One Year is a project through which I intend to construct a daily photographic record of a single view: the view from my study window at around 8.00a.m. each day when I sit down to work. One Year will annotate each picture with a note of the weather for that morning and the morning’s main news headline from the BBC News site. In addition, there will be a note taking a key sentence or two from my daily journal.
As we approach Week 52 and the end of the project I increasingly find myself reflecting on the meaning of it. In particular, this week, I’ve been trying to place One Year in some kind of context by exploring other works of a similar nature.
Hope rises for UK peace deal
‘So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to do it every day for a year’ – Cathy Dreyer
- Ukraine ceasefire with rebels holds
- ‘As of October 5th, 2006, I have been creating one small painting almost every day’ – Carol Marine
Scottish referendum ‘neck and neck’
‘Every day I took a different drug or intoxicant and drew myself under the influence’ – Bryan Lewis Saunders
Pro-Union figures step up campaign
‘Everyday started on January 11, 2000 and is a work in progress’ – Noah Kalina
Parties to back more Scotland powers
‘You know how it is. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. Time creeps in its petty pace’ – Auggie Wren (Smoke)
UK leaders campaigning to save Union
‘Oddly moving to see the sky change / not change’ – Liz Lefroy
Obama: US to pursue IS in Syria
‘I’ll stop when I’m dead’ – Karl Baden
… “natural history” has no actual existence other than through the process of human history, the only part which recaptures this historical totality, like the modern telescope whose sight captures, in time, the retreat of nebulae at the periphery of the universe.
Guy Debord – Society of the Spectacle
The purpose of this project is to explore continuity and change. Over the course of a year, I will build up a daily visual record of the same view. Despite my best efforts, though, I will not be able to replicate the ‘same’ view each day: it is subject to changes in the environment, such as the weather or the time the sun rises. But it is also affected by changes caused by me, the observer. For instance, my feelings that morning may change the way I hold the camera or, inadvertently, the image may show my breath on the glass from getting too close to the window.
Looking out at the view on this, the first morning of One Year, I see a scene comprising sky, trees and rooftops. I don’t see much evidence of human activity just yet, but that may come later in the year when the leaf cover begins to thin out. Being on a flight path, we also see the odd vapour trail or aeroplane light in the sky too.
Some of the changes that will become evident will be pretty obvious, such as the seasons. Other changes will be more subtle. My daily notes will give some insight into what is going on inside my head that morning, from my journal entry, and there will also be a record of what is happening in the world in general, from the news headline.
But the ‘view’ I am recording in One Year is not neutral, it is selected and framed by me. Similarly, my journal extracts are selected from a much larger body of work; it is the ‘insight’ into my thinking that I choose to present. Even the ‘news headline’ cannot be regarded as neutral, for it is subject to BBC editorial bias.
But there is a third party in the One Year process, one that is outside of my control. That person is you, the reader of this blog, the interested observer of the project. I want people to bring their own interpretations, views and insights to this project. All comments received will be reproduced in my weekly project reports.