WORK 19 / CONTEXT / ACCOUNTS

ACCOUNTS 01/12 The overall project is divided in four parts. The first nine works are related to the tracking of myself and the second nine works are related to the tracking of the surrounding. The third nine works in which this work is included provide a background to the previous eighteen works while the last nine works shares the outcomes. In this respect this work provides written accounts to every file generated as part of the first eighteen works given that it wouldn't make sense to provide contextual information to contextual information as the one provided by the latter works. These annotations are written using no punctuation and no upper case letters. They are made of a continuous sentence in which the time in which the file was generated is the subject. While the first person is avoided, these accounts are both self-analysis as well as summaries for viewers to better interpret the files. Each account is labeled with a two digit number representing the part of the project going from 01 to 18. The last three digits represent the month in which a file was generated going from 001 to 432. The accounts are presented chronologically in groups of 16 (Fig. Screenshot of a page of accounts. Each production is generally 2 to 3 pages long. Each page is 21.6 by 31.56 centimeters with 2 centimeter margins. As a font I use Consolas size 11 and a 1.5 line space).

ACCOUNTS 02/12 To begin with I decided to only keep an account of the month productions belonging to the first 18 instances of the project and not the last 18 instances because these last 18 instances are already per se some kind of meta-data on which it would be too absurd to add additional meta-data. Nonetheless I have always been quite reluctant to add any meta-data whatsoever to data I have been generating. Usually I have tried to strip naked all the data I collected such as the GPS location and other attributes that a device such a camera might automatically store. All I wanted was to provide a pure chronological record of various instances of reality. I wanted the viewers to make the effort to read such stripped data. Nonetheless there was a charm in the possible accounts I could have expressed by narrating on particular files. At last I opted to provide accounts for each of the month I generate tracking myself and the surrounding but these accounts are not blended with the generated data, rather they are kept as a data of their own. This was at last the method I adopted not to compromise the natural purity of data as it is chronologically recorded (Fig. Screenshot of the text file I use to keep the accounts prior copying them to a text editor. In this respect the highlighting of each account helps me to make a correct counting and selection of these accounts).

ACCOUNTS 03/12 For many non-photographic and non-textual instances of the project, the actual account of each of their month production become an important key for the viewer to understand them. This is particularly the case for the more numerical works like the tracking of the wind and the tracking of the air quality and of the heart beats. Looking at these files alone it is unlikely that a viewer can understand much. This is also the case of more graphical works such as the retracing of my movements in space. Watching only an intricate groove of lines such as my walks, might not tell much to the viewer but reading the long descriptions I make of them is most relevant for him or her to understand the effort behind it. In this respect the accounts work as didascalia which however are kept separated and unlinked from their actual productions. It did come to my mind however to at one point incorporate at least on the project website the presentation of each file along with such a didascalia (Fig. Screenshot juxtaposing an account of a month production with the actual production. In this respect the apparently meaningless scribbles of lines gain some meaning. Over time I have considered making the accounts more visible or at least making the actual nomenclature of each account a link to the month production it comments about it).

ACCOUNTS 04/12 In several cases accounts are quite difficult to reconstruct. This occurs when I am still behind editing a file belonging to the past. I find it rather easy to remember the situation around the faces of people I have met several years back even though I am not finished extracting the background and as a consequence I have yet to write an account on them. For my drawings of ideas and especially for the rendering I make to recreate the shapes I observe in clouds the writing of accounts become more problematic. In both cases I render an idea or a cloud months or even years after I first annotated it. It would be impossible for me to remember anything related to these annotation if it wasn't that along with them I also make comments to facilitate the future writing of the related accounts. These comments sketch the circumstance in which the annotations occurred. They are preceded by two consecutive slash and can sound like: “night clouds mosaic making”. So while the annotations are written in Italian the comments are written in English as in English the account are going to be written (Fig. Screenshot of a the text file from which I daily create the 3D shapes detected in clouds. The comments written along these annotations re supposed to give me years later the sense on for example the place where the clouds where observed).

ACCOUNTS 05/12 Following is an extract of my chronological accounting of each of the files I monthly generate as part of my tracking works: "...15042: "in stockholm mostly breathing the air of the truck factory with the wind blowing towards my apartment having the windows open still because of the heat and also the busses driving in the road below and generally all the traffic found going by bike but mostly being in the city center or traveling to myrthe in the netherlands and breathing the airplane fuel prior taking off to get much nicer air in maastricht and during our bike rides in belgium"; 04042: "a very emotionally stable period spent mostly in sweden and really helped by the late summer sunny weather and by allot of biking alone but also in the weekend reaching very high feelings of well being particularly during a bike ride with myrthe in belgium and another with august and åsmund all of them promoted by the easiness of the late summer with little frustration mostly due to technical difficulties like setting up my own server". Reading through the accounts then the viewer might develop a certain emphaty he or she is unable to develop experiencing the data resulted in my tracking projects (Fig. Screenshot of Open Office, the free text editor I use not only to export the accounts to a final .pdf format but also to make a grammar check).

ACCOUNTS 06/12 This record of descriptions also reveals the chronological production of the various month productions I accomplish. As a matter of fact, while the only time indicator is provided by the photographing of the objects, which is linked to actual months, the productions of all the other parts of the project are based on an initial estimate of how much I would be able to accomplish in a month using a particular medium and perspective. The 100 dreams that have been estimated to be remembered every month, for example, might take a longer or shorter time to be remember based on the social and psychological factors I experience. It is right these factors that these small accounts try to highlight (Fig. Screenshot of a fraction of the accounts as they chronologically appear. In this case there are 3 consecutive month production related to trash picking. The reason for it is that the trash was collected over an extensive period of time but the actual scanning of the trash that later generated the month productions were only scanned when I had time to do so or felt like doing so. In this respect also several other works are edited months or years after they have been “captured”. The background extractions of my head-shots, the drawings of ideas, the rendering of clouds and in this case also the trash I collect are works requiring longer time to post-edit).

ACCOUNTS 07/12 Often throughout the time that I generally spend to accomplish a month production, I also write a few notes on a text file to later facilitate the writing of the account. This is the case of for example the tracking of my emotions but also about my dreams which would be too hard to contextualize when a month production is finished. For example every morning after writing the dreams I dreamed at night, if there is something significant that could contribute to the account I will write after the page of 100 dreams corresponding to a month is fully written, I take a note of it. I could for example annotate “venice apartment renovation worries” just so as to indicate that when I will write the account I will have to mention that some dreams were affected by worries I had regarding several issues I had with my apartment in Italy (Fig. Screenshot of the text file I use to annotate not only the actual finished month productions but also the month productions in progress. Here we read that as far as the file I am compiling with the emotions corresponding to a month we read a series of events making me sad or happy. Later all these hints will be used to write the actual account. Also below we find a list of songs I daily recomposes and just above a list of notes which are actually extracted from the songs if they are followed by any after the recomposition).

ACCOUNTS 08/12 The accounts of the very first month productions were not made. At that time I was still in doubt as to whether accounts would have spoiled the data I generated. Also at that time I was still figuring out a format on how to go about these accounts such as whether I should write them on paper alone or digitally. In this respect it would be a challenge fro me to attempt remembering the circumstances related to such distant in time month productions. It would be especially interesting to evaluate whether certain instances like my photographic record of objects used or my videographic record of public spaces would in fact be useful techniques to remember past events. In the few occasions that I actually reviewed old month productions I realized that in fact the easiest way to re-contextualize my life is by looking at the video of public places. Paradoxically they are empty but they do work as powerful triggers of past memories that not even pictures can recover (Fig. Screenshot of Xujiahui park, a public place I often filmed while living in Shanghai. Such a place was vital for me and my oldest son in order to appreciate some green vegetation in the highly cemented and polluted metropolis. Just looking at this place and looking at the sequence of places in a video, I can easily reconstruct my life then even if decades went by).

ACCOUNTS 09/12 Often the accounts become useless and redundant. This is often the case of works that are mostly conceived within the premise of my study and do not involve any further life project such as being outdoor. One example of useless accounts are the ones I write for my record of casualties read on the news and the accounts I write about the fables I improvise. In this respect not much content can be provided as the settings are often similar like “news read regularly from the netherlands” or “protagonist inspired by a documentary”. Additionally also the accounts become quite meaningless for the paintings I make as part of the project; not much can be said here other than summarizing whether the painting is more blue or red or whether it varies significantly from the previous painting. I can also specify whether it was a long time since I haven't been painting and what were the reasons that hindered me to do so. Overtime also some important events might occur such as that I was unable to read regularly the news being left with no Internet in my mountain cabin or having to move in a dark attic to paint to make room to my kids (Fig. Screenshot of a section of my painting with juxtaposed the account written for it. Such an account may seem original yet over time for certain instances of the project such as for the paintings, it become rather monotonous until some crucial things emerge).

ACCOUNTS 10/12 Overall the writing of accounts may provide some insightful information about each month production. This information may be at times redundant but overtime it can create in the reader a picture of both the consistency as well as the constant challenges I face to pursue my project. Throughout the accounts also a subtle narrative emerges. This story line is never comic; it is permeated by a subtle tragedy. Here readers are confronted with for example the painful separation from my oldest son after the divorce with my wife. They are confronted with a period I had to live as an undocumented migrant in a foreign country and a sense of disillusion in attempting any kind of social integration. The journal of this project is in this respect more of a vivid presentation of this but the accounts of each month production also provide such an insight. Each of the monthly accounts of the 18 tracking works testify an existence dedicated to accounting time. In this respect my accounts become accounts of accounts from different accounts perspectives (Fig Screenshot showing me in a crucial moment of my life living alone in a squalid one room apartment. Having given up my life in Sweden I was still struggling to keep up the relation with my son there while also trying to begin a new relation with my girlfriend abroad).

ACCOUNTS 11/12 While most of the times they are quite sober, some accounts are rather similar to the accounts kept by melancholic poets and artists. Some passages reflects the style used by the mannerist painter Jacopo Pontormo in his 16th century dairy. If Pontormo related bout his moods while accomplishing his Last Judgment, his ultimate frescoes in the choir of the San Lorenzo chapel in Florence, similarly in the making of my life work I also relate about my moods and my many physical issues while for example attempting to keep alive training and trying to stay healthy. This is particularly the case of the impossibilities rather than the possibilities of training I encounter due to physical problems or the weather or due to the fact that I am left alone to take care of my small children. It is said that the self-pitying accounts of Pontormo were his way to make himself melancholic and in turn more creative. With time I believe I have overcome such melancholia (Fig. Screenshot of accounts reporting on negative situations. While these situations might obstruct my project I am always facing them with a positive attitude. I am even able to turn this situation around and make something positive out of it. This is the case for example of 2020 pandemic restrictions which turned me completely penniless and confined in the small Dutch town where I grew my two youngest kids up).

ACCOUNTS 12/12 In an ideal exhibition the accounts are presented in a side room of the main exhibition. More specifically if there are six rooms showcasing three of the last 18 projects, the accounts will be presented in the first room to the left and on the right wall. On this wall the accounts could be presented as 432 individual brochures hanging on 12 nails distributed horizontally across the wall. Each of the nail represent a year of accounts and on each of them then 12 accounts should be hanged from a string in the upper right corner. Given that each wall is 7.2 meters wide each nail should be positioned at the distance of 60 centimeters each. The brochure may be in fact even printed for take away on cheap office paper and just simply staple together and/or printed on both side. By doing so visitors could be able to use the brochures as the paper guides often given out to visitors of museum exhibitions. In this respect visitors could keep the one or two pages brochures and explore the main exhibition with them getting a sense of the various works and getting a sense of the various circumstances that I have faced in making them. These brochures could be also laminated and could be returned to a mailbox installed in the middle of the side room where they are shown (Fig. Rendering of the ideal exhibition showing the wall where the accounts should be presented highlighted in red).