Lab Technicians

The perspective of the lab technician in a cohort study was taken from interviews with a group of lab technicians working as part of Imperial College Healthcare Tissue Bank (however, samples within the Airwave study are processed by technicians working at Charing Cross Pathology Laboratory).

The lab technicians said their focus is on preparing and preserving the biosamples they receive. Biosamples are seen as a precious resource that is challenging to acquire, and so the technicians want to make sure that they do all they can to minimise mistakes and ensure that every sample is treated with care.

Because of this, a lab technician doesn’t spend much time thinking or wondering about the individual that a particular biosample has come from; they ‘set the individual aside’ and focus on the task at hand to ensure the biosamples are perfectly prepared and preserved.

For this piece, my goal was to represent the focused vision of the lab technician through the creation of a tunnelling space that obscures everything but the samples. The work also shows the trail the samples take from the study clinic to the laboratory to represent the connection back to the study clinic but these trails as represented by dotted lines to highlight that these fall behind and are obscured through this focused gaze.