To end ‘superbetic’, I felt like I should have outlined what I was planning to do on the practice side of things now that the context side of things was coming to an end. Though I didn’t have it clear in my mind at exactly what I would be doing, I knew the sort of route I would take after delving into specific themes and issues in the piece of writing. After looking at what it means to live alongside biotechnology for people with diabetes, and the struggles there are in terms of the work that is done for diabetes, I knew I wanted to look at the overlaps between puppetry, animatronics and biotechnology. This is what I wrote for my end statement;
‘After speculating on the issues regarding disability and more specifically, diabetes, I’ve made it a focus of mine to find the crossovers between animatronics and biotechnology. In order to give power back to the people, we should see the technology as something to be celebrated as an extension of the body, not a ‘problematic marker’ (Boys, 2014. P.17) of shame and stigma. Animation and puppetry give life to the lifeless, similar to how biotechnology works. Where animation and puppetry usually serve light entertainment and biotechnology serve to fill the gap in the biological needs of humans, it could be interesting to see how one could inform the other. Just as glasses have become a signifier of fashion, and prosthetics have become augment-able, I believe there is a gap in which the broken pancreas could be seen, not as something that has failed, but something that could be rigged and re-thought, eliminating stigma with the chance to re-write the representation of diabetes.’
In order to be the ‘puppeteer’ of your body, this calls for control over it. In the case of diabetes, it is control over your carbohydrates, blood sugars and insulin. I wanted to find ways in which I could control my body and analyse what goes on inside. For a person who is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes later on in their life, controlling their blood sugars and injecting is something that is completely new to them, but they must do it every day for the rest of their lives while everyone else (without diabetes) does not have to think about it whatsoever. This must feel really unfair.
I started to think about ways in which I could record the fluctuations in my body and in my everyday life to see whether it could hacked / augmented….
Eating, drinking, growth of nails & hair and weight seemed to be the obvious choices to track fluctuations but they all came with sub-categories. E.g. with eating, how would I track what I ate; in terms of vitamins and minerals, in terms of how many grams of food, in terms of calories, or do I try counting carbs? But I knew I wanted to do more than this to track whether one element of my life can guide another. Food, excercise and weight seems like an easy route to take here but still, I wanted to do something a little different.
I gave myself a 24hr period to track everything I did.
My idea was to track everything and i thought it would leave me with a clear overview of my whole day; what I ate, what I drank, what I did. But, as it’s clear to see, my diary consisted mainly of the music that I was listening to all day. I was at my desk animating, and listening to music for the majority of the day.
I wrote down every song i listened to from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed, this was the most detailed part of the 24hr diary, so it was only fair to see what I could do with this data, alongside everything else I wrote down.
My initial idea on how to present this data was to make it into an animation with different elements moving during the day. E.g. an outline of a circle would represent my movements, when the circle got bigger, I would be moving further away from my desk and when it was at it’s smallest, i’d be at my desk. Other outlines would include the amount of food I was eating, the amount of liquid I was consuming and anything else I could record.