Erdem Taşdelen


The Quantified Self Poems

Series of 12 silkscreen prints
26" x 40" (66 x 101.6 cm) each

The Quantified Self Poems is a project that considers the use of tracking applications and devices for self-improvement, in which a series of poems are produced through an experiment with self-tracking technologies.

Over a period of three months during the summer of 2016, Taşdelen reported his moods three times per day on Emotion Sense, a smart phone application developed for mood tracking by researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK. Each time the artist was prompted to respond to the questions that came up on this app, his feelings were logged as numerically encoded data, effectively quantifying the unquantifiable.

Taşdelen then worked with a programmer to create an algorithm that translated this raw data into words drawn from a unique dictionary compiled for the project by poet Daniel Zomparelli. This process resulted in six poems that appear to be written by an emotive automaton—in a sense they are written, but not penned, by the artist. These six poems are produced as part of a suite of twelve screen prints, the other six of which feature views of the user interface of Emotion Sense.

Quantified Self - article by Erdem Taşdelen in Canadian Art

The Quantified Self Poems was produced with support from the Canada Council for the Arts, with the collaboration of poet Daniel Zomparelli and programmer Ali Bilgin Arslan.

Installation views: Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, 2017. Photos by SITE Photography.