Lifelogging? Lifecasting?

September 28, 2009 at 10:52 pm Leave a comment

Lifelogging: Recording and archiving all the information in one’s life.

Lifecasting: A continual broadcast of events in a person’s life through digital media.

Would you want your every action and conversation recorded? I know I wouldn’t, there are some experiences that I wouldn’t want to experience more than once. Sure there are some benefits, like you meet someone at the club (why you would be wearing one of these things at the club, I have no idea) and they write their number on a napkin and you lose it, you can just search your archives and find it! Also, some devices record your bodies’ vital signs, so they’re useful when you go to the doctor. A lifelogging device would also be great for people with episodic memories (think Drew Barrymore’s character Lucy in 50 First Dateslove that movie!).

There isn’t one particular way to lifelog. Some lifeloggers use wearable computers to capture almost continuous footage of their lives. Some people set up cameras in their homes and stream video constantly online. In Dec. 1999, Josh Harris initiated a “24/7 Internet conceptual art experiment” called “We Live in Public”. He and his girlfriend tapped their telephone lines and installed microphones and 32 robotic cameras in their home to capture their every move. Viewers could speak to the two of them in a chat room on the site. 

I think that the concept of lifelogging/lifecasting comes from the embedding of technology in our everyday lives (hello Twitter and Facebook) and cinéma vérité. Oh dear, I think my inner film student geek is showing! I did study this stuff for three years after all. In 1960, cinéma vérité changed the face of documentary production because it was more gritty and “real”. Smaller, more portable cameras and audio equipment allowed for being unobtrusive. Jean-Luc Godard once said, “Cinema is not a dream or a fantasy. It is life.” Will lifelogs and castings become the new cinema in the future? Will we be drawn to these archives because we’re so enslaved to computers and a virtual reality? Only time will tell.

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Entry filed under: COM 530- Theory & Analysis. Tags: , , .

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