Quantified Self Portrait (One Year Performance), intimate flows
June Issue in Neutral.
There’s a whole thread in media art about defining a portrait not through a face, but intimate data univocally connected to the person. Since our bureaucratic identity is solely made of digital data, as is most of our mediated sociality, this practice progressively reflects our everyday nature. Michael Mandiberg has always been attentive to the changes in our daily structures, developing artworks with an almost obsessive care. In his “Quantified Self Portrait (One Year Performance)” he shows a 3-channel video, made from photographs in front of the screen and screenshots produced every fifteen minutes by custom software, over a one-year long performance, and a few key textual reflections. The result is an identification with the laptop’s perspective and the workload, while the slower reflections break the flow of involvements with the screen, providing one of the possible individual escape strategies.