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Das Elektropathologisches museum, Vienna. (Hotlist).

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The brainchild of Viennese physician Stefan Jellinek (1871-1968), the museum is devoted, in the antiseptic language of its website, to the study of "the effects of electric currents on humans." The results, portrayed in fastidiously realistic re-creations of accidents, complete with wax models of seared flesh and wet preparations of actual limbs, are not pretty. A trip to the museum desublimates the electrical animism of the computer age. For weeks afterward, I suffered from a jittery electrophobia that saw in every appliance an instrument of high-voltage vengeance--the machine kingdom's payback for a hundred years of slave labor. (Again, translation is available at Google.)

Mark Dery is a cultural critic whose byline has appeared in Wired, Rolling Stone, Red Herring, Suck, Feed, Salon, and the New York Times Magazine. His latest book is The Pyrotechnic insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Artforum International Magazine, Inc.
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Title Annotation:electricity's effect on humans
Author:Dery, Mark
Publication:Artforum International
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUAU
Date:Jun 22, 2001
Words:144
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