Alberto Frigo: the world’s most extreme life-logger (reflections on)

Alberto Frigo must be the world’s most obsessive ‘life logger’.

Frigo started logging various aspects of his life in 2004, when he was 24, and is currently engaged in 36 works, which he intends to continue for for 36 years, finishing when he’s 60. You can check out his web site here.

He’s probably best known for his photographic record of objects he uses with his right hand, the photos of which have been on display in various art galleries around the world. In the picture below, each panel represents one month.

He also tracks dreams, his heart rate while working out, the music he hears and the trash he comes across, among many other things. However, he’s not simply a ‘passive’ self-tracker, he’s also actively creating works of art – he writes a fable a day for example, and produces ‘free-association’ drawings while in public spaces.

At the end of the 36 year period, in 2040, it seems that he’s planning to present all of the 36 ‘logs’ in a museum, the picture below gives you an idea of the scale of this.

His presentation of the various aspects of his life is pretty creative… for example he transcribes the music he hears and produces a monthly interlude piece; he’s intending to present his recording of ‘casualties in newspaper headlines’ by transcribing it into braille and putting it on the handrails in the museum; while his record of pollution will be represented through changing levels of smoke, and his heart rate by the differential ticking of a clock.

NB I’m not sure whether he’s intending this to be a virtual or an actual museum. If it’s the later, it’ll be a generous soul who gives him that amount of space to store his ‘life-shit’ in!

What I like about Alberto Frigo’s Project

I’m personally very interested in self-tracking and life-logging, and I like general weirdness too – so I can’t help but find this kind of ‘project of the self’ appealing.

The sheer amount of aspects of his life that he’s tracking/ material he’s creating reminds us just how rich daily life is if you just pay attention to it, and the idea of creating a ‘museum of one’s life’ at the end of a 36-year period reinforces this. You can see from the projected images of the ‘museum’ just how ‘rich’ the final display is going to be.

Frigo is hardly your typical person: most people will come nowhere near his creative output. NB it’s projected that that he’s going to have the most comprehensive record of dreams of any living human by 2040 (possibly before then), and that’s just ONE of his 36 projects.

I’m also impressed that he’s found a way to make a living just out being an artist – I’m assuming here that he must earn a living out of this because he can’t have much time for anything else having 36 projects on the go. It beats the 9-5, that’s for sure.

What I’m not so keen on….

The web site is overwhelming… there’s just too much information to get your head around. I’m interested in this stuff, have known about this guy for over a year, and even I haven’t bothered to explore past project number 12. I just don’t care enough! Sorry Frigo!

Also, I’m not sure that this project can tell us that much about our own lives, other that ‘we use a lot of stuff’ etc… it’s too creative/ unique for that, and maybe a bit narcissistic?

My final thoughts are that this sort of life-logging is largely pointless, I don’t really care about it that much…. I can’t see what I’ve got to learn from it, although in terms of creativity, his planned ‘museum of the self’ could certainly be something worth seeing!

Sources/ image sources

Images 1 and 2 from Alberto Frigo’s blog

Lifelogging: do you count? An exhibition of lifelogging


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