Whatever happened, Happened

Daniel Palacios (ES)

Whatever happened, Happened

Audience and time, visualised by laser, 2010

Exhibition spaces are live entities, not bare container spaces. The exhibition is an organism that grows inside it and expands through it, defining the paths of the circulatory system which we travel.

The installation slowly burns concentric rings on the surface of a piece of virgin wood using a laser. Like a tree leaning in the direction of the sun, these rings expand following the flow of visitors. This produces a subjective, but legible, graphic of what happens in the vicinity of the installation, which merges the influence of your presence at the time of your visit with the vision of the rings generated prior to your arrival.

Constantly analysing its environment, this installation uses real-time data to produce a graphic that will only be completed when the exhibition ends. This graphic is the only trace left of what happened there: more than a visualisation of data, it becomes the data itself.

About Daniel
I’m a multimedia artist. My work is based on complex machinery and software, but beyond these technical aspects, my interest lies in the relationship of human, philosophical questions about perception, memory, time and space. My projects emerge from images and experiences resulting from a methodical exploration of the world, as well as the discrepancy between the technical precision of execution and a subjective reproduction of reality, depicting the intricate relationships that occur in a particular time and place.


How did you get started lifelogging/analysing data?
I first started using data in real time, not logging it, for interactive installations like movement sensors, capturing the behaviour of the audience in the gallery. Later on, I started using a wider variety of sensors to log data of what happens outside the gallery, which then I used to shape sculptures or 2D engravings.

Why do you find lifelogging so interesting?
Any kind of data logging gives you some ‘certainty’, a fact, a starting point to develop a subjective/artistic work: knowing is linked to reality.

How do people in your life react when they discover the extent of your lifelogging?
I have been called nerd-artist ;)

What's your favourite time of day and why?
All of it, for different reasons.

Do you remember the first electronic device you owned?
A ZX Spectrum?

What websites, magazines or other resources inspire, confound, amuse or irritate you?
I find all those apps for controlling yourself irritating... like the reminder to take a walk because you’ve been sitting too long, or blocking your access to Facebook and the like during work time. This technology can be used for something better than that, and if you have self-control issues, a piece of tech is not the solution.

What is your go-to piece of tech or software for lifelogging?
Arduino, Processing and lately Android. I tend to produce my own devices. I put everything together with Arduino, code my software in Processing, and run it on any mobile Android device.

We're creating a speculative timeline of the possible future of lifelogging. We're asking everyone to make one prediction for a future date. What's yours? Feel free to think big!
User interface will become more important than technology, data voyeurism will be out of the picture, and really useful apps will arrive.