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Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty

Minute/Year

Minute/Year is an automated, process-based, durational work, in which sound is played, recorded, and layered, in a resonant space, for one minute each day. This process has been ongoing, daily, since 2016.

The location of the space in which the work runs alters annually. Over time, this has meant that the work has existed in a variety of public, private, and semi-public spaces (outlined below). The work is currently situated in Olin Library, at Wesleyan University, Connecticut, USA, for the whole of 2024.

Each day’s one-minute-long recording is archived as audio, with an accompanying spectrogram image and video, which are posted online. This ongoing daily process has created an accumulating archive of these sounds and images, which continues to grow. This archive — the daily images, sounds, and videos created by the work — has in turn been the source for a series of derived works (also outlined below).

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

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Minute/Year at Olin Library, Middletown
Minute/Year at Spektrum, Rumelange
Minute/Year 2024 · Olin Library, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, USA
Minute/Year 2023 · Spektrum, Rumelange, Luxembourg
Minute/Year 2022 · Lely, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Minute/Year 2021 · Libken, Böckenberg, Germany
Minute/Year 2020 · bb15, Linz, Austria
Minute/Year 2019 · grüntaler9, Berlin, Germany
Minute/Year 2018 · Ladenkino, Berlin, Germany
Minute/Year 2017 · Lütticher 5, Berlin, Germany
Minute/Year 2016 · G23, Berlin, Germany
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Daily process:

Time-lapse video of the spectrogram images generated over the eight years from 2016 to 2023, demonstrating the visual outcomes of the daily process of layering and fading.

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 available here). The process occurs at the time each day that corresponds numerically to the current year. So, in 2024, it runs each day at 20:24 (8:24pm).

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.

Online publishing:

The recordings from Minute/Year are published daily on the Minute/Year website. They are also published on TelegramVimeo, and Mastodon (and, until 2022, Twitter). Additionally, the recordings are available as a weekly podcast, available via RSS, on Apple Podcasts, and on Google Podcasts.

Locations:

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Minute/Year at Olin Library, Middletown
View of Minute/Year at Libken, 2021
View of Minute/Year at bb15, Linz, 2020
Minute/Year at Lely, Amsterdam
View of Minute/Year at at Olin Library, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, USA, 2024
View of Minute/Year at Libken, Böckenberg, Germany, 2021
View of Minute/Year at bb15, Linz, Austria, 2020
View of Minute/Year at Lely, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2022 iteration)
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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.

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.

Derived works:

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Nine Streaks (bb15, 03. Sept. 2021)
View of Minute/Year (2016–2018) at the PARSE Research Conference 2019, Valand Academy of Art and Design, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, November 2019.
Minute/Year (2016): video loop, projected on the facade of Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, 21. March, 2016
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 (2019 iteration, grüntaler9, Berlin)
Nine Streaks — Image series accompanying talk given at bb15, Linz, Austria, 3. Sept. 2021
Minute/Year (2016–2018) — three-channel video installation (pictured at PARSE Research Conference 2019, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, November 2019)
Minute/Year (2016): video loop, projected on the facade of Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, 21. March, 2016
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 (2019) — wall mural of 365 spectrogram images, presented as part of the exhibition Minute/Year: Four Years at grüntaler9, Berlin, November 2019
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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.

Past news and updates about Minute/Year:

January 17, 2024
Minute/Year 2024 at Wesleyan University · The ninth annual iteration of Minute/Year began on 1. January. As in previous years, the change of the year also brings... | More »
October 27, 2023
SPEKTRUM Performance · On Saturday, November 4., at SPEKTRUM, Rumelange, there will be a performance by Angelo Mangini and Kevin Muhlen —... | More »
August 7, 2023
Sound Campus · Excerpts from Minute/Year will be included in Sound Campus, a sound-art festival co-presented by Ars Electronica and... | More »
August 7, 2023
Minute/Year: Seven Years documentation · Some video and photo documentation from the exhibition Minute/Year: Seven Years at Halfsister, in Schöneberg, Berlin,... | More »
May 14, 2023
Minute/Year: Seven Years · From June 16. to 21., we will be presenting the exhibiton Minute/Year: Seven Years at Halfsister, a new space for... | More »
May 3, 2023
Open minute at SPEKTRUM, Rumelange · This Friday, May 5., 2023, we will be having an open minute event for Minute/Year at SPEKTRUM in Rumelange, Luxembourg.... | More »
January 1, 2023
Minute/Year 2023 at Spektrum · The eighth annual iteration of Minute/Year will begin later today. As in previous years, the change of the year also... | More »
October 20, 2022
Looking at the moon, twice · Coven Berlin recently published a text, Looking at the moon, twice, by Gabriela Gordillo, which references our work.... | More »
May 1, 2022
Open minute at Lely, Sunday, 15. May 2022 · Minute/Year is an automated, multi-year, sound-based durational installation artwork, currently installed in the... | More »
January 1, 2022
Minute/Year 2022 at Lely · The seventh annual iteration of Minute/Year begins today. As in previous years, the change of the year also brings a... | More »
September 7, 2021
Minute/Year 2020 tape · Gabriela Gordillo and Sebastian Six, from the bb15 collective in Linz, Austria, have released a tape, Minute/Year 2020,... | More »
January 6, 2021
Minute/Year (2021) · The 2021 iteration of Minute/Year, the sixth annual iteration, began on January 1., 2021, at Libken, in Brandenburg,... | More »
August 19, 2020
The Invisible Band · Our durational installation, Minute/Year, is currently installed in bb15, in Linz, Austria, for the whole of 2020.... | More »
July 20, 2020
Minute/Year in Centro Cultura Digital · Centro Cultura Digital in Mexico has published ‘El presente suena, resuena,’ — an essay, in Spanish, by Kassandra... | More »
April 9, 2020
Remote Voices · Remote Voices was a week-long intervention by Gabriela Gordillo in Minute/Year. It occurred at bb15 from 1.–8. April,... | More »
January 3, 2020
Minute/Year (2020) · The 2020 iteration of Minute/Year began on January 1., 2020, in bb15, Linz, Austria. It will continue throughout the... | More »
December 17, 2019
Minute/Year at PARSE · sdfgsdfgsdfg [images] [info/links] [talk... | More »
November 2, 2019
Minute/Year: Four Years · Minute/Year: Four Years, an event at grüntaler9 from 28. November to 1. December, will present the entire archive of... | More »
October 2, 2019
PARSE Conference · The 2019 PARSE Conference (13.–15. November, 2019) at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden,... | More »
August 16, 2019
Minute/Year open minute, grüntaler9 · The next open minute event of Minute/Year will be at grüntaler9 on Thursday, 12.... | More »
May 24, 2019
Minute/Year interview · There is an interview about Minute/Year (in German) on Gallerytalk, by Lynn Kühl. Seit bereits vier Jahren nehmen die... | More »
May 4, 2019
Minute/Year: Open Minute #2, 2019 · Minute/Year is an automated, multi-year, sound-based durational installation artwork. For the entirety of 2019 —... | More »
January 16, 2019
Minute/Year podcast · The recordings from Minute/Year are now available as a weekly podcast. Minute/Year is a work that generates one minute... | More »
January 4, 2019
Minute/Year (2019) · The 2019 iteration of Minute/Year has been running since 1. January, 2019, in grüntaler9, Berlin. About grüntaler9:... | More »
March 2, 2018
Colaboradio interview · We were interviewed by Rosanna Lovell, for Colaboradio’s Berliner Runde programme (part of Pi-Radio Berlin) about... | More »
January 3, 2018
Minute/Year (2018) · The 2018 iteration of Minute/Year began on January 1., 2018, in Ladenkino, Berlin, and will continue until December... | More »
June 4, 2017
Das Giftraum exhibition · We will have a small solo exhibition, Minute/Year (2017, January–June), at Das Giftraum, Berlin, from July 7. to 9.,... | More »
May 23, 2017
Scope Sessions talk · We will be giving a talk — ‘Self-surveillance and Pervasive Data’ — at Scope Sessions #66, on June 8., in... | More »
February 3, 2017
Minute/Year (2016) at Lite-Haus Galerie, January 2017 · Photos by Davide... | More »
January 6, 2017
Minute/Year (2017) · The 2017 iteration of Minute/Year began on January 1., 2017, in Lütticher 5, Berlin, and will continue until December... | More »
January 22, 2016
A Daily Moment · A conversation with Johanna Gilje about Minute/Year. This conversation happened on January 7th, 2016, in Johanna’s... | More »