Day-to-Day Data
Day-to-Day Data exhibits the work artists who seek inspiration from insignificant details in their own or the publics’ everyday lives – artists who use daily experience as research material from which to obtain their data. This section of the website provides a context for the way these artists work and considers the continuing relevance of work inspired by day-to-day life.

A great champion of the minutiae of life is the French writer Georges Perec. In his essay The Infra-Ordinary he pleads for the necessity to observe, contemplate and analyse the things we see around us day in, day out. He urges us to consider the significance of the actions, objects and experiences that we take for granted each day, as he believes them to be the only things in life we can ever hope to understand. It is impossible to perceive the entirety of the world because of the distant, removed way in which we, as individuals, view it. It seems logical that the things we have most contact with are the things of which we have greater knowledge. It is therefore possible to see why everyday life is an instinctive focus of the Day-to-Day Data artists’ work.

Through the application of a scientific or methodical approach to objects, events or experiences which a normal scientist (or normal person, for that matter) may well overlook, the Day-to-Day Data artists create an absurd or humorous new vision of the everyday life we are all accustomed to.

Exploring the Exhibition Theme

The idea of Day-to-Day Data can be seen as two parts which can be broken down and analysed separately: the day-to-day and the data, the subject matter and the methodology. For the Day-to-Day Data Publication the exhibition theme has been approached from these two distinct angles, opening a debate about the contrasts and crossovers between what the artists have chosen to study and the way in which they have chosen to study it.

A thorough exploration of these two areas of the Day-to-Day Data theme has been provided through two specially commissioned essays: Ben Highmore, the authority on everyday life theory, looks at the varied subject matter of Day-to-Day Data in his essay Unprocessed Data: Everyday Life in the Singular. Kris Cohen, sociologist and researcher into the ritual of photo-blogging on the web, addresses the question of why artists have chosen to create and work with data in his essay Better the Data you Know…

On 18 March 2006 the Day-to-Day Data Symposium was held the ICA London. Five of the twenty artists involved in the project were invited to present the ideas and methodologies surrounding their works made for the show, which address a fun and varied array of subjects. These include: the history of words, the movement of fugitive shopping trolleys around the city, the patterns in everyday routine, Nail Salon distribution in Greater London and the news headlines that occur as you eat your evening meal.
The artists explored the similarities and differences between each of their systems of research and practice and, in doing so, presented a journey through the greater concepts of Day-to-Day Data.

Developing the Exhibition Theme

On 23 & 24 August 2004 the Day-to-Day Data Exhibition Development Workshop took place at the Angel Row Gallery in Nottingham. The workshop was attended by ten selected artists, the Angel Row Gallery and Aspex Gallery curatorial staff, Arts Council England representatives and Sarah Cook, an independent curator who (together with Ellie Harrison) selected the artists for the workshop. Through a combination of presentations and experiments, the workshop encouraged discussions into the practice of working with data and the obsessive behaviour that is associated with the persistent collection of information. In a specially commissioned text, Tick the box that best represents
your interest…
Sarah Cook summarises some of the key themes that arose during the two-day workshop period.