26 June 2006

Documenting Time

Also around this time (early May) I became involved in a confrontation based around work, time and their relationships with money. As part of a group of six Nottingham based artists, I coordinated and ran an AN Magazine networking event called NAN-NANA (which took place on 28 - 30 April). The event was six months in the making. At the start of this period we had agreed that each member of the team would keep a record of the time that they spent working towards the event. Then at the end we would all be paid proportionately for our recorded hours.

After the event had taken place, we each submitted our hours and discovered that there were major discrepancies between the levels of detail to which people had documented their time.

Arguments broke out. A flurry of emails went to-and-fro where members of the team described in detail the methods they used to keep accurate records and how they differentiated between what was work towards the project and what was not. As if to justify that they had earned their payment fairly.

This whole episode made me question whether it would actually be possible to work out how long you spend on any particular project or activity. This, rolled into the idea that all activity is 'work' made me stumble across a new idea for the 'Part-time' project.

I had decided that I would attempt, over the course of the four week period, to take account of and document just how every minute of each day is spent - to produce and ongoing list as proof of exactly how I spend my time.

I would document the start time and end time of every activity carried out and explore the boundaries and crossovers between the different types of activity. Once I had decided to attempt this feat (at around the end of May), a whole new set of questions appeared about practicalities.

- Would it be possible?
- How could it be carried out?
- Would the results by swayed by the fact that I was aware of the recording process?