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Art as ritual, ten15am for forty two days | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Art as ritual, ten15am for forty two days

10:15 am after 42 days

sleeping at 10:15 am this morning

Each day for forty one days I’ve been taking one photo at exactly 10:15 am. It would have been forty two days straight if not for a sleeping incident that I will briefly mention later on. There’s both differences and similarities between ten15am and my New York City Colour Study. One project isn’t collaborative while the other is, one can be taken at anytime in the morning while the other has a precise time, one has a particular subject and the other is open ended as I want it to be. Though with all those things listed the one thing that they share more then anything else is that I look forward to doing those shoots everyday.

I was mentioning the simple concept of ten15am to a colleague a couple days ago. At the end of me talking about some of the things I’ve shot he said something that I never really considered. He likened it as a ritual via the process of art. What I really liked about that idea is that it takes a lot of pressure from getting that one perfect shot. It becomes an insight of what’s happening at exactly one point in the day. When my friend Jody mentioned the idea before it had begun I wasn’t so sure about it. What about those people that work? Are they going to shoot the same desk everyday? Well most of those days I am at work and I haven’t really shot the exact same thing yet. I’ll do plays on things that mean something to me. Most days I’m not scouting out locations though every once in a while that comes into play. I use two different cameras – on the weekdays when I have a computer near by I use my Leica D-Lux 3 while usually on the weekends I’m out and about so I’ll use my iPhone camera.

I also find it incredibly interesting to see what everyone else is seeing in their world at 10:15 – even though I only know a couple people. Whether the person is a professional photographer or not is really not that relevant. Those moments capture an intimate point in their day. As something I look forward to doing everyday it allows me to play without any consequence and in return I get something cool to look at. I haven’t considered when I’ll stop doing it though last Sunday when I slept in for the first time I was quite pissed at myself. I had been up at 6.30 that morning to take out the dog and when I got back I fell asleep without an alarm near by. So even though I didn’t submit anything that day I did create an image for myself to remind me of that day (see above black image). Nothing lasts forever as is so I’ll be curious to see how this ritual grows. Check out the series for yourself at www.ten15am.com

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