Your Life Span in Vivid Jellybean Illustration

Melissa Knowles
Your Life Span in Vivid Jellybean Illustration

A lot of us waste at least some of our days being lazy or not doing anything particularly productive. Then there are those people who try to squeeze as much joy and happiness as they can out of every hour of every day.

Performance artist Ze Frank, who is also the executive vice president of video for Buzzfeed, wanted to illustrate the ways we use the number of days in our lives. With the help of the American Time Use Survey, featuring information collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Frank used jellybeans to symbolize the number of days in the average human life span and what we typically do with them.

Frank says we each get roughly 28,835 days. In his video, Frank begins with a box full of jellybeans. He pours the jellybeans on the ground and spreads them out, explaining, "These are roughly 28,835 jellybeans." (Frank says that he counted 500 of them and used the weight of those to estimate the rest.) He acknowledges that some people have more time, others have less in their life span. Using the multicolored jellybeans to tell a story, he arranges them to point out milestone moments in people's lives and how we allocate our time, from the day we're born to the number of days (in jellybeans) we spend grooming ourselves (671) to the number of days we spend sleeping (8,477). It's all quite fascinating.

Frank's video "The Time You Have (In JellyBeans)" is well on its way to almost half a million views on YouTube. One viewer jokingly wrote, "I would eat all of those jelly beans." Another person really seemed to appreciate Frank's way of thinking, writing, "That was deep."

Yahoo!'s Daytime in No Time host Nikki Boyer joined me in studio to talk about how she maximizes her jellybean life span and what she wants to do with the rest of her jellybeans.

[Related: New York's Met Museum to Showcase Photography of 'Daily Life']

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