Minutes

The below playlist will show you random minutes* from the last 6 years (or since September 2010) totaling up to more than an hour of my life. Do you have an hour to sit with me?

* Except for one video, all videos in this playlist are on average 1 minute and 2 seconds long. The exception (Nov 26, 2016) is 1 minute and 20 seconds because my nephew was having so much fun and I didn’t want to cut it short. You can also view the playlist on YouTube.

This playlist is often/always/somewhat frequently updated.

Where There Can Be Value

Depending on how your day looks, an hour might be a long time.

There is value in just listening. Turn up the sound on your computer, then go about your day, or listen the playlist on YouTube as if you had typed “Michelle’s mix” into the search bar and gotten a list of recommendations. You’ll find some of the videos don’t have picture anyway. I recorded with the camera on my leg, secretly hoping to capture sounds.

There is value in just watching. You don’t have to listen to the sounds, either, if that’s not something you’re interested in. Listen to a book on tape, your favorite record, talk about what you’re seeing with a friend, write about what it inspires in your journal. I’ll admit that these moments probably aren’t all that inspiring (they’re not necessarily meant to be), but who knows what they might provoke in you.

The point of this project is to share small moments with you, parts of my history that I will forget until I review this playlist again myself. The majority of the playlist consists of highly insignificant minutes: one time I was transfixed by the scrolling letters on the old cable box, another time I was waiting for my food at a restaurant. These are not the minutes your brain keeps; you have to forget them to make room for more important ideas.

If this inspires a project or if you create a Minutes playlist, I would love to know about it and watch it myself.

Why Do I Do This?

My life is not extremely exciting and, you’ll notice, there are large gaps of time during which I forgot this project existed. At first I was doing this for myself as a way to collect minutes of my life. I wanted to record one every day; that quickly turned into once a month. Then I thought maybe one minute per year would do if I was going to forget to make the videos anyway. I kept at it over time, though, and the idea evolved. This meant something to me. I wasn’t simply recording small moments alone in my room: I was recording my at-the-time boyfriend’s soccer matches and sneaking aside during social outings to record the sounds of the party.

It has become quite thrilling to catch myself in an unremarkable minute and remember to pull out my camera or phone.
I try not to record people directly because I know how uncomfortable that can be.
I like to record the same places at different times, if I can remember, to see how they change.
I try to avoid talking on camera, but there are a few videos where I sing. (I don’t sing well.)

There can be memory-value (someone’s face, a beautiful sky, squishy toes on baby feet, a piano song I wrote), but mainly it’s an opportunity to capture everyday sounds and sights, whether they are created or not. Sometimes I can even capture an emotion. I don’t often look back on this playlist, but when I do, I can sometimes re-feel those minutes, like Oct 13, 2011, driving in the car in the rain, listening to Modest Mouse. I don’t remember that day, where I was driving to or from, and I couldn’t even tell you what I was originally feeling, but it does produce an emotion to watch that video.

Watch this playlist and even without too many faces or any names, you can see where I’ve been, how I’ve lived, and how apparently fascinated I am with driving videos. This is my world.

I suppose I just like the idea of only getting a snippet of my experience, like meeting someone for the sole purpose of only knowing them for one day. Maybe, in the end you regret it because you had a lot of fun and you would want this person around more, but part of the significance and most of the meaning comes from only catching a glimpse of that life. I like the idea of it because I yearn for it; I think that’s why I like art.

Visit Busy Weekends on YouTube for more videos and visual projects.