A commentary on surveillance, and data collection given both willingly or otherwise. Within the last few years we have been obsessed with data’s capabilities. Data mining, unlawful surveillance like Prism and even the concept of the quantified self: an exploitation and brute force style attempt to understand, comprehend, and distill the complexities of who we are into a set of numerical algorithms and calculations. This piece is both a reflection of that belief as well as becoming it in an attempt to show others it’s result.
A heartbeat: the thunderous drum of the soul, the fires of creativity and passion, and the sorrow that lies behind the most reserved of voices. That is the sum of these calculations, life. Yet without the context, the understanding and the weight of the places and times that we carry all we are left with is the harsh reality of the numbers. A cold almost sickly beautiful in its representation of our lives and memories as well as our own personal ambitions. Life that we as scientist, creatives, and people attempt to comprehend. Life is so simple and elegant in it’s design it is what both binds our connections to each other, yet makes each one of us singularly human.
I, in an attempt to capture this found a line. Like Alexander Muirhead in 1872 found a line. A movement just as simple showing the long and hard felt road we take in its rhythmic nature. I want to capture that same movement of the individual and a groups totality with little distraction nor loss clarity of life’s elegance and craftsmanship that somehow these numbers cannot do alone.
We do not know who they are, where they are, or in what trying times they are pursuing never the less we follow the movement of their lives with an auspicious clarity that those hundreds if not thousands of data points fail to represent to society. When one line stops another always takes it’s place much as the same in our world it represents with the same movement and fervor as the one before. Each working together to represent the sense of society with such simplicity.
Data has always tried to capture life in an attempt to understand it, but without seeing the value of it all we are left with is a ticking clock waiting to stop.