What do you do in a day?
This week’s 10 x 10 Series installment, The Chronicle Project, begs the question: “What do I do in a day?”
The answer to this question is of course not a simple one. When examining the myriad small movements, thoughts, decisions, actions, and moments one spends throughout the course of an entire day, it seems almost impossible to contemplate recording all of it. That’s okay. One of the most fun aspects of this project is the ability to choose a lens with which to record time passing, and the manner in which you spend it.
Since we’re challenging participants to chronicle “Everything I [BLANK] in a day,” there is a chance to focus in on one aspect of your daily life, and bring it to the fore in poetic prose or funny lists, vibrant photographs or infographics, timelines, or maps.
Here are some examples of chronicles we find especially interesting (along with some prompts for you to try!), which will hopefully get your wheels turning and set you off on your creative chronicling adventures.
1. Photographic Chronicles
These images appear on blog: The Daily Map, from the Cine Tourist, a website about the connections between maps and films, and local cinema. Featured on this blog are chronological stills clipped from film scenes that feature maps.
- LENS FOR THE CHRONICLE: maps in a film
- TIME SPAN OF CHRONICLE: length of film scene
- MEDIUM: photo stills
- PROMPT FOR YOU BASED ON THIS INSPIRATION: using photography stills, chronicle all the times you write something down over the course of a day
It’s difficult to ascertain who took this photograph, but it’s one of the most stunning examples of time-lapse star trail photography on the ‘net. It shows the movements of stars throughout an entire night, for an intriguing effect that’s almost dizzying if you look at it too long.
- LENS FOR THIS CHRONICLE: movement of the stars from one vantage point
- TIME FRAME FOR THIS CHRONICLE: the course of one night
- MEDIUM: time lapse photography
- PROMPT FOR YOU BASED ON THIS INSPIRATION: take a time lapse photo of the view out your bedroom window
Sam Javanrouh is the man behind top photography blog daily dose of imagery, and a talented photographer in his own right. Javanrouh created the top time-lapse photo out of six photos shot in about a two hour time frame in downtown Toronto. To achieve this effect, Javanrouh uses ‘Pclix’, a device that allows you to trigger the shutter of your digital camera at much shorter intervals than is possible manually.
- LENS FOR THIS CHRONICLE: changing environment of a cityscape
- TIME FRAME FOR THIS CHRONICLE: 2 hours
- MEDIUM: photography stills, collage
- PROMPT FOR YOU BASED ON THIS INSPIRATION: take a picture every time you walk through a door over the course of one day; slice them into strips and collage into columns or rows.
2. Image-based, Infographic, & Mapped Chronicles
From the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s new show Common Places: Printing, Embroidery and the Art of Global Mapping, this map uses images in an organized grid to show the passage of time, and the growth of the United States as an entity. Here’s a bit about this chronicle from the art site Hyperallergic:
“Bedcover,” is a 1912 work by Mrs. Charles Elwell. It consists of over 600 “silkies” stitched together. The squares’ content represents a United States rising to power, with American Indian leaders and American state flowers on the one hand and foreign flags on the other. All of them surround a giant American flag, which had to be updated with additional stars when Arizona and New Mexico joined the union. Though there’s no sign of Alaska or Hawai’i.”
- LENS FOR THE CHRONICLE: rise & development of the United States, as a country
- TIME FRAME FOR THE CHRONICLE: couple hundred years
- MEDIUM: images, embroidery
- PROMPT FOR YOU BASED ON THIS INSPIRATION: using a grid pattern, create a chronicle in images of everything round-shaped that you look at during a day (you can create your grid design based on things like time, things you like versus do not like, things you would want to touch versus not, etc)
And here we have Adolf Konrad’s graphic packing list, Dec. 16, 1973 (courtesy of Ferdinand Konrad papers, 1962-2002).
- LENS FOR THE CHRONICLE: things one packs for a trip
- TIME FRAME FOR THE CHRONICLE: time it takes to plan for a trip and/or pack
- MEDIUM: hand-drawn images, watercolor, infographics
- PROMPT FOR YOU BASED ON THIS INSPIRATION: sketch or paint all the things you put into or take out of your bag (purse, handbag, backpack, etc) over the course of one day.
- LENS OF THIS CHRONICLE: the plot of the movie Inception
- TIME FRAME OF THIS CHRONICLE: the length of time it takes to tell this story
- MEDIUM: paper, pencil
- PROMPT FOR YOU BASED ON THIS INSPIRATION: create a visual, annotated map of all the conversations you have over the course of one day
- LENS FOR THIS CHRONICLE: insect shapes
- TIME FRAME: none (it is based on shape, not time)
- MEDIUM: paper, hand drawings, paint? ink?
- PROMPT FOR YOU BASED ON THIS INSPIRATION: organized by the hour in which they’re encountered, draw/map people’s faces that you gaze upon
3. Text-based Chronicles
Above is Harry Bertoia’s ‘My-self Rating Chart’ school assignment (courtesy of the Harry Bertoia papers, 1917-1979). While the timeline aspect of this chronicle isn’t perhaps as readily noticeable as others, there is a visual timeline of sorts that presents itself both in the visual vertical line of this chart, as well as what it represents: his perception of himself, in this one moment of time.
- LENS FOR THIS CHRONICLE: personal qualities
- TIME FRAME FOR THIS CHRONICLE: the time it took to complete the self-assessment
- MEDIUM: paper, pencil or ink (can’t tell)
- PROMPT FOR YOU BASED ON THIS INSPIRATION: chronicle your attitude or mood as it changes (or not) over the course of one day in a list or venn diagram
Above: Pablo Picasso’s recommendations for the Armory Show for Walt Kuhn, 1912, is a great display of a list made for things someone ELSE should do in a day. (Image courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art; copyright F+W Media Inc. 2011.)
- LENS FOR THIS CHRONICLE: art exhibits a friend should see
- TIME FRAME FOR THIS CHRONICLE: the time it takes a friend to actually check the exhibits out (e.g. an indeterminate time in the future)
- MEDIUM: paper, pencil
- PROMPT FOR YOU BASED ON THIS INSPIRATION: Make a list of all the things you wish you could do in one day; or; make a list of all the things you think you might be doing on a day one year from now
Here’s a timeline found on the site Spreading Jam, which chronicles the launch of “Important Internet Stuff.”
- LENS FOR THIS CHRONICLE: the launch of seminal internet sites & services
- TIME FRAME FOR THIS CHRONICLE: 1993-2009
- MEDIUM: graph paper, pen
- PROMPT FOR YOU BASED ON THIS INSPIRATION: chronicle in a time line your “firsts” throughout an entire day (eyes first open, first word spoken, first time putting feet on the floor, first time drinking, eating, sitting, etc)
4. And last but not least:
24 hours. 1,440 minutes. Or 86,400 seconds.
The Chronicle Project challenges artists to document a single day in their lives and share it with our community. Choose to create a visual record, describe your day in narrative form or depict your path as a chart or map — just make sure to limit your focus to a single 24-hour span. Keep track of something specific, like every sound you hear, or attempt to capture your overall impression of a day. The only restriction is that your work must fold down to a size of 4” x 6”. We’ll exhibit the resulting chronicles in the Brooklyn Art Library and collapse 1,000 unique days into one.