There are more one-thing-a-day series by creative individuals (photographers, poets, musicians) on the Internet than there are days in the year. And yet many if not all — at least the ones that go the distance, the ones that actually manage the 365 or even 366 entries — capture the pages-being-ripped-from-a-calendar momentum that old movies used to employ to represent the rapid passage of a considerable amount of time.
By editing together sonic snippets from six months of field recordings, Harold Shellinx not only has created a fitting milestone for the first half of a year-long habit, he’s also shown a way that these daily projects, when properly delineated at the outset, can collectively become more than the sum of their individual parts.
In fact, as it turns out, this half-hour document of 2011 thus far is the second means by which he has collated his efforts.
Schellinx records audio field recordings every day, and he collects 10-second snippets, which are then strung together as a single MP3 (streaming and freely downloadable). Ten seconds appears to be long enough to get momentarily lost in, but brief enough to yield something abstract, listenable to more for its textural contours than its documentary content. There is no signal that a clip has switched to the next, except when the contrast is self-evident. The great Radius radio show and podcast out of Chicago hosted the six-month file on a recent show:
Even before the work was collected into this 1,820-second-long listen, it appeared at a Dutch website each week, collecting the most recent 10 elements into something titled, naturally, “Seventy Seconds.” Most of those entries, such as the one from June 26 (at hardhoofd.com), include a complementary photo by Pieter van Wynsberge and, as the Radius staff explains, a short text in Dutch.