Data SelfPortrait

For this assignment we were required to create a self portrait out of some kind of data that we can collect on ourselves. As the first act of developing the concept, I decided to brainstorm what can represent the self.                           

Recently I am very interested in the subconscious identity of human beings. I truly believe that there’s a lot to make out of our deepest brain sections. So, I contemplated for a short while, how will I be able to represent my subconscious self as a data set… Dreams are what came in mind.

I decided to write down my dreams for a week every morning when I wake up, and have them as a text-based dat-set.


Some pretty weird stuff there. Now, most dreams are not being “burned” into your hard-drive, so the memory of the images is gradually fading. Looking at my early dreams felt really satisfying and informative, in what feelings apparently stirred my subconscious self during this period.

After I sat down to work on the data, I realized that I didn’t plan this right. Instead of only write down the dreams, I should have also added more fields to the data. Fields like – time of going to bed, major events during each day, etc. These extra fields could have helped me make the presentation more structured.

Eventually, I decided to run a python script the will take the dreams text file, extract all the nouns, verbs and adjectives (using spaCy) and rearrange them in random tokens of “verb-adj-noun”. I then saved it as a txt file and made it into a simple print.

This made an interesting image of all the small components of my dreams of late, mashed together into a big texty representation.

Most of them are bizarre combinations, just the way dreams seem to shift and spiral, at least mine are.

Here’s the soft copy : Ayal’s Dreams portrait

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