Anna Pedersen

Rhythm of Life

From the water of life

Through the combined narratives of traditional Chinese medicine and modern technology, Thought Collider's Aqua Vita-project visualises personal metabolic development and health with the help of their own urine.

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Aqua Vita by Susana Cámara Leret & Mike Thompson - Thought Collider

From yellow to green and across the rainbow, medieval physicians could distinguish between more than twenty shades of their patient's urine, as well as examining their texture, smell and taste. Even today the golden liquid is being used in diagnostics. Urine as a biofluid is a potential gold mine of information. Utilising the archival properties of urine in a visual diary, Aqua Vita maps the body's ecosystem, proposing a new understanding of health as a dynamic, resilient system while aiming to animate the Book of Life, visualising the narratives that conform its stories.

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Fluid Analyser by Mike Thompson & Susana Cámara Leret - Measuring and determining the mass of the metabolites in the artists' urine Mass Spectrometry is an analytical technique used to determine the mass of particles, such as the metabolites present in urine. Currently spectrometers are being developed to fit in the palm of your hand and within the next 10-15 years such technology will become cheap and compact enough for consumer use in the home. The Fluid Analyser speculates how such a home Mass Spectrometer may function, the daily collection… Thought Collider

In traditional Chinese medicine the narratives of disease development obtains its information through thorough symptom profiles of individuals, thus mapping the underlying processes within the body's ecosystem utilising a traditional, holistic interpretation of the body.
Mass Spectrometry is a more modern, analytical technique used to determine the mass of particles, such as the metabolites present in urine. The Fluid Analyser analyses the daily collection of both urine and saliva from Susana Cámara Leret and Mike Thompson, feeding the information wirelessly into the visualisation of their health.
Merging both approaches, the Aqua Vita-project proposes the creation of chronobiological metabolic "paintings", understanding an organism's homeostatic changes as visible evolutionary adaptations.
So what does your urine say about your health? And how does it look, when visualised?

The Aqua Vita-project was developed for the Designers & Artists for Genomics Award by Susana Cámara Leret and Mike Thompson in collaboration with the Netherlands Metabolomics Centre, with the support of the Sino-Dutch Centre for Preventive and Personalized Medicine.