Quantified Self Portrait, 2017
Art + Technology Lab grant recipient Michael Mandiberg exhibited Quantified Self Portrait (Rhythms), a sound installation in the Pritzker Parking Garage elevators which combined re...
Art + Technology Lab grant recipient Michael Mandiberg exhibited Quantified Self Portrait (Rhythms), a sound installation in the Pritzker Parking Garage elevators which combined recordings of the artist’s heartbeat and digital media alerts. Quantified Self Portrait (1 Year Performance) is a video composite of a year’s worth of self-surveillance that creates an impression of an artist's daily work. The work which originated from his proposal for the Art + Technology Lab in 2016, is a year-long performance where he self-tracks his labor through means of pervasive custom surveillance software, and showed the results as a multiple-part multimedia installation. He used himself as a proxy to hold a mirror to a pathologically overworked and increasingly quantified society, revealing a personal political economy of data. Quantified Self is a social movement in which technology is used to self-track personal data in order to gain a fuller, unbiased understanding of oneself. This self-portrait is also a symbol of the artist today not as an individual laborer, but as someone who is part of a larger network of workers, agents, and organizations. He addressed that despite a long history of the self-portrait, people have few representations of the daily life of contemporary artists.
The sound installation Quantified Self Portrait (Rhythms) sonifies a year of Mandiberg’s heart rate data alongside the sound of my email alerts. The piece plays for one full year, with each moment representing the data of the exact date and time from the previous year. As with the video, the piece fits the conceptual framework of documenting the artist’s literal labor, while also pushing the aesthetic boundaries of conceptualism into a more emotionally open space.