Minute Movies

videoart, everydaylife, videodiary

 Above: A Few Hundred Moments from June 2018–June 2019 (2019)

thumbnails from lots of Minute Movies
Format: digital video
Duration: infinite
Year: 2011 - forever

Since April 1, 2011, at least once per day, using a small handheld camera (originally a Flip camera, now iPhone), I compose and shoot a 60-second, single-take shot of what is going on around me. Some shots are observational, others performative. I have accumulated more than 80 hours of video, over 6,000 individual shots. I am using this archive to create an immersive, interactive video installation.

Since fall 2021, I have been archiving the first decade of these shots into a huge database, so that I can sort the shots by date, subject, color, location, and other keywords. I built my database from the ground up, developing categories such as “How does this shot make me feel now?”  I eschewed traditional filmmaking language like “close-up” and “medium shot” in favor of terms that more accurately describe my unique style such as “camera against something: wall, window, ” “camera on table / surface / counter / tripod,” and “from the bed.” I have been studying my own work through aesthetic, emotional, and socio-political lenses. I have also studied the work of other diary video/film artists, photographers, conceptual artists, and written memoirists in an effort to contextualize and get inspiration for the work.

The videos almost always document private moments from my life. When I am with other people I am usually so absorbed by them that I forget to grab my camera and document the moment. These are tiny moments, fragments and notes from my life. Over the years I have used this archive to create pieces such as White Lady Diaries and Julie Time

In early 2019 I had a solo screening of my work at the Northwest Film Center, curated by Ben Popp, called Extra Ordinary: Videos and Films About Everyday Life by Julie Perini. This screening focused on nearly 15 years of diary and experimental videos. The warm reception, with coverage in the Willamette Week by Lauren Yoshiko, encouraged me to go deeper into this work. Later that year, in the fall of 2019, the Northwest Film Center presented a retrospective of the late great diary filmmaker and poet, Jonas Mekas. The Film Center invited me to teach a diary video workshop in conjunction with this program. I am available for diary video workshops for youth, at companies, for artists, and other educational venues. 

Currently, I am working with the database to create a suite of short video art pieces, photographic works, and an interactive projection for an immersive, interactive installation environment. For the photographic works, I am creating collages with frames derived from my Minute Movies archive. I imagine creating huge wall coverings to cover large amounts of time, as well as smaller prints foregrounding particular moments.  For the videos, I am creating rhythmically edited videos that showcase the routines of daily life and as well as narrative pieces that present sensitive autobiographical material about my journeys through relationships, social movements, and losing my mother to Alzheimer’s disease. I have already begun a series of videos I call “1000 Waters” in which I searched the database for all videos that were tagged with “water” in some way. The search returned about 1000 videos that I am currently editing.

As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, people are searching for ways to understand and express complex, layered experiences of time and emotion. During the pandemic, I witnessed an explosion of online projects creating communities around introspective daily practices: daily writing, daily drawing, daily photo/video shooting. I believe that my deep artistic investigation of this impulse to document daily, begun long before 2020, helps others engaged with daily recording feel seen and understood. My multimedia methods for expressing time and experience will provide clarity, inspiration, and model new ways of being and narrating the self.