Throughout the residency period, I occupied one of the unused houses and set up a room with a couple of chairs, video cameras and sound recording devices. Then I invited people to come and have individual conversations with me. I put up a notice on the entrance to the house explaining that the conversations were going to be recorded, followed by some instructions. Most days I spent in the room waiting for someone to turn up.
One of the instructions was that whoever came to visit me had to start the conversation. Another was that we would apply one-minute intervals between each moment of speech. So every time one of us said something we had to wait for one minute before a response.
As much as I was interested in the conversation I had with my fellow residents, the focus of the project was to halt the flow of a conversation and deliberately have prolonged silence to see how we would react and what could emerge in this one-minute wait. It could be a minute of reflection, lingering, pure boredom, anticipation.
Probably we experienced all of these as well as many other subtle emotions and feelings in the course of our protracted conversations. But what struck me most was that by being removed from an immersive talking and listening, we abruptly became aware of the passing of time. And while enduring this one minute in silence, we became emphatically aware of the physical presence of our surroundings and each other.
These four images here are stills from the one-minute interval. I thank everyone who participated in the project.
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