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Jacek
Smolicki

Minuting (2010-ongoing)

In many cultures and languages, one minute holds a strong symbolic meaning. Colloquially speaking, one minute may signify a brief period for taking a break. In the phrase "give me a minute" we are requesting a bit of extra time to accomplish something, gather our thoughts, or prepare for a task that calls for extra attention. In today's ever more accelerating world, one minute is at once an infinitesimal moment and an eternity, a luxurious zone of unproductivity and an involuntary blink of an eye. In Minuting, this proverbial blink of an eye carries additional significance. It is a momentary, temporary suspension of vision, which encourages hearing to take the lead. The intentional foregrounding of listening reconfigures the way I position myself in the world surrounding me. This position is both withdrawn and more intensely grounded. My sense of taking-part in that which I am at once a composer of and witness to is simultaneously detached and more personal than at any other moment

Minuting is a daily practice of soundwalking and sonic journaling I have performed ever since July 2010. Every day, during a walk in a public space, when my attention is drawn to some sonic event, I stop, pull out my audio recorder, and press the red button for approximately 60 seconds. The realization that at some point during a day I am obliged to enact these self-imposed rules helps to maintain my aural perceptiveness in the long run. The repetitive act of listening and recording, in this sense, is not a goal per se, but a constant reminder to keep listening.

Besides perceiving Minuting as a kind of durational art I like to think of it as a self-crafted existential media technique for parallel action in everyday life. Consistently weaving its cycles in a deliberate asynchrony to the structurally fragmented trajectories of contemporary life, Minuting generates an inconspicuously consistent trace carrying an as-yet unknown weight and resonance.


The 10th anniversary of Minuting, in July 2020, was marked by an essay in the Nordic Journal for Artistic Research and series of streaming events via Fragmentarium Club Radio.

The essay can be read here.

A randomized stream from the Minuting archive, comprising about 4800 daily recordings, can be listened to here.





Minute 0003 / Bil'in



Minute 3561 / Warszawa


Minute 3635 / Paris