Recently, Google made it possible for users with Google-related accounts to view, download and archive their Google search history. I'm currently developing a piece of creative research that based on people's de-identified Google search histories, to extract, map and re-imagine the many possible stories that emerge from our data trails.
What do our Google search histories reveal and conceal about us? What do these fragments of code signify? Can this data provide inspiration for an emerging aesthetic in the capture, interpretation and re-presentation these digital traces? Another instance of the "New Aesthetic"?
Several friends have turned off the button that retains their search history, but their reasons for this are as interesting as potential search results in themselves. One person said that if their search history existed somewhere out there, it would contain searches on "things I'm feeling quietly insecure about" and "very trivial things I wouldn't want people to know I even made the time to find out". Another remarked "I don't want to leave a data trail as much as possible because it seems unnecessary" and that while they weren't ashamed or embarrassed by their searches, they "don't have time to explain it should someone ask questions".
If you are interested in participating, get in touch with me through my contact page.