An Investigation of Beautiful Objects

Sean Patrick Cooper in The Rumpus:

Sound logical reasoning would lead a person to conclude that my sustained interest in a document like Nicholas Felton’s Feltron Annual Report is sort of nuts. Overflowing with a nearly endless amount of data detailing the most boring minutia of Nicholas’ day-to-day life, no one besides Felton’s mother or medical health handlers should intentionally request let alone exchange any sum of money for such a thing.

But I do.

The Reports are mailed to suckers like myself at the beginning of each year. Essentially small booklets, they are dimensionally similar to an LL Bean clothing catalogue. From cover to cover, the reports are filled with what appear to be a bunch of well organized but weirdly shaped and oddly labeled charts and graphs. Here, for instance, are the contents of Page 3 | Report 2006:

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A map of the USA highlighting the 3 states Feltron visited that year—California, Colorado, New York. Next to that, a sliced map of Europe showing his visits to Iceland, England, and Spain. Below the maps is a small headline “Airmiles Traveled,” which itself hovers above the number in a very large font, “30,724.” Next to that in also large type is the word “Frankfurt,” which makes sense once you see that it itself is under the small headline of “German Airport Explored.” Then, closer to the center of the page and also in big type: “Airports Visited: 8,” “Number of Flights: 11,” “Average Flight Distance (miles): 2793.” And then there’s the bottom third of the page, a break down of Feltron’s location by day. 304 days were spent exclusively on the island of Manhattan with the longest stretch of consecutive time spent on the island identified as 40 days. A pac man pie chart shows that for the 17% of his time away from the city proper he was mostly in Brooklyn, which was where he was for 10% of the entire calendar year.

More here.