Happiness Quotient

A haptic personal data-set visualising a state of mind over time. Scratching a daily tally that indicates one of two states: above the happiness threshold or below it.

Happiness Quotient 2016-2017...  (work in progress) MDF tablet, red ochre and gesso

Happiness Quotient 2016-2017...  (work in progress) MDF tablet, red ochre and gesso

Happiness Quotient: 16.07.15-08.12.16 [29x21cm]  

Happiness Quotient: 16.07.15-08.12.16 [29x21cm]  

The panel is first grounded in red ochre and then made a ‘blank slate’ with white gesso. Scratching a daily tally that indicates one of two states: above the happiness threshold or below it; becomes a ritual in the studio. A visual record develops over time until the tablet is filled and a record of a state of mind remains; testing ideas about data validity, ownership and values.

A threshold work; the top denotes happiness and the bottom misery, where the two states meet will define a final position. The pursuit of happiness is an obsession of the technologically advanced world, a malaise with all manner of capitalist fixes available. The simple act of recording, defining a day by scratching into a 'tablet' to mark it as happy or not, is an act of defiance. 

Our lives are monitored, mined and data is gathered about us constantly but do we really know how it is being gathered or used?  By creating a data-set based on personal emotion we can be sure of its source, highly subjective and with unknown parameters still the mark becomes truth.  Happiness can only be determined by the individual, it can only be quantified or measured by the individual it cannot be mined, extracted or collected by external forces.

Version 2

A tally mark, is the simplest method to count ongoing results, where results do not need to be erased or discarded they are particularly useful when clustered into groups of 5 to make for easier reading and conversion into decimal.

The act of scoring into the surface is resonant with self harm and mental illness, perhaps in these marks we can create an altered state in which we are forced to rethink. A mindfulness that we are told is the route to happiness.