Stay the Same


#24 Simon Lynch who I haven’t seen in ten years

Simon saw this project in the papers and got in touch through facebook last month. I went to university with Simon. We also worked together as interns in the Labour party media unit in ’97  helping make short films about how great the new Labour government was going to be (we were young!). As a result of this all we spoke on the phone for the first time in at least ten years last week. Afterwards he wrote me an email (which he agreed I could quote here!). He said “Often, ‘life’ seems to get in the way of keeping in touch with anyone – don’t even think this is a pre/post Internet thing – there just is no time… Which is exactly what I may or may not have been able to say to you about your project [on the phone]. When I look at what you are doing, I feel an extreme jealousy of your choice. Yesterday, we were busy. Today, we have no time. For anything. Maybe the story of what you are doing is about both ‘recording’, but also ‘re-calibrating’ time? Placing a stop on the constant flow of stuff and finding another way of dealing with it. Perhaps I am just projecting my own personal desires.  Anyway, I still think the angle of other people doing the same thing could produce a great piece of work.

I like the phrase “re-calibrating time”.

Simon sent me some links. One to Noah Kalina‘s everyday project, one to Cesar Kuriyama who is editing together a second of film from each day of his life and and one to the work of Jamie Livingston.  Livingston documented his life with a polaroid photo every day between March 31st 1979 and October 25th 1997 when he died of a brain tumor. He was an artist, filmmaker and circus performer. The pictures are publishe here. They are incredibly rich and moving.

These peices also relate to Jeff Harris’ 4784 Self Portraits and Jonas Mekas As I Was Moving Ahead I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty. They are all about our relationship with time, memory, personal narrative, representation and the visual image.

Simon is convinced I should create a peice of work about people who are documenting their lives in this way. In many ways this is exactly what this website is an attempt to do.  I have always seen the site as a peice of work in itself.  Alongside documenting the process of making the film, the website documents the research and development of ideas behind the film. A film which in itself is about the desire to document.

New work will almost certainly come out of this process. But it’s good to be reminded of this as sometimes I forget.

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[…] #24 Simon Lynch who I haven’t seen in ten years […]

Pingback by Cesar Kuriyama – One second every day « Stay the Same

Go prove the Telegraph trolls wrong 😉

Pretty sure this small amount of public money will seed something which matters (compared to the third of the going rate for an irrelevant Special Advisor for Health and Safety in Local Communities role). Difficult for anyone to judge total tax paid vs. benefit of having to think about something? Impossible. The trolls are the same people that get annoyed when Hirst flogs artwork when he didn’t ‘really do anything to make it’ or someone else asks ‘why are we exhibiting plastic frogs in a museum’.

Without invoking ‘art’, I am pretty sure that even your average Telegraph reader is or can be convinced that maybe a little bit more ‘thinking’ about ‘things’ would be a good thing. They probably won’t be convinced that art does that, but are quite happy to accept national news using Twitter mentions to justify the popularity of a YouTube video with a cat in it. Doh.

The more I think about this, the more I am convinced that the next disease to hit the affluent West will be time poverty. In the West we have enough to eat and keep warm, but technology seems to be reducing access to higher levels of Maslow’s pyramid (go google it). If we spend increasingly more time in an empty echo-chamber online, isn’t harder to do or get the other stuff? The real stuff. If we’re too busy keeping up with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, et al, do we have enough time to do the rest? Nope, it might make it worse.

A historian 200 years in the future might write: “The ideological battles of the 20th Century gave way to a zero-ideology zone in the early 21st Century. The belief in ideas gave way to a self-reinforcing tribal activity where on the long defunct social networks such as the Facebook, the Twitter and the Linkedin caused massive amounts of effort to be spent without real human benefits, massively distorting social interactions. In the middle of the 21st Century the Culture Wars started. The corporations benefiting from teh theh STOP TOO SCARY ”

We do run the risk today of losing the benefits of technology. Our balance and outlook are at risk. But the first casualty will be our time. So thinking about time and who it makes us what we are or can be might today be more relevant than ever before.

Comment by Simon Lynch

[…] #24 Simon Lynch who I haven’t seen in ten years […]

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