• Gabriella Garcia

QuantHumanists final proposal: Pleasure Principal

Last week's intervention assignment was a small but effective experiment that confirmed my appeal toward using self-tracking and quantification for positively-reinforced behavior change. For my final, I want to dive far deeper into this exploration, and create a reward system that is both tangible and cogent in its expression.

While I am deeply supportive and involved with of the Quantified Self movement, I've also had some nagging thoughts about the general application of its methodologies. Physical fitness aside, analysis is often intangible and subjective by default. For instance, I can write in my gratitude journal every day, but what hard evidence do I have that I am a happier, more resilient person as a result? Is the belief that I am enough? Can I graph or chart myself toward enlightenment? I am also contending with the definition of the movement toward productivity as defined by the status quo and the self-imposed objectification of the body for the sake capitalist norms: "harder, better, faster, stronger" as the song goes (the song itself is an example of this, moving from the 1979 original by Edwin Birdsong to its sampling by Daft Punk in 2007, to its most recent manifestation as Kanye West's Stronger).

With these thoughts in mind, I was inspired to create a physical object that translates my measured value into a reward experience, while also incentivizing a public documentation of my pursuit.

This project examines sexuality—my own sexuality to be specific—so if that makes you uncomfortable, I encourage you to stop reading here.

Pleasure Principal

This project is deeply personal and potentially controversial, and I am therefore feeling pretty shy about putting it out there. So let's just start with the deck:

On its surface it's racy and humorous, so my biggest challenge (besides the mountain of technical challenges) is to make it something that won't be dismissed as such. There's a lot to unpack here, and I'll dive deeper into my theoretical motivations as I proceed with the project. Nervously looking forward to presenting today!