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Article Reference: ‘Hacking the Feminist Body’ by Laura Forlano

P.1. ‘these technologies reconfigure definitions around what it means to be human’

P.1. ‘I’m interested in the ways in which these socio-technical systems shape even the most mundane details of everyday life — their politics, materialities and aesthetics — as well as what it means to be human in this context.’

P.2. ‘the digital shapes physical bodies, objects and environments.’

P.2. ‘test strips, needles, insulin vials, canula, tubes, blood tests, doctors visits, glucose tablets, lancets, food scales, cables, AAA batteries, carrying cases, measuring cups, adhesive surfaces, sensors, receivers, transmitters, lab visits, Excel spreadsheets, conversion rates, charts, alcohol swabs.’

P.2. ‘diabetics can been understood as a kind of cyborg—a hybrid of flesh, bones and blood along with sensors, tubes and external devices.’

P.3. ‘It is a process of becoming a different person with new rituals and practices over a long period of time.’

P.4. ‘living with it requires the creation of new sets of everyday rituals and practices. Not only eating but also getting dressed, showering, exercising, sleeping, having sex. Each of these requires a certain negotiation with the device related to the context of use. What does it want to wear today? Where will it be seen/unseen? How long can I go without it? For example, taking a shower requires that one unscrew the cap that is fixed to the body and leave it on the counter before stepping into the water.’

P.4. ‘The interaction with the body is fairly clinical in that one is prevented from seeing the needles by caps, covers and insertion devices, which obscure their view. But, occasionally there are reminders – mainly bruises and blood — that the interface between the body and the device is a living surface.’

P.5. ‘Choosing to adopt a medical device for the management of chronic disease challenges,
contradicts, extends and expands notions of what it means to be human.’

P.5. ‘It becomes part of you and is literally attached in a way that your cell phone will never be.’

P.6. ‘was conscripted into a capitalist cycle of consumption of the various parts – tubes, needles, sensors, little plastic vials’

P.7. ‘managing chronic disease requires a great deal of invisible labor, for which I will never be compensated’

P.7. It requires mathematical skills that are distributed across multiple devices: glucose meters, continuous monitoring systems, kitchen scales, operating systems and smart phone applications to name just a few. As such, the human must work in tandem with the non-human devices in order to delegate (Latour, 1992) the various calculations and labor associated with everyday activities such as eating and exercising. ‘

P.7. It also requires significant coordination and organization skills – making
sure that you have all of the necessary parts of the system when you are traveling, making
sure that you have enough of each component to last for the number of days that you will
be traveling, making sure that you order and pick up your prescriptions on time. If only
one component is missing, the system will fail to function properly.

p.7. As usual, there was no sanitary surface on which to put the supplies, just a grimy-looking white porcelain sink.’ This is something I wouldn’t even think about and yet another example of the social model of disability. We do not account for disabilities and yet again it becomes an afterthought when designing social spaces.

P.7. ‘it is not always clear whether the device is taking care of me or whether I am taking care of the device.’

P.8. Like hacking, the invisible, unpaid and volunteer labor that is needed to manage chronic disease discriminates. It favors those with better educations and higher incomes,’

P.8. ‘Unlike other technological systems, the interaction with the human body itself is what produces the system’s lack of accuracy in a very observable way.’

P.9. ‘It is constantly shaping my everyday interactions I am shaping it’


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