Counting steps, tracking calories and checking in—new technology allows us to be our own favorite research project. The artists in the exhibition, LifeLoggers: Chronicling the Everyday, take logging to a new level by translating their data into complex and prodigious artwork.
“Lifelogging” describes the extensive documentation of one’s personal experience. Previously the domain of scientific research and recently individual health and fitness analysis, the impulse to track, map and graph now animates artistic practice. The 13 artists in this exhibition produce work in different media—from low tech to high tech—that demonstrates the chronicling impulse, not as an objective record of every second lived, but as a thoughtful and studied approach to revealing the complexities of human existence.
By focusing on a particular aspect of their lives, the artists in Lifeloggers turn personal bits of data and lived experience into works of art. Suzanne Szucs chronicled the passage of time through fifteen years of Polaroid self-portraits and Clive Smith painted miniature self-portraits on wood blocks every day for a year. Others recorded belongings or surroundings: Jennifer Dalton documented both market and sentimental values for everything she owned at a particular time in The Reappraisal, and Elise Engler archived all of the things she carried while traveling in a series called Suitcase Drawings.
Stephen Cartwright charts his movement through the world around him, logging his longitude and latitude every hour of every day to translate the numerical data into kinetic sculptures, and Nathalie Miebach transforms scientific weather data into colorful, woven sculptures and musical scores. These and other compelling works by Leona Christie, Richard Garrison, Katie Lewis, John Peña, Madelyn Roehrig, Renato Umali and Jorinde Voigt explore the many ways lifelogging has entered contemporary art practice.
Lifeloggers: Chronicling the Everyday was curated by Nadine Wasserman, independent curator, and Rachel Seligman, Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs, Tang Teaching Museum. The exhibition was organized by Perlman Teaching Museum, Carleton College.