When you think about your personal data, NSA and Google don’t have to be the first things to come to mind.
Media artist Brian House created an 11-minute musical track based off of a year’s worth of his location data.
We first saw the news on Wired.
House used personal tracking app Open Paths to record his location data for a year starting in May 2011. He then created an algorithm using the programming language Python to identify the places he visited the most and created a vinyl record called “Quotidian Record.”
He generated the sound using guitar pedals and Meeblip open-source synthesiser.
“Each place gets assigned a step of the scale in the music, and each city a key,” he explains on the project’s page. “There’s kind of an underlying pulse to the composition…which represents two hours of actual time. And what you hear on top of that are these little motifs, the geographic narratives that I cycle through over the course of my daily movements.”
One rotation of the record represents one day. So a year is equivalent to roughly 11 minutes. The record itself even shows the time of day and location of any given moment on the track.
House admits that it’s not a very practical use case of personal data, but is still one that shows how we can alternatively relate to our data.
House is a media artist who teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design. He has a degree in computer science from Columbia University and one in art from Chalmers University in Sweden.
House has a number of impressive and unique works under his belt. His project Joyride, for example, reconstructed the path of a stolen iPhone over the course of five days using Google Street View.
Check out the “Quotidian Record” below.
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