Tracking your life can mean any form of recording: some body measures like weight, your workout, your food intake, your sleep patterns – this is the “classic” Quantified Self. One of the most intrusive, yet intriguing ways of tracking your life, however is actually track it visually. Lifelogging, taking visual record of your life, has been popularized to some extent by Steve Mann. Mann became notorious for getting thrown out of a McDonalds in France for wearing his head mounted camera.
I have started to experiment with life logging myself. I use the Narrative Clip, a gadget of approximately 5cm diameter that you clip to your clothes and that automatically shoots a picture every 30 seconds.
While wearing the clip, I made several observations: although I quickly stopped thinking about my carrying the camera continuously with me, I realized that I started to adjust my behavior. I would sit more upright, eat and drink very cautiously, even turn my field of vision in a direction, I would expect to look more interesting on the images. People that I encountered in the public were obviously not aware of my surveillance, even though my clip is bright orange in color.
I have put together some random ranges of my day. Our culture is frankly not ready yet, to have bathroom-time shared, so I start with an image I take as rather unsuspicious: brushing my teeth and preparing to leave the house. After my cycling through the neighborhood to run some errand, you see my drinking tee, leaving for our office by the local communter train, where I met my friend Dr. Koehler (quite nicely portraited). After leaving the train, you see my walking from the station to our office. I close with a serries of our board meeting (where you see my collegue Kira sitting on the opposite side of the table).
[Tune in and watch our Datarella People interview with narrative engineer Dan Berglund]
[Note: I am going to write something about the inherent problem of gender culture and abelism that I feel going with self-tracking like this]