- The Washington Post
"Despite the vast amount of quantification, Dear Data feels almost like an anti-quantified self project. Lupi and Posavec aren't interested in calories, steps, or heart rate. Their project explores the more slippery details of daily life. This human-centric data is the reason why Dear Data doesn't read as detached self-analysis. There are insights to be found, even in the categories they chose."
"Dedicate the time and the information encoded in Lupi and Posavec's postcards is not only revealing, but poignant. As well as choosing topics around items, such as the contents of their wardrobes or the number of drinks they'd had that week, the pair also scrutinised their behaviour."
"Both are mind-boggling intricate. The keys to each chart are minute, cypher-like instructions, peppered with anecdotes and asides."
- The Guardian
"Such an information-reach year could inspire others to better calculate aspects of their lives they never thought to tabulate, with the goal of seeing patterns and perhaps fine-tuning negative behavior. And better yet, illustrating our life's data by hand can allow us to slow down and invigorate our creative selves beyond the digital."
- Vice, Motherboard
"Through the process of examining their worlds in new ways, and noting emotions, sounds, and thoughts Lupi and Posavec, like the pre-telecommunication era Decker writes about, reveal a sense of space and time that we'd never considered. Through their weekly postcard exchange the two got to know each other, and themselves. The world around them was data to be collected, to be examined."
- Data Matters, Center for Data Art, The New School
From the Author
And we didn't try to draw about everything that had happened to us: we selected a weekly theme. Every Monday we chose a particular subject on which to collect data about ourselves for the whole week: how often we complained, or the times when we felt envious; when we came into physical contact and with whom; the sounds we heard around us. We then created a drawing representing this data on a postcard-sized sheet of paper, and dropped the postcard into an English post box (Stefanie) or an American mail box (Giorgia).
We started Dear Data as a way to get know each other through our data, the material that is most familiar to us: but we soon found we were also becoming more in-tune with ourselves as we captured the life unfolding around us and sketched the hidden patterns we discovered in the details. By noticing our behaviour, we were influencing our behaviour. We believe data collected from life can be a snapshot of the world in the same way that a picture catches small moments in time. Data can describe the hidden patterns found in every aspect of our lives, from our digital existence to the natural world around us. Every plant, every person, every interaction we take part in can be mapped, counted, and measured, and these measurements are what we call data.
We hope this book will inspire you in many ways: to draw (even if you don't think of yourself as an artist), to slow down and appreciate the small details of your life, and to make connections with other people. You'll find our fifty-two cards in this book, along with the thoughts we had while conceiving and crafting them.