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Alberto Frigo's TEBAH

TEBAH is our first intervention with Alberto Frigo, a local artist who has been recording multiple aspects of life since 2004 (check his website) and local architect Emanuele Mondin from Studiofficina.

More specifically TEBAH is a three-story cube Frigo is building to host his archive. While the cube is built of iron and will eventually rust and merge with the surrounding nature, visitors will be able to access the building and experience a syncretic view of a reality otherwise torn apart by social media.

Click on the mosaic icon to launch the web based application to explore the 15.552 QR code like mosaics corresponding to each month production. You can digit a mosaic using the white tiles and use the red tile to download the month file associated to it. If a red tiles turns gray, it is due to the fact that the project is not yet finished and a particular month file not yet produced.

Alberto Frigo's tebah north view @ the larnax foundation

The textures which will cover the cube are based on an encryption of the titles of each of the 36 works carried out by Alberto Frigo to document reality. Each work corresponds to one of the 9 2,4 by 2,4 meters squares present in each facade. While the east facade corresponds to works tracking the self, the north facade corresponds to work tracking the surrounding, the west facade are works contextualizing the project and the 9 works of the north facade present the outcomes.

The idea of a cube is derived by ancient versions of Noah's Arks. In the Epic of Gilgamesh the ark is in fact a cube. The name TEBAH is possibly the most ancient to indicate this giant "Preserver of Life" but it was also later used in the Old Testament to indicate the small basket with which baby Moses was transported.

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The grids supporting the textures were inspired by the work of Edoardo Tresoldi. Generally the use of a mild steel structure in the landscape was inspired by the work of Belgian architects Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh. The duo have created the Reading Between the Lines, an intervention which has greatly boosted the tourism of the Flemish province where it is located.

In regard to the content, by 2040 the TEBAH will present 1.000.000 photos of all the objects used by the right hand, 43.200 dreams, 38.800 drawings of ideas, 77.760 video-recordings of public places, 3.456 headshots and much more. To give you a more detail idea of the oeuvre you can read here a first draft of a book presenting it. You can also consult the following resources reviewing his project:

Books

Peter Hall, Patricio Dávila, Critical Visualization, Bloomsbury Academic 2021.

Svea Braeunert, Sarah Tuck, Louise Wolthers, WATCHED BY DRONES Photographic Surveillance in Art, War, and Protest, (W)archives, Sternberg Press 2021.

Toft Tanya, Digital Dynamics in Nordic Contemporary Art, Chicago University Press 2018.

Mark Hoogendoorn, Burkhardt Funk, Machine Learning for the Quantified Self: On the Art of Learning from Sensory Data, Springer International Publishing 2017.

Susan Flynn, Antonia Mackay, Spaces of Surveillance: States and Selves, Palgrave Macmillan 2017.

Deborah Lupton, The Quantified Self, Polity Press 2016.

David Houston Jones, Installation Art and the Practices of Archivalism, Routledge Edition 2016.

Birgit Richard, Hamster-Hipster-Handy, Kerber Edition 2015.

Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, Best Books 2011.

Rob Kitchin, Martin Dodge, Code/space: Software and Everyday Life, Cambridge: MIT Press 2011.

Outi Remes, Pam Skelton, Conspiracy Dwellings: Surveillance in Contemporary Art, Cambridge: Scholars Publishing 2010.

Dominique Moulon, Art Contemporain et Nouveaux Médias, Sentier d'Art Edition 2010.

Hannes Leopoldseder, Gerfried Stocker, CyberArts 2006: International Compendium Prix Ars Electronica, Hatje Cantz Publishers 2006.

Press articles

2020: BvD-News, Florian Mehnert, Datismus Versus Freihet, Über Kunst als Medium der Auseinandersetzung der Algorithmisierung unseres Alltags

2019: L'ADN, Margaux Dussert, Par amour du trolling ou par quête de sens, ces artistes dévoilent leurs données privées

2018: DV, Sigtryggur Ari, Aldrei úr augnsýn, January 19.

2017: Mowwgli, Marie-Laure Desjardins, Images partagées et autres selfies, vers une archéologie de l’instant, November 16.

2017: Arts Hebdo Media, Samantha Deman, Special Mobile Art, Number 16, February 10.

2017: Zero Deux, Aude Launay, Watched! Surveillance, Art and Photography, February.

2016: Kunstforum International, Birgit Richard, Konsumfashionista: Mediale Ästhetiken des Modischen, December 23.

2016: Information, Rune Gade, Overvågningens vaesen, June 3.

2015: TEXTTHEORIE UND TEXTGESTALTUNG, Stephan Porombka, Karl Wolfgang Flender, Warum es sich lohnt, alles zu fotografieren, was man in die Hände kriegt, August 27.

2015: Die Welt, Wie das Handy unseren Lebenswandel bestimmt, April 23.

2015: Metro World News, Dmitry Belyaev, Alberto Frigo photographs everything his right hand touches, March 8

2015: Isolezwe, Umlisa oshutha kwasani akuphethe, March 8.

2015: Süddeutsche, Christopher Pramstaller, Life-Logging: 998 640 Fotos einer rechten Hand, March 4.

2015: The Herald (South Africa), Artist tries hand at photographing, page 3, March 3.

2015: China Daily, 意男子十余年为右手接触所有物品拍照 欲拍百万, March 2.

2015: Lider Informativo, Lo que toca su mano derecha, lo hace foto, page 4, March 1.

2015: Yahoo News, Chris Parsons, Artist Photographs Everything Touched by his Right Hand for 11 Years, February 27.

2015: Daily Mail, Corey Charlton, The most touching set of photographs you will ever see, February 27.

2015: Fast Company, Mark Wilson, For 11 Years, This Man Has Taken Photos Of Everything His Right Hand Touches, February 25.

2015: Wired, Luigina Foggetti, Lifelogging, i nostri dati in mostra, February 20.

2015: The Journal, Ciannan Brennan, This man has been taking a photo of everything he touches... for the last 11 years, February 12.

2015: The Irish Times, Cyaran D'Arcy, Science Gallery Exhibith shows role of personal data in future tech, February 12 (with video interview by Bryan O'Brien: ”If you could measure everything would you?”)

2014: Symantec, Mario Ballano Barcena, How safe is your quantified self?, August 11.

2014: The Guardian, Alex Preston, The death of privacy, August 3.

2014: Vice Magazine, Abel van Gijlswijk, Alberto maakt 36 jaar lang foto’s van alles wat hij met zijn rechterhand doet, June 5.

2009: Uppsala Tidningen, Issue 44.

2009: Uppsala Nya Tidningen, October 17 and 22.

2009: Ars Hypermedia, Björn Norberg, Issue 01, January, page 78.

2008: konstnen.net, Anders Olofsson, November.

2007: Art Review, Regine Debatty, Issue 09, March, page 132.

2007: Net Magazine, Compulsive viewing, Oliver Lindberg, February.

2006: Images Magazine, Dominique Moulon, November.

2006: Extrart, Carmen Lorenzetti, Alberto Frigo, September.

2006: Stockholm City, 15th September.

2006: Ticino, Samuele Finozzi, page 44.

Television and Radio broadcasts

2016-07-12 Mina Benaissa, Sveriges Radio, Han fotograferar allt han rör vid, Kulturnytt P1 national radio.

2015-03-28 (8h10) Michelle Constant, Lifestyle Show, 105.1 in Johannesburg, South Africa (live on national radio opening contribution).

2015-04-25 (19h20) Ulrike Haak, "Hamster-Hipster-Handy. Im Bann des Mobiltelefons", Kulturzeit, Germany (national TV 3sat).

2015-05-21 (22h50) Hauptsache Kultur

Exhibition catalogues

Elisabeth Fagerstedt, Ernesto Luciano Francalanci, Bjorn Norberg, Rolf Hughes, Davide di Saro, Jason Waite, Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Records of a Lifetime, Uppsala konstmuseum 2009.

Scientific articles

Jeannette Pols, Dick Willems, Margunn Aanestad, Making sense with numbers. Unravelling ethico-psychological subjects in practices of self-quantification, Sociology of Health & Illness 2019.

Tamar Sharon, Dorien Zandbergen, From data fetishism to quantifying selves: Self-tracking practices and the other values of data, New Media & Society 2016.

Steve Mann, Sousveillance: inverse surveillance in multimedia imaging, Proceedings of the 12th ACM International Conference on Multimedia 2004.

Blogs

2018: Steemit, Karl Thompson, Alberto Frigo: the world's most extreme life-logger (reflections on) , October 10.

2016: vis4me, RIGHT HAND

2016: My True Self-ie, Related Practice - Alberto Frigo - 11 Years of Selfies, May 18.

2015: Golem 13, Depuis 11 ans, il photographie tous les objets qu’il touche, February 26.

2015: Flowing Data, A photo of everything touched, for 11 years, February 23.

2015: Petapixel, This Guy Has Taken a Picture of Everything His Right Hand Has Touched For the Past 11 Years, February 25.

2007: We Make Money Not Art, Regine Debatty, The BlinkCam, February 26.

2005: Wired Magazine Blog, Bruce Sterling, April.

Local press

2020: Il Giornale di Vicenza, Mauro Sartori, Minacce e caccia: stop all'opera d'arte, 25 September.

2020: Il Giornale di Vicenza, Mauro Sartori, Fogli anonimi e furti. Tensioni per "Tebah", August.

2020: Il Giornale di Vicenza, Mauro Sartori, Bozza di accordo sul cubo artistico che divide il Tretto, 14 July.

2020: Il Giornale di Vicenza, Mauro Sartori, L'istallazione al Tretto al centro della buffera, 24 June.

2019: Eco Vicentino, Mariagrazia Bonollo, Tebah della discordia, 16 September

2019: Il Giornale di Vicenza, Mauro Sartori, Rivolta al Tretto contro l'opera d'arte, 31 August

2019: Il Giornale di Vicenza, Mauro Sartori, L'arte che disturba i cacciatori, Mauro Sartori, 11 May

Short Biography

Alberto Frigo is regarded as an early proponent of lifelogging. He is known for having photographed every object his right hand has used since the 24th September 2003. Continuously documenting 18 aspects of his life, Frigo intends to create a Rosetta Stone of time to be concluded at 60 years of age, in 2040, after 36 years. The most extreme example of self-tracking, Frigo is the only known person to have digitally documented his life manually and for over twenty years. In this respect, Frigo started lifelogging months earlier than the father of lifelogging Gordon Bell, who started wearing his camera only in 2004.

Frigo's life project differs from lifelogging, Quantified Self and other forms of self-tracking practices using sensors and algorithms to reduce the users' effort. Using no automation, Frigo solely relies on his human faculties to document his life and to communicate it on-line at his own web site. Within Conceptual art and New media art, Frigo's 36 years long project is a primary example of database aesthetics, personal archives and surveillance art practices. Academically, he has coined the term tebahism or life-stowing both as a theoretical as well as a methodological approach to Media studies and a practice relating to Stoicism.

Frigo has worked as an art teacher at major art institutions in Sweden, primarily at Konstfack college of Art and Design. After teaching at Tongji University in Shanghai and collaborating at the World Expo he became a project leader at Comparative Media Studies program at MIT University. Back in Europe he taught at Sodertorn University where he got his Phd. Having exhibited worldwide in Japan, China, India, North America but primarily in Europe at the O.K Centrum, the Aarhus Kunsthalle, the Hasselblad Foundation and the Museum Angewandte Kunst among others, at the age of 38 Alberto Frigo officially retired to solely dedicate himself to the Larnax Foundation, the scultptural and digital heritage landart park he founded in his native alps.

While since 2018 Frigo attempts to publish or present his work only within his own project, following are some of his external contributions:

Publications

Alberto Frigo, Life-stowing from a Digital Media Perspective: Past, Present and Future, Södertörn University 2017.

Alberto Frigo, Morris Villarroel, Self Trackers: Eight Personal Tales of Journeys in Life-logging

Presentations

2015: Stowing and Tracking - Art and the Quantified Self, Quantified Self conference, Amsterdam.

2014: 2004-2040, Plenary session, Quantified Self conference, Amsterdam.

Blogs

2016: Shadow of the strem, Stoic quantifying

2016: Shadow of the strem, The 10 Stoic Precepts

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