Andrew McWilliams

Insulin (2015)

Medium: Installation
  • HarvestWorks, New York, 2016
  • RIXC Center for New Media Culture, Latvia, 2017

In 2013 I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Insulin is an exploration of my own biometrics relating to my condition, lifestyle and daily decisions.

This summer I began wearing a glucose sensor attached to my abdomen. This sensor broadcasts readings every 5 minutes, 24 hours a day.

Glucose values broadcast via the web to the installation

The numbers emitted by this sensor act as triggers for feelings of guilt, fear, or pride in daily decisions, such as eating or injecting insulin. They offer advance warning for dangerous hypoglycemic episodes resulting from these choices, along with myriad long-term health consequences.

Under a wall-mounted computer monitor, audiences see a circuit board. This board both reads the realtime data and causes the animation to respond. The installation therefore spans from the daily activities of the artist all the way through to the displayed graphical response, and functions as a response to the meaning those numbers hold.

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