A 36 YEARS RECORDING OF LIFE
Since he was 24 in 2004, Alberto Frigo has embarked an ambitious project to compile 36 manual records of the reality experienced by a human being of the new millennium. The project will end in 2040 when he will be 60. Frigo intends to spend at least one month of his 36-year-long project on every subcontinent of the earth. So far he has already lived in North America, Europe, East Asia and South Asia, impersonating the life of common people there. Starting with tracking everything his right (dominant) hand has used, he has slowly added on different tracking and documentation projects. At present, he is engaged in 36 different works, 18 of which are defined as Inputs (see left menu) and 18 of which are defined as Outputs (see right menu).
The 18 Inputs of Frigo's projects can be divided into three sextets. The first sextet is called "The Inner Self" and comprises a record of his activities, his dreams, the songs he hears, the quality of the air he breaths, the fables he improvises and his heart-beat. The second sextet is called "The Other Self" and comprises a record of his new acquaintances, the trash he finds on the side-walk, the public places where he sits, the drawings of his ideas and his thoughts. The last sextet is called "The Utter Self" and comprises a record of his abstract paintings, his movements, his emotions, the weather, the shapes he recognizes in clouds and the intensity of the wind.
The 18 Inputs of the project, work 01 to 18 are compiled in month productions. As there are 432 months in 36 years the total month productions will correspond to 7.776. Half of these month productions are graphical and presented in various formats all summing up to 0,27 square meters, e.g. 900x300 mm, 600x450 mm, 1200x225 mm, 750x360 mm etc. The other half are audio-visual files of the duration of 12 minutes. In general, each of the six sextets of the project comprises three works using graphical media and three works using audio-visual media.
The Outputs, work 19 to 36, are 18 works that Frigo creates to provide contextual information on the project. They comprise of accounts, reflections, essays, illustrations, a musuem, photos, tools, exhibitions, a journal,oldies, performances, lectures, an archive, editions, publications, documentaries, time-capsules and this website.
Each work is described using 48 characters (see diagram in first figure below) and starting with a unique alphabet letter not in used by any other work. In the 18 Outputs however, each work starts with an alphabet letter repeated in every sextet. These letters are respectively A, E, J, O, V and W. Every morning Frigo makes a one hour long digital update of his project going chronologically through each work. During the day he is active to document his life and the reality around him taking up different documenting modalities based on whether he is at home or traveling or at work or in his mountain cabin. Every evening he makes a one hour long analogue update painting, drawing and writing.
After 9.000 miles road trip from North America to South America wearing a poncho filled with his journals and unable to compile them in a book, Frigo begun conceiving a digital system to record his inner and outer reality. The use of off-the-shelf digital equipment was first adopted by Frigo in 2003 after years spent trying to device a wearable computer for the purpose. When Frigo begun his project, social media, life-logging and quantified self wearable devices were not around. Phrasing Marshal McLuhan Frigo believes that his project acts as a Noah's like ark manually stowing the potential of a life underthreat by these later automated technologies. You can now keep reading about the 36 works comprising the project.
You can also read how the project has been mentioned in the following books:
2018: Toft Tanya, Digital Dynamics in Nordic Contemporary Art, Chicago University Press.
2017: Mark Hoogendoorn, Burkhardt Funk, Machine Learning for the Quantified Self: On the Art of Learning from Sensory Data, Springer International Publishing.
2017: Susan Flynn, Antonia Mackay , Spaces of Surveillance: States and Selves, Palgrave Macmillan.
2016: Deborah Lupton, The Quantified Self, Cambridge: Polity Press.
2016: Tamar Sharon & Dorien Zandbergen, From data fetishism to quantifying selves: Self-tracking practices and the other values of data, New Media & Society.
2016: David Houston Jones, Installation Art and the Practices of Archivalism, London: Routledge Edition.
2015: Birgit Richard (Et al.), Hamster-Hipster-Handy, Kerber Edition.
2011: Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, New York: Best Books (the name is misspelled as “Albert Frigo”).
2011: Rob Kitchin, Martin Dodge, Code/space: Software and Everyday Life, Cambridge: MIT Press.
2010: Outi Remes & Pam Skelton, Conspiracy Dwellings: Surveillance in Contemporary Art, Cambridge: Scholars Publishing.
2010: Dominique Moulon, Art Contemporain et Nouveaux Médias, Sentier d'Art Edition.
2006: Hannes Leopoldseder & Gerfried Stocker (Editors), CyberArts 2006: International Compendium Prix Ars Electronica, Hatje Cantz Publishers.
Television and Radio broadcasts:
2016-07-12 Mina Benaissa, Sveriges Radio, Han fotograferar allt han rör vid (Kulturnytt P1 national radio). SE
2015-03-28 (8h10) Michelle Constant, Lifestyle Show, 105.1 in Johannesburg, South Africa (live on national radio opening contribution).
2015-04-25 (19h20) Ulrike Haak, "Hamster-Hipster-Handy. Im Bann des Mobiltelefons", Kulturzeit, Germany (national TV 3sat).
2015-05-21 (22h50) Hauptsache Kultur