A la recherche des pas perdus

By Giulio Alessandrini

“À la recherche des pas perdus” is a collection of thoughts, fascinations and pictures that documents the nights out I spent dancing during the last semester. These events are perfectly captured by the medium: a travel journal that documents the traveler’s (myself) experiences and reflections on the journeys (the nights out). The pages and pictures have been torn from the journal and displayed on a wall like detectives do with evidence during an investigation: will I be able to find my lost footsteps?

Featured image of the project A la recherche des pas perdus Complementary image of the project A la recherche des pas perdus Complementary image of the project A la recherche des pas perdus

Metaphor used:

"The metaphor I chose to use is the travel journal. A travel journal, also called road journal, is a record made by a traveler, sometimes in diary form, of the traveler’s experiences, written during the course of the journey and later edited for publication. This is a long-established literary format; an early example is the writing of Pausanias (2nd century CE) who produced his Description of Greece based on his own observations, while a more recent one is Goethe, who published his Italian Journey, based on diaries, in 1816. In addition to published travel journals, archive records show that it was historically common for travelers to record their journey in diary format, with no apparent intention of future publication, but as a personal record of their experiences. This practice is particularly visible in nineteenth-century European travel diaries. I’m going to use this literary format as a metaphor to document my experiences in a spontaneous and personal way, while still being introspective and thorough."

Intended Meaning:

"Initially I would like to highlight the glitch created by the step-counter: by only looking at the data one would assume that I’m having long walks, or sometimes even marathons, during the weekend, but that’s not the case. I would like to demonstrate that even if glitches and having a digital-double not accurate to ourselves can be troublesome, they can also give us the opportunity to reflect on ourselves and see our experiences in a different light. In my case, the fact that my cellphone has highlighted the similarities between walking and dancing made me realize the connection between these two activities that have been extremely important to mankind since the dawn of times. Dancing has always been a primal form of expression and I would like to highlight this link between dancing and living. Even if those steps didn’t physically take me somewhere they were still meaningful. Dancing is an act that brings people together, that makes people free, that makes people free from prejudices to bring out the most spontaneous part of us. That’s what I would like to communicate. I would like to make people reflect on the act of dancing in itself and what it personally means for them. Through my infopoem I’d show my point of view, so I’d like for the public to think “And what about me?”. At first one would probably be surprised, or maybe even amused, in seeing that all those steps took me nowhere, but through the infopoem I’d like to show them that they’re still meaningful and the experiences related to them hold a special meaning for me. In a broader sense this could help others to put things into perspective and give a deeper meaning to something they maybe didn’t consider before."


The dataset I’m using is the step-counter of my smartphone. It registers all the steps I take during the day and converts them into a distance expressed in km, together with other information like place and time. The data I have considered are those concerning the last semester (September 2022 to January 2023).