Vital Signs

Material Beliefs

13 June 2008

Tobie Kerridge, with Tony Cass, Olive Murphy and Nick Oliver, Institute of Biomedical, Imperial College London

The digital plaster incorporates miniature sensors into a skin worn patch, transmitting data about the body across a mobile phone network. The technology affords new biomedical services, potentially providing live monitoring for patients with chronic conditions, including diabetes and heart conditions. Vital Signs explores the influence of this technology on the child surveillance industry, where tracking and location services would be extended by incorporating live signals, indicating the temperature, respiration, pulse and orientation of the child’s body. 
Situated within an industry which emphasises risk and provides an opportunity for uninterrupted surveillance, 
Vital Signs shows how absent bodies are transformed as data and broadcast across networks to become persistently present.