A Life, Visualised
July 14, 2011 11:53 AM   Subscribe

Every year since 2005, Nicholas Feltron has logged the progress of his life – his meals, locations, conversations, pets, travel, everything – in minute and exacting detail, summarizing his activities in what he calls "Annual Reports" featuring beautiful infographics.
Last year, Feltron's father died. Rather than talking about himself for the 2010 Annual Report, Feltron memorialized the entire life of his father.

If you want to start recording your own life, Feltron has an online tool, Daytum, to do just that. Via the always-excellent 99% Invisible podcast. 2007 and 2006 Feltron Annual Reports, previously.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul (16 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
From the second page. where he documents the various materials he sorted through, including calendar entries and slides:

Last record: October 13, 2010. A doctor's appointment.

I find this inexpressibly sad.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:01 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

The last graphic in his 2009 report, a kind of complex solar system of his interpersonal encounters (I think), kind of reminds me of the planetary system in Firefly.
posted by aught at 12:02 PM on July 14, 2011

posted by silby at 12:17 PM on July 14, 2011

I cannot imagine attaching that much value to my dull little life and the mundane, quotidian things it contains. I certainly cannot imagine thinking that anyone else might do so.
posted by Decani at 12:30 PM on July 14, 2011

I wonder how long it takes for him to make these reports. They are always excellent. This one is particularly sad though.

Makes me realise how much there is that I still don't know about my dad.
posted by pleasebekind at 12:34 PM on July 14, 2011

Proper link for ¿How do you design a year?.
posted by ericb at 12:34 PM on July 14, 2011

In my professional life I have had dealings with the very creative and prolific Allee Willis. During every meeting, meal and bar stop she tape-recorded (with others' permission) her entire day and evening -- and has quite a collection of micro-casette tapes. She also records her days with videotape, digital photographs, etc.

Don't miss her Museum of Kitsch.
posted by ericb at 12:46 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Previous MeFi posts:

Oops, missed the links in the [more inside] -- "2007 and 2006 Feltron Annual Reports, previously."
posted by ericb at 12:52 PM on July 14, 2011

This is a thing of beauty. I'm amazed at these projects full of obsessive data gathering.

My father is in a frenzy of archiving right now. Over the years he's been collecting old slides and negatives from deceased relatives (or ones that just don't care anymore) and painstakingly digitizing everything. He brings them out during every family gathering so he can quiz the older generation on names, dates, and places.

I'm usually carrying at least two cameras on me (one in my phone and a "real" camera) and I never consider recording these mundane pieces of life. It always seems so silly when I'm doing it myself, but looking at someone else's finished product is always mesmerizing.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:20 PM on July 14, 2011

This. Is. Amazing.

My grandmother died on Sunday after a fall during visit to my city. I've been putting together pictures and stories for a first year book for my daughter and this has been some great inspiration for ways to weave my daughter's life with her "bisabuela" and all of her other progenitors. I'm imagining maps of birthplaces, timelines and charts of favorite beverages.

Graphs are fun.
posted by Alison at 3:01 PM on July 14, 2011

Sometimes I see something that makes me want to do something creative right that second. This is one of those things.

Great post!
posted by reenum at 5:20 PM on July 14, 2011

There is something simultaneously poignant and beautiful about the clinicality of the whole thing.
posted by Sphinx at 6:57 PM on July 14, 2011

Sometimes I'm just in awe of people and the things they think to do. This is one of those times. Beautiful. Amazing.
posted by smirkette at 8:12 PM on July 14, 2011

How do you measure / a year in the life?
posted by shivohum at 4:04 PM on July 15, 2011

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