A week of desires
I loved this topic when we decided it, I thought this would tell so much about the two of us, and it actually does!
This week I reported every single time I found myself deeply wanting/wishing something.
I would also note down how much I was in need of it to happen, and whether I ended up getting it or not (some long-term desires are still open in fact!)
At the end of the week, I observed my raw entries and I grouped my desires within 3 macro areas: general desires/wishes about my life; work-related aspirations, and very basic impulses (such as need for food and drinks).
On each area I then listed different subsets, to give Stefanie a better idea of what I was wishing for.
As I could imagine, my postcards displays lots of desires that are somehow work-related, boring ones, such as ‘I want to be more productive’ or ‘less stressed out’.
A good part of my desires are also basic ones I immediately satisfy; because when I feel the urge to get a chocolate thing I would usually get it right away (i.e. I carry provisions of lindor, mini-ritter, and others in my bag).
Other desires are more fun and would require tele-transportation or time machine to be satisfied (‘I want to escape from this situation’ , ‘I wanna be home already’, ‘I want the subway to pass right now’.)
Some others would require the magic wands such as changing the weather (tough winters in New York Stef!), or shutting up a long-winded person.
Some others would need the crystal ball, such as ‘knowing now that it will end up being ok’, ‘knowing now that it will go as I expect’ and so on.
But wait, I guess everybody of us shares the same kind of desires, right?
Even if nothing spectacular can be noticed here, I think this has been a very good exercise: acknowledging and putting on paper every single wish that downs on you during a week can definitely teach you something about your way of seeing your future and the relationship between your then and now.
As for the data-drawing - I thought about ‘projection’.
Desires are projections of a present we’d like to change, in the near or far future, as I see them, so I browsed through references about constellations …dots that one sees as aligned only from a specific point of view.
So I got constellations for categories of desires; stars for the actual desire, and connection lines to join the same group of desires.
I am not super satisfied with this postcard, actually, it was prettier in my mental vision of it than it actually resulted!
Stefanie’s postcard is so beautiful, I am NOT ABLE to think in a circular way, I have a very linear mind, and every time I see her perfect circular visualisations I am so jealous! I flipped her card front and back a lot of times, I was so curious about her desires!
To me our data drawings perfectly reflect our styles, and I find it compelling how - if you know our body of work - you can definitely tell which postcards are from Stefanie and which are the ones I drew. And this is something I didn’t think through in the beginning. I see Stefanie’s postcard as beautiful and organic compositions of data, she focuses on the overall arrangement, she favors long-lines, circular models, and bright colors; while I am by attitude more concentrated on little details, and sometimes I know I get too technical and end up overcomplicating the drawing!
But I can absolutely tell that we are influencing each other style the more the project evolves, stepping out of our comfort zones, and this is one of the wonderful aspects of such a collaborative project!
The two of us
This week I began to realize what we have in common and what we differ at, and not only from this very postcard but from our total bunch of 13 postcards, and from our communications so far.
We both are very passionate about our jobs, about the aesthetics of what we create and the research and innovativeness we bring into what we do.
We both (I guess?) enjoy living in the city we live in, and I can tell it from multiple little notes.
I also started to realize that she is so hard on herself! And I don’t actually see the point because she’s so good and what she does (I know I might be oversimplifying here).I might seem more confident, or at least I try to be, but not for very specific reasons!
Oh - and she parties a lot :D
Evolving the data collection
What I am more interested in now are new ways of telling our personal stories through data: as we are pushing ourselves on Dear Data, we also want to add different spins to the data collection to make it evolve.
After this week we started to challenge ourselves to find data even where it's not that obvious. We started to not necessarily limit our collection to a daily-hourly tracking.
Our aim data-wise is also to try to look for new and different ways to spot data in our lives, new way to discover data in our daily stories that aren’t necessarily a real-time quantification of our activities. (you will see what I am talking about at week 16 :))
For this week, I decided to only focus on moments when I really, really desired something, including desiring something to the point of annoying everyone in my vicinity by whinging about it.
This is the first card of many where I highlight the fact that I’m a self-centred asshole (sorry, Mom, it’s true). I spent most of the week worrying about my appearance or wanting to buy new clothing for myself, and barely any of the week desiring anything for anyone else.
However, in my defence: this way of thinking is a sign of a freelancer waiting for people to pay her on time: that constant planning of purchases and booking imaginary haircuts is my coping mechanism when I’m waiting for payment and none is forthcoming. I make a little shopping list in my mind, deleting and adding items until someone finally decides to pay (hooray!)
The other desires that I mainly had were basic human needs (the finer details of which were obscured through categorisation)...my id runs things, I guess.
I don’t think this is the most exciting of diagrams, mainly because I tend to gather slightly one-dimensional data sometimes (must remedy this). however, this was an exploration in trying to draw something quickly that still looked alright: there are only so many hours in a week and sometimes drawing and re-drawing a postcard over and over while swearing and getting increasingly stressed doesn’t fit well into my schedule. Also: Giorgia’s right, I do have an affinity for circular, radiating lines, so they are an easy go-to when I want to draw something quickly.
Sometimes to make up for an uneventful drawing I try to make the card’s legend a little more interesting. I felt bad when I realised how self-centred all of my desires were, so, feeling cheeky, I decided to populate the legend with lofty desires in case Giorgia wasn’t looking at the card too closely and might not notice that I didn’t spend all week desiring world peace. (Bless me data people, for I have sinned: I know that a misleading legend is another data rule broken!) These fake desires makes me sound like someone in a beauty pageant but perhaps that’s telling: normal people are imperfect and self-centred, and maybe we shouldn’t trust anyone who doesn’t admit to these imperfections.
The main difference between Giorgia and myself is how we approach the project: Giorgia is very methodical and organised with everything, whereas I throw myself into data-gathering with barely a thought about planning, and just always barely making our Monday posting deadline.
Having said that, I feel strangely reassured by the fact that Giorgia’s desires about work, as they are similar to mine, even if my way of working is opposite of how Giorgia manages her time. I think it’s evident that we both care about what we do, even if we do it in different ways.
Also, I find it funny that she says I'm hard on myself when she says her drawings are 'overcomplicated'... I consider them in a positive light, and see them as super-detailed!
I wonder what Giorgia’s desires for Dear Data are, and whether they have come true yet?
Giorgia, I don’t party that much anymore, promise!