designer + developer
eyli@princeton.edu | résumé

pixel lapse

a digital diary

pixel lapse

In January 2016, I went to a talk by Richard Vijgen in which he discussed his project The Deleted City and the idea of digital history. As we produce more and more data on the internet, we have yet to come up with an efficient way to archive and organize this data. Services such as the Wayback Machine exist, but there aren't many ways to go about archiving personal history.

This wasn't something that I had given much thought previously and I became interested in different ways of collecting and preserving digital history. Based on some brainstorming with my friend Yicheng Sun, I had also been looking into the realm of pixel sorting and glitch art.

pixel lapse pixel sorted

I realized that an interesting experiment would be to take a screenshot of my screen every 15 minutes and pixel sort it, as a way of preserving some anonymity, and upload it to twitter for anyone to see and follow. I also chose to get the currently active application on my laptop and upload that as well as a way of providing context. The result was pixel lapse, an experimental take on digital history.

By uploading my daily activities to a public sphere, I make it possible for anyone to explore my digital history (albeit in an obfuscated manner because I'm not about to give up all my privacy just yet). This digital diary will run for about a year, generating approximately 10gb of data. At that time I will then produce a book or installation analyzing and visualizing the past year's worth of images and data.

Source code coming soon.

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copyright eric li.