by Jim Caryl
When I poured the boiling water from my kettle into my bowl of Weetabix, rather than my mug, I knew I wasn’t going to get much done today.
Every other Monday I have early-o’clock meetings with The Consortium, which means getting up at stupid-o’clock and generally dithering on otherwise straight-forward tasks for half an hour, until my higher brain functions kick-start. Today was no different, with the exception that my brain has been running on overdrive ever since.
In an attempt to assuage today’s thirst for knowledge, I’ve finished two non-fiction books (the subect of a later blog), skimmed two others and read copious wikis, blogs and usernets of various topics, from the Slavoj Žižek’s study on violence to the excellent and obsessive self-portraiture photo projects of Noah Kalina (Noah K) and Jonathan Keller (JK).
Noah K created the emotive video “Everyday“, set to the haunting music of Carly Commando, wherein we see the last six and a half years of his life quite literally flash before our eyes. The video is a time-lapse montage constructed from a picture he took of himself, every day, over this period. Over the five minutes that the video runs, we stare into the eyes of a complete stranger as he ages, and somewhere around the 2nd or 3rd minute, you start to realise the immensely personal nature of this observation. Even though, at the end of it, we may not know anything specific about his life, you can’t help but feel that you somehow know him.
I’m not sure that our brains are really hard-wired to process such imagery, which is why it is so excellent; time is precious, and we hate to see it thrown away, yet this is partly what we are seeing, a gratuitous display of time-travel with a whole day reduced to a fraction of a second. We have no idea what he was doing just before, or after, these pictures were taken, what he was thinking or how his life was going; well enough to maintain his project it seems. Evidently Noah K.’s gained some notoriety, with the ultimate accolade of having been parodied in The Simpsons, along with a slew of other awards.
A related project, and one that has been running for somewhat longer, is that of Jonathan Keller (JK). I encourage you to take a look at his video montage. He scrolls through 8 years at an even greater speed than Noah K., and whilst not set to quite as enjoyable a soundtrack, he has managed the greater precision in positioning of his face in each photo.
His website is more than a little chaotic, but if you can navigate your way through it, and I insist that you should, you will find his further links to other “obsessive” projects by himself, and others. All of these tug very strongly at my obsessive and collective tendencies; the repetitive nature of my job means that I have a huge array of possible time-lapse projects from which to choose, not least of which myself. Watch this space.
ON a completely separate note. I discovered the table that I want/need/desire; it’s called “MILK“, it’s Danish, the designer wants to sell them, and I want to buy one. Supply and demand, you can’t argue with it:
If someone out there is ready to buy it for me, then I’m very ready to receive it.