Assembling and making public a self
This project involves promiscuous misuse of research methods from different disciplines to produce an ongoing web-based 'performance index' that shows how Lucy Kimbell is performing against the FTSE 100 index and the temperature in London. Ten years after originally doing this project, I've created a new version updated for the era of the Quantified Self, the culture of updates in Facebook and Twitter, and new questions about data privacy. To create the value of the LIX Index, I collect data about or related to me in a range of categories from financial to emotional to social, and upload them to a database. The LIX Index is calculated weekly based on these data.

This is absurd – how can I reduce the complexity of a human life to a number? And it’s also secretive. Unlike other efforts to construct a Quantified Self, the LIX project does not make the data public. Instead my index gives you a sense of how I am doing, but hides the details. Yet it still tells you something

When I did this for a year ten years ago, what was most interesting was how people took the LIX Index to be a proxy Lucy Kimbell. Its strange highs and lows became events I had to explain – to myself and to the LIX’s audience. I plan to do it for a year (2012-13) and then repeat it again in another decade.

These days it’s easy to capture data from a whole range of devices. People who are Facebook and twitter regulars are practiced at interpreting updates. The new version of the LIX measures some different things to what I included a decade ago and I value many of them differently.

What will be the result of this year-long public experiment? Follow me on twitter @lixindex or read the reports on the LIX website to find out.

The LIX Index
A year-long web performance using personal data

New version launched at First Person Plural Symposium, Science Museum, March 2014

Original version (2002-03) was commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella/Arts Council England/Channel 4 television

Visit an archive of the LIX index website from 2002-03 here

Visit Film and Video Umbrella’s Identinet project website
View the film about the project directed by Brad Butler broadcast on Channel 4 in 2002
The LIX concept was originally commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella in 2000 - a piece of writing, rather than a live datastream: LIX.pdf.