The Personal is (an index of the) Political

In the US, voters in national elections get a little sticker that reads 'I voted.' But the daily acts that many of us might consider political or civic-minded are often only noted in the imaginary resumes of our social consciences. How would your attempts to make the world a better place hold up to your ideals if someone were to map them out for you each week? Now you may be able to find out. 'Pindices,' a new web project by UK-based sociologist Andrew Barry and artist/designer Lucy Kimbell, creates visualizations of data input from users identifying their civic and political activities. On the site, each user can create their own 'pindex,' or index of personal political activity, which reflects the amount and type of reported activity through changing button-like badges. Behavior is characterized as either more political and inventive--raising new issues in novel ways--or civic--addressing existing concerns through established tactics. The website, in tandem with a sited gallery installation, will be active from March to August 2005 as part of the ZKM (Karlsruhe) exhibition, 'Making Things Public,' after which the data will be archived and analyzed for publication. - Ryan Griffis