For the week of March 25, from Tuesday through Friday, keep a data trails log. Every time you shed some data (a debit card transaction, using your phone number for frequent shopper rewards, an email, a status update, sharing your location data, etc.) mark it in your log. Don’t try to actively avoid leaving trails, just passively make a note when you realize that you are leaving a breadcrumb of data behind.
Write your log from the perspective of your data. While in your Distributed Memory project you filled in the gaps of your personal data trails, here you will assemble a portrait from the outside, as if a third party. What do you look like from the perspective of your data?
Your log will be due before class on Monday, April 1.
As much as possible, the logging should be frictionless. Over the course of a week, find a way to mark that piece of data as efficiently as possible. It’s okay to gradually fine-tune your technique. You can keep the log, for example, in a notetaking app on your phone, or on an index card, or in a notebook. Experiment with graphics, numbers, sketches to find the best way to record your data.
- browse postcards in the Dear Data project. “Each week, and for a year, we collected and measured a particular type of data about our lives, used this data to make a drawing on a postcard-sized sheet of paper, and then dropped the postcard in an English ‘postbox’ (Stefanie) or an American ‘mailbox’ (Giorgia)!”
- data illustrations by Mona Chalabi
- Feltron Annual Reports, 2005–2014