Kovács/O’Doherty

Minute/Year

Minute/Year – Spectrograms, 2016

Minute/Year – Spectrograms, 2016

Minute/Year – Spectrograms, 2017

Minute/Year – Spectrograms, 2017

Minute/Year, as installed in Lütticher 5, 2017 (microphone and speaker visible on opposite walls)

Minute/Year, as installed in Lütticher 5, 2017 (microphone and speaker visible on opposite walls)

Minute/Year, 2016 — Spectrograms, day 277–285

Minute/Year, 2016 — Spectrograms, day 277–285

Overview:

Minute/Year is an automated, process-based, multi-year durational work, in which sound is recorded, re-played, and re-recorded, in a resonant space, for one minute each day.

The result that is created is then published online, each day, as a one-minute-long audio recording, and an accompanying spectrogram image. The space in which this process occurs changes each year, and over time has encompassed a variety of public, private, and semi-public spaces. This ongoing process has created an accumulating archive of sounds and images, which continues to grow.

Minute/Year began on January 1., 2016. It has run for one minute every day, ever since. It has no set ending date.


Process:

Every day, for one minute, Minute/Year adds a new layer. The daily process runs as follows: the sound that is occurring in a single space, during a single minute, is recorded. But, simultaneously, the previous day’s recording —  the sound of the same space, 24 hours before — is played back into the space. So, each recording includes a replayed trace of 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, as audio and image (and as a combined video of the two). This entire process is automated — it happens without any human involvement, and runs each day (technical details are given below). The process occurs at the time each day that corresponds numerically to the current year. So, in 2019, it runs each day at 20:19 (8:19pm).

The space in which the piece occurs alters each year. Currently, it is in Ladenkino, an independent cinema in Berlin. (The previous locations are listed below.)

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.

Minute/Year is an attempt to consider several overlapping questions. 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 space? What variations happen in the sounds occurring in starkly different social spaces? These questions, and the discussions arising from them, frame the interests that have motivated the work.


Derived works:

The archive generated by the work — the daily images, sounds, and videos — have been used to create numerous derived works, which are outlined below.

Audio:

Current year to date (individual minutes):

Previous years (combined single tracks):

Locations:

The space in which Minute/Year is installed alters each year, and has encompassed a variety of public, private, and semi-public spaces. In each space, the work is installed from January 1. until December 31., and runs for one minute each day during this time.

In each location, the work as installed is materially functional — it comprises two speakers, two microphones, cables and mixer, and a small computer that runs each day’s process of playback, recording, and uploading (specific technical details available here).

The different places in which the work has been installed have had widely-varying social purposes and backgrounds. This reflects a curiosity in how the work will adapt to different spaces, and how these contrasts in both sonic and social space will be reflected over time.

Current and previous locations:

2019 Grüntaler 9
Project space, Wedding, Berlin
2018 Ladenkino
Independent cinema in Friedrichshain, Berlin. Minute/Year was installed in the front foyer area.
2017 Lütticher 5
Shared exhibition, project, and living space in Wedding, Berlin.
2016 G23
Apartment, Berlin.
Minute/Year, as installed in Lütticher 5, 2017 (microphone and speaker visible on opposite walls)

Minute/Year, as installed in Lütticher 5, 2017 (microphone and speaker visible on opposite walls)

Minute/Year, as installed in Lütticher 5, February 2017 (note microphones visible on wall)

Minute/Year, as installed in Lütticher 5, February 2017 (note microphones visible on wall)

Derived works:

Spectrogram screen-prints, as installed during the Minute/Year (2016) exhibition in Lite-Haus Galerie, Berlin, January 2017

Spectrogram screen-prints, as installed during the Minute/Year (2016) exhibition in Lite-Haus Galerie, Berlin, January 2017

Minute/Year (2016), Day 14 — Screen-print, as installed during the Minute/Year (2016) exhibition in Lite-Haus Galerie, Berlin, January 2017

Minute/Year (2016), Day 14 — Screen-print, as installed during the Minute/Year (2016) exhibition in Lite-Haus Galerie, Berlin, January 2017

Minute/Year (2016) — artist book documenting the first year of Minute/Year

Minute/Year (2016) — artist book documenting the first year of Minute/Year

Minute/Year (2016) — artist book documenting the first year of Minute/Year

Minute/Year (2016) — artist book documenting the first year of Minute/Year

Minute/Year (2016) — artist book documenting the first year of Minute/Year

Minute/Year (2016) — artist book documenting the first year of Minute/Year

Minute/Year (CHB)

Minute/Year: video loop of spectrogram images (as projected on the facade of Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, 21.03.2016)

Installation view of Minute/Year (2017, January–June) — video presentation in Das Gift, Berlin, 08.07.2017

Installation view of Minute/Year (2017, January–June) — video presentation in Das Gift, Berlin, 08.07.2017

Numerous derived works have been realised from the archive of daily images and sounds that are generated by Minute/Year. These include screen-prints, books, videos, and others, detailed below. Minute/Year has also been the subject of numerous exhibitions, talks, and events, which are listed below.


Video: Each year of material is collated as a video, in an ongoing series. These works — each over six hours in length — present all of the audio and images from a completed year of the work, in chronological order. This allows viewers and listeners to experience the slow, inexorable transitions of the process of each day’s sound becoming steadily layered.

Screen-prints: Minute/Year (2016), Day 14; Minute/Year (2016), Day 161; Minute/Year (2016), Day 242; Minute/Year (2016), Day 257; Minute/Year (2016), Day 300 (screen-printed representations of spectrogram data on 200gsm acid-free paper, each 114.4 x 114.4 cm, each 5 prints + 2 AP). These large-scale screen-prints were printed at the end of the first year of Minute/Year. These prints are a gesture of attempting to de-digitalise images that have been created by software. Every day, Minute/Year creates images, automatically. But can the software-defined process that generates these images be ‘re-humanised’? What happens when these images are re-inscribed through manual labour? How does this process change the nature of the original image? The screen-printed images are an analogue object, created from digital information, that attempts to re-materialise an automated, digital process.

Book: Minute/Year (2016) is an artist’s book, compiling together a series of daily notes that were written throughout 2016. These notes give thoughts about each day’s minute, about the process as it developed, and about the implications of the work – artistically, socially, personally. The book presents every spectrogram image from the entire year, and accompanies each one with the thoughts that contextualise and explain it. This writing is sometimes diaristic, sometimes conceptual, sometimes whimsical. It represents an attempt to distill thoughts about the nature of this work as it emerged, during the first year in which it ran.

Exhibitions, talks, and events:


28.04.2018 Minute/Year (2017)
Site-specific video presentation | Lütticher 5, Berlin
07.–09.07.2017 Minute/Year (2017, January–June)
Solo exhibition | Das Giftraum, Berlin
08.06.2017 Self-surveillance and Pervasive Data
Lecture, discussion | Panke, Berlin | View on Medium
19.–25.01.2017 Minute/Year (2016)
Solo exhibition | Lite-Haus Galerie, Berlin
2016 Open minute events
The open minutes were a series of six events, held throughout 2016, in which the daily recording process of Minute/Year acted as a frame for presenting the work, including one-minute-long micro-concerts by Agente Costura and Red Monky. See full details on open minute #1, open minute #2, open minute #3, open minute #4 (with Red Monky), open minute #5, and open minute #6 (with Agente Costura).
07.01.2016 A daily moment
Interview with Johanna Gilje | view on Medium