. Moments before his death he was persuaded by a prison chaplin to donate his body to science in the hope that this final gesture would somehow offer redemption for his crime and to ease the suffering he had caused his family.
Without his knowledge Jernigan's body was handed over to “The Visible Human Project”, an ambitious undertaking by the U.S National Library of Medicine to create a full anatomically detailed data set for both the Male and Female body.
To create the male data set Joseph Paul Jernigan’s cadaver was sliced into 1871 pieces and converted into 65GB of digital data.
Art director Croix Gagnon and photographer Frank Schott used the male data set images and incorporated a long exposure light painting technique to create a haunting photo series (Project 12:31) that enabled the reconstruction of Jernigan’s ghostly silhouette.
“Being opposed to the death penalty we felt conflicted about using the visible human project” Croix says.“My personal take on the data set was that it was collected unethically and without full consent of the individual who’s cadaver is now Public domain."
“The significance of this project lies in the fact that somebody was unwillingly killed and then their imagery was used and replicated across the world”.
Croix Gagnon spoke with The Feed about Project 12:31.