A Diary: 15 seconds :: 365 days

Rules as the project evolves:

  • videos are not staged or planned in advance. Each recording happens as something catches my eye and triggers the thought - "this is today's video"
  • Sound is an option
  • trust that a video will appear before the day ends - don't force something to happen

Notes on the videos:

Day 1: I was thinking about committing to the project, that I wanted to be loose in my approach. Few rules other than to avoid trying to make a "good" or "cool" video. That the over-arching purpose is to slow down enough to spend 15 seconds with one momentary event. The idea to record my blinking eye came from that "no-where" place of sudden inspiration.  Looking back on this first video I realize how appropriate it was to begin a year of noticing with my own eye blinking.

Day 2: On the second day already I was experiencing anxiety about committing to such a long-term project. I lost touch with trusting that I would notice what deserved noticing. So I pushed this one to happen a bit too early in the day. It works, but I had to record this one several times before it felt relaxed, free of pretension.

Day 3: My favorite video thus far. The sound is perfect. The fact that the chain came almost to a complete stop, and the sound ceases right at 15 seconds was beautiful to experience. A brief moment of experiencing that connection to the chi-tissue of the cosmos.

Day 4: This comes from a live concert at Yoshi's in Oakland. Danny Grissett on piano playing with Jeremy Pelt's band - incredible jazz quintet. We weren't supposed to make live recordings. I couldn't help myself - so instead of recording the musicians I just aimed my phone at the table at which we were sitting to catch the reflection of the stage lights.

Day 5: I was staring absently out the window where we have a stand of Bay Laurels trees. I gradually became aware of the fact that one branch among all the others was swaying. It felt like a form of communication.

Day 6:  I sat alone in the dark at 6:45 in the morning waiting for the VW service department to open its doors so I could get my car repaired. I was parked on a dark, narrow street. Another car came uncomfortably close as it passed so I put on my hazards as a precaution. The steady, rhythmic clicking was trance-inducing as was the red light in the dark. 

Day 7: Just about to exit my car to visit a friend's studio, the slight swaying of the yellow swiss army knife attached to my keys in the ignition caught my eye. Days later I thought about how the video dates my car, how that many people no longer get to experience the feeling of inserting the key into the ignition and turning on the engine; a sensation, I realize, that I like quite a bit.