Diabetes, Art, and Data Resonance


  • Samuel Thulin Independent Artist and Researcher




This paper presents the project Hemo-resonance #1, the first in a series of art works that aim to open alternative pathways for thinking about and practicing diabetes. I begin by discussing the centrality of data collection via self-tracking for the management of Type 1 diabetes, and the ways this data collection orients understandings of diabetes and the diabetic body. Diabetic self-management is typically aimed at finding patterns in one’s data, establishing cause and effect relationships, and understanding trends in the body’s operation so that the diabetic can modulate behaviour to optimize health outcomes. Arguing that approaching data in different ways can provide insights into diabetic experience and relationships that extend beyond the goal-oriented approach of always doing better, I offer “data resonance” as a way of following other trajectories of data and bodies. Data resonance provides sensory-rich materialisations of data in ways that seek to detach themselves from the typical focus on the legibility or interpretability of the data. This suspension of habitual orientations to data makes space for thinking of bodies, data, and the relationships between the two in new ways, and offering meditations on the value of co-corporeality, human-non-human relationships, and bodily difference. 

Author Biography

Samuel Thulin, Independent Artist and Researcher

Samuel Thulin is an artist, researcher, and educator interested in the specificities of spaces and places, and in the movements and resonances of bodies, data, and sounds. Through his artworks and publications he has explored: locative media and contested senses of place; confluences of cartography and auditory culture; self-tracking, chronic illness, and datafication; and creative and emergent research methodologies. He has exhibited his work, given workshops, and presented research at venues in Canada, the US, Mexico, Argentina, the UK, Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Spain, and Greece. Originally from Nortondale, New Brunswick and currently based in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, he holds a PhD in Communication Studies from Concordia University.  Visit his website at: https://samuelthulin.com/



How to Cite

Thulin, S. (2021). Diabetes, Art, and Data Resonance. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 10(2), 162–185. https://doi.org/10.15353/cjds.v10i2.795