TO LOOK AT, Alberto Frigo is a normal, unassuming type of fellow. That is if you don’t count the Italian’s obsession with documenting every object his right hand has touched for the last 11 years.
He’s nowhere near finished either. Frigo’s goal is to carry on with his slightly bizarre project until he reaches retirement age in 2040. So 36 years at an average of 76 photos daily.
Yes, that is a lot of photos of your hand.
His project, ‘Images of the artifact used by the main hand’, can be found at Science Gallery Dublin’s latest exhibition which kicks off this evening. It’s also documented on his frankly kind-of-impenetrable website.
‘Lifelogging: Do You Count’ will run at the Pearse Street experimental gallery until 17 April and concerns the art and tech of lifelogging.
From one side this involves different ways of tracking every facet of your existence, while in more practical terms it can be applied to the kind of data-collection and personality-profiling being carried out by the likes of Facebook and Google.
For Alberto, it’s definitely all about the art. He doesn’t like software and hasn’t owned any technology of note other than a camera since a Gameboy in the 90s.
His project may sound odd, but up close and personal it’s quite compelling.
“I was fascinated for many years about the idea of recording my life but it was quite frustrating using embedded cameras and that kind of thing,” the affable 36-year-old told TheJournal.ie.
So I was kind of trying to figure out a way to bookmark my life, something other than journals where the writing fades.
In September 2003 I decided to start photographing every object my right hand was using and then I just wasn’t able to stop myself.
The exhibit consists of a series of photographic panels containing thumbnails of Frigo’s photos, with each panel representing a month and each line a day. Even so, there are so many that the gallery can only accommodate photos stretching back to 2009.
“The idea is to finish up when I’m 60. Then I’ll have over a million photos which, all things going to plan, will combine into one giant perfect cube containing my entire life,” says the Swedish-based artist, who insists that the project has ‘given him a goal in life’.
Despite this the Italian insists that he has greater purpose than your average lifelogger as he knows when he’ll eventually stop. In 25 years.
Until then, Frigo will continue with his ‘rather unobtrusive’ project.
At this stage, my left hand now naturally photographs my right hand using objects without me really thinking about it.