I have gathered references of hospitals, spas, devices and suits. Art themed around pharmaceuticals and health can be the thing that drives the book to become productive, giving different perspectives on treatment. Perhaps the book can actually be a charity auction catalogue, I will think about the implications of turning the pictures in the book into objects for sale and perhaps what relation the art market can have in the storyline.
Another thing is the feature of online auction catalogues to ‘see the artwork in a room’. In most websites, this is a ‘generic’ gallery space. I would like to perhaps place the ‘artworks’ around the Novartis campus.
I grouped the information that I found, making up chapters of the book. I am now in the process of looking at the 10 categories of drugs that Novartis produces, causes of the disease they treat and how they treat them, to structure the book according to the 10 categories. Looking into treatments led to coming across many stories of people in the midst of treatment for a disease, suddenly not being able to find the exact drug to cure a particular side effect or development in their illness.
A story from the Guardian noted a shift in psychiatric care away from drugs (given that the side effects of many are far too disturbing and the cost of developing drugs that target the problem in a more isolated manner would be too expensive), towards researching brain networks and treatment with electrical impulses. The pharmaceutical approach and the ‘electrode’ (‘brain network’) are two structural approaches to cure. The patient ultimately comes up against both the structural approach to cure and the financial viability of developing particular drugs, if they develop an unpredicted side effect, or their illness takes an unpredicted turn, or the politics of pharmaceutical distribution networks mean that the appropriate drugs are either not available, overpriced or simply not prescribed (as in the case of tuberculosis medicine in Russia). Distribution networks are just as key (to cure) as scientific development or the financial sustainability of production. Novartis invest and innovates pharmaceuticals for the ‘western’ world and makes a good profit on their sale. They use some of the profits to develop drugs that work for diseases present in the ‘developing world’. These diseases are generally very different from those in the ‘developed’ world. Markets in-between the two ‘worlds’ – such as Russia – end up on the loosing side, needing the types of drugs used in the ‘developed’ world, but either not being able to afford them, or (as in the case of Russia) doing business in those countries is very difficult. And so there is a three way symbiotic relationship between the pharmaceutical companies, governments (especially since, given the size of Novartis, the only global type of entity that can influence them are governments) and patients. Taking the case of Novartis, I have an idea for a diagrammatic representation of the relationship. Perhaps rearranging that diagram to act from the perspective of Novartis, the Government and the Patient could be productive.
Another thing could be to make some 3d models of furniture look like electron micrograph scans of molecules. Will try that if I have time tonight.
I am thinking that the ‘smarter’ the book gets, the more time it takes and perhaps it would be good to shift to some ‘first hand’ production, like drawings. So to cut the book at whatever stage it is and assign less importance to it. What drawing would taken on greater importance is the issue…
P.S. the research was broad, so I still need to arrange the book tonight.