Review: LIFELOGGING at the Science Gallery

A new Science Gallery exhibition explores the many ways our lives are tracked everyday.

Science Header“LIFELOGGING – Do you count?”- the new exhibition at the Science Gallery Dublin – explores the many ways our lives and the world around us are tracked everyday. There are many interesting pieces that try to capture the direction society is heading, exploring the possibility of selling information about yourself and tracking down Justin Bieber at a click of a button.  Here is a taste of some of the pieces I saw at the opening night.

Ground floor

The first piece I thought was pretty interesting is called “Jennifer Lyn Morone™ Inc” by Jennifer Lyn Morone. In this piece, Jennifer puts a value on things like her own identity, her demographics, what she eats and drinks – information now available to be bought by companies. The idea is that can know everything about her for just €8,000. She describes the piece as “a protest to the exploitative nature of late capitalism, with increasing surveillance states and the growing data industry.”

The next piece nearby – “Medical Notebook” by George Reynolds – contains the artist’s personal health information from 2003 onwards, useful data for doctors and the health-conscious. Over to the left is a piece by Stephen Cartwright, a three dimensional graph that correlates the average wind speed at his location with the average time spent engaged in self-propelled locomotion.

As you approach the stairs, you can’t miss “Lifelogging Products of the Future” by Karl Toomey. The piece comprises a collection of objects that can track and record various data. It includes a Justin Bieber tracker and a necklace with a big black cross with a camera in the middle, for a priest to potentially keep an eye on what mass-goers are doing!

Heading upstairs

A whole wall on the first floor is covered with tiny images that you can look at with a magnifying glass as part of Alberto Frigo’s “Images of the Artifacts used by the Main Hand”. Each image captures an object Alberto used with his right hand – often his phone and computer – and images are printed on panels in rows. Each row is a day and each panel is a month. Alberto started his project in September 2003 and it is still ongoing.

Highlights from the opening night of LIFELOGGING. Source: Science Gallery

In the middle of the gallery space is a large wooden box with a laser burning a pattern in a panel of wood. This piece by Daniel Palacios, “Whatever Happened, Happened”, considers the gallery as a living organism that evolves in time as people come and go. The installation tracks the movement of visitors in its vicinity and burns concentric rings in the wood that represent this movement.

Another piece representing personal information is the “Feltron Annual Report” by Nicholas Felton, a piece of work ongoing since 2005. Nicholas has tracked almost all of the aspects of his life and used data visualisation techniques to produce an annual report about himself. The report consists of graphs, maps and charts detailing hiis most personal data. 

The last piece that really caught my attention was “Bad Trip” by Alan Kwan, located in a small dark room on the second floor. Alan has documented his life since November 2011 with a camera attached to his glasses. He then created this mindscape where people can explore his memories and dreams. Using a game controller, we can enter and explore the artist’s mind and look at snapshots of the places he has been to. 

There are many other pieces that I will leave for the reader to discover. The Science Gallery is also running weekly workshops that explore different aspects of the theme of LIFELOGGING. These are free, but booking is essential. 

LIFELOGGING runs in the Science Gallery until April 17th.