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Graphing your to-do list: An art project reveals the personal side of big data

Graphing your to-do list: An art project reveals the personal side of big data

We often think of data as impersonal and objective, but a new art project called “Dear Data,” has set out to challenge that. Two data designers are sending small, data-driven self-portraits across the Atlantic Ocean on postcards in an attempt to explore the role that data has in understanding people’s personal experiences and telling stories.

Each week, Giorgia Lupi, an Italian living in New York, and Stefanie Posavec, an American living in London, gather a particular type of data about their lives. Each develops her own method to translate that data into a drawing, then mails the postcard-sized drawing to the other through snail mail – a manual, slow and deliberately analog approach to big data.

In the images above, from Week 10 of the project, Lupi and Posavec have graphed their to-do lists. The graphs are on the top, while notes on how to read the graphs (on the reverse side of the postcard) are at the bottom. Their graphs remove any trace of what the actual task on the to-do list was, leaving an indistinct mass of busyness and never-ending obligations that many people will be familiar with.

H/t Flowing Data.

Ana Swanson | March 26, 2015 at 8:00 am
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