Minute/Year is an automated, multi-year durational work, in which sound is automatically layered in a resonant space, for one minute each day, and then published online, daily, as audio and accompanying spectrogram image.
Every day, for one minute, Minute/Year adds a new layer. The daily process goes like this: the sound that is occurring in a single ordinary living room space, during a single minute, is recorded. But, simultaneously, the previous day’s recording – of the sound of the same space 24 hours before – is played back into the space. So, each recording includes its predecessor, which includes its predecessor in turn, and so on, in a potentially infinite regression.
Each day’s minute-long recording is then converted into a spectrogram – an image of the frequencies of the audio — and the two parts are then published online. This entire process is automated – it happens without any human involvement, and runs daily at 20:17 (in 2017).
The space in which the piece occurs alters each year (in 2016, it was a room in a private apartment; in 2017, it is in Lütticher 5, an artist space and kitchen in another shared living space in Berlin, Germany).
Through this process, Minute/Year creates an accumulating archive of sounds and images, each one building on the ones that have come before. The sounds of daily life – of activities, large and small – become material for a layered index, which develops, mutates and degrades over time.
The work is motivated by many overlapping themes. Can surveillance be turned inside-out? What happens when public and private contexts are collapsed, for one minute each day? Is it possible to simultaneously be a listener and a performer? What ghosts lurk in the constant repetition and layering of sound in a single room? Who, and where, are the audience, in a work that is mainly experienced online? These questions, and the discussions arising from them, frame the interests that have motivated the creation of the work.
We will be presenting a talk, based on the ideas that underlie Minute/Year, at Scope Sessions #66, at Panke, on Thursday, June 8., 2017. The talk, ‘Self-surveillance and pervasive data’, will happen together with a talk by Raphaël de Courville. More information is available here: https://www.facebook.com/events/425892924457559/
We will also be presenting an exhibition, ‘Minute/Year (2017, January–June)’, at Das Giftraum, Berlin, from July 7.–9., presenting video works derived from the first six months of Minute/Year in 2017.
We are actively looking for locations to install the work for its next annual iteration, for the whole of 2018. If you would like to offer a potential location, please let us know: http://www.kovacsodoherty.com/contact/.