// 14,000 - CCA thesis F2014

{ book design + installation }

Foreword: 14,000 is the average number of prescribed and over-the-counter pills an individual will take throughout his/her lifetime. Is it ethical for the drug companies to make human beings believe that everything should be treated with a pill? Worldwide, images of well-being and healthcare are increasingly associated with the access to pharmaceuticals. Every year consumers see 4 billion dollars worth of drug advertising, very little of it includes how well (or effective) the drug works. Global markets for antidepressants, attention deficit disorder, and sexual stimulants have grown. Numbers tell a story.

Afterword: My father was diagnosed with Myeloma Multiple Cancer in 2005. Since then, I've been by his side through three transplants and a number of chemotherapies. Now, he is stable and his cancer is in remission, but he's still taking five prescribed medications as prevention. I have no doubt that these medications saved his life. What I'm questioning is the consequence of taking so many pills, and how the pharmaceutical companies push us towards the excessive, misuse and abuse of pills. These companies are unethical in their drive to sell us drugs we do not need. Is it time to rethink our culturally established dependence and how we prioritize treatment investments?

The book (size 3 in x 2 in) is a condensed version of my installation. It focuses on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Erectile Dysfunction, and Antidepressants, all medications that either are prescribed without a full diagnosis or misdiagnosed. The installation consists of 14,000 medicine cups, each containing a pill, and spread across a 40 ft x 5 ft space. 

*Project developed at CCA | Thesis with Leslie Becker & Jennifer Morla.