Book: Self trackers

In this book, eight people tell us their stories about why and how they started self-tracking and what they’ve learned. It’s not so much a book about data analysis or how to record daily events, as about data representation and accessing certain emotional states. All the authors describe their journeys into self-exploration and even self-empathy, trying to represent and understand their own activities over time. Many of the authors are artists, but with a marathon mentality, iterating the process of tracking, logging and quantifying their lives over months, years and even decades. During the process, the utilitarian aspect of the activity fades. The question no longer revolves around the utility of the data but around the importance of the process itself. Self-tracking is a curious game and part of the beauty is to share it. In a sense these self-trackers are poets, people noticing, placing value and sharing the importance of moments. The stories underline the value of the fleeting, and how to capture it, how to feel it and how to visualize it. Tangible evidence from the past is manipulated in ways that steer more towards qualification than quantification, more towards self-expression, psychology and philosophy.

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A look inside: