This week I took a closer look at my digital self by keystroke logging (which is terrifying) and scanning old gchats between myself and my boyfriend (booooring). It feels cheesy to want to do a project about my boyfriend, but looking back at our old communication methods and comparing them to the ones we use now is very fascinating to me. I titled this post “take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints” because while running a python script that returned old chats, I found a link to a picture of a sign with those words on it. Ironically, it kind of describes the way we think about our digital lives: clean interactions that have no trace of us after we close a tab, empty the trash, put our computers to sleep. This is simply not true. Just like that time you left a bottle cap in the sand during your last beach trip, there are little bits of us left everywhere on our computers & online.
Amelia and Todd found a great plugin called Print All for Gmail that saves all specifically labeled emails onto a document in your Google Drive, which I’m using after the aforementioned python script was giving me issues.
After the plugin does its thing, my goal is to use the Interesting Words processing sketch to pull out nicknames Ian and I call each other. I eventually want to create illustrations from them, possibly tracking their evolution over time. It may even be fun to gamify the characters, and give them value based on how often they were used. For example, the very common ‘Merve’ character may only have 10pts strength because it’s used almost daily; but the Toe Jame character might have 1,000pts strength because it was only used twice. I’ll most likely study Magic cards and the collectible, editioned Kid Robot toys to get some inspiration this weekend. More updates to come.