What We Leave Behind (2023)

A zine containing the entirety of my 146 Livejournal entries from 2012, with words in alphabetical order.

Creating disorder by imposing a new order, revealing intimate secrets while obscuring them, and exploring the meaning that can be gleaned from repetition.

I exported 146 Livejournal entries from Jan – Dec 2012, a round symbolic ten years ago. I was wholly different, even my name, and I feel distant enough from my young self that sharing those entries feels slightly safer, like sharing the secrets of a stranger. But not that safe! I still wanted to obscure the entries in some way.

I was inspired by Sheila Heti’s Oulipian project of alphabetizing her journals by sentence to create a new text. I alphabetized mine by word to explore repetition and what readers could glean from the disorder created by imposing a new order. I ran the original unalphabetized entries through Voyant Tools for text analysis. (Oddly, one entry reads "The wall of language that analysis runs up against.”)

I laid out the text, censored my name (nominally), added the text analysis data, and made a saddle-stitch letter-size booklet. Now you can read my diary (PDF).