This exploratory essay introduces selected sound recordings along with notes and observations from Minuting – a practice of sonic journaling I have performed daily since July 2010 in numerous locations and settings. I weave these observations together in a way that resonates closely with the idea of repetition, in multiple forms: protest, automation, cycle, and ritual, as well as the repetition inherent to my acts of recording. While introducing sounds from the archive of Minuting, I reflect on how this constrained and systematically enacted form of listening, recording, and re-listening leads to a transversal type of sonic reflexivity. It is a form of alertness to sound that stretches beyond the immediate resonance of the 'now' – towards spatially and temporarily distant, yet to some extent intertwined, objects, subjects, events, and environments. The text evolves across three interrelated layers: annotated recordings from the project's archive, a set of thoughts and associations triggered by re-listening to the material, and a discursive analysis that opens up the project to a dialogue with other thematically resonant debates and practices. Drawing on perspectives from media studies, the philosophy of technology, sound studies and durational art, I discuss Minuting as an art work, a creative constraint and a transversal listening practice. Lastly, I propose it as an existential media technique for composing critical and reflective positions towards one's surrounding space, experience of time, and use of sound technologies.
Jacek Smolicki is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, and soundwalker. His works brings historical, critical and ethical dimensions to recording practices and technologies in diverse contexts. He is currently a postdoc researcher at Linköping University exploring the history and prospects of soundwalking and field recording practices from the perspective of media arts, environmental humanities, and philosophy of technology. He is also an associate scholar at the Informatics and Media Hub for Digital Existence at Uppsala University. He has exhibited internationally and recently co-founded the Walking Festival of Sound, a transdisciplinary event focusing on creative and critical potential of walking through and listening to our everyday surroundings.