Project 1, Exercise 2

Write a list of everything you’ve read or written or seen or heard in the last 24 hours.

List compiled 25/06/2016


  • Black and White magazine
  • The Aylmer Bulletin (local newspaper)
  • Websites and other social media: The Perth Kilt Run; FaceBook; Instagram; Twitter
  • News items: Brexit reporting and analysis; the European Cup; the rise of Donald Trump in the US elections; death of Bill Cunningham


  • not much at all

Seen and heard:

  • Websites
  • travel to Perth, Ontario and conversations in the car
  • a stroll around Perth: Kilt Run; performers; runners; booths; wait staff; restaurant and pub patrons; families and couples in the park
  • tail end of a documentary on Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • deck at the back of our house; trees; animals; wind

1. How many stories are contained within your list? This could be anything from notes in your diary to the afternoon play on Radio 4, from a friend recounting a funny tale to the latest news online.

There are multiple stories in every one of the examples from the news media and on social media; stories told in the car; the documentary. And although I couldn't overhear them, the people at the events and in the public spaces would be telling each other stories, too. In other words, a great many stories were being told to me or around me in a single day.

2. How much of what you’ve read (or written or seen or heard) would you consider to be ‘art’? What makes writing art? How do you, personally, define a creative and artistic piece of writing? Make some notes in your writing diary. You might find it useful to refer back to the discussion at the start of Part One. That was about the visual arts, but many of the same points apply to word-related arts too.

There are many possible applications of the term "art" to the stories being told around me, because it is indeed an art to tell a story well, whether in person or via some other medium. If we return to my understanding of art at the end of Part 1, though, few or none of the examples listed above could be considered "art."

In Part 1 I wrote, borrowing from Grayson Perry's eight-part test, that the decision that a particular piece was "art" involved "a cluster of judgements that take in the creator, the created object/event, the venue and the audience(s)". The examples above might contain one or two elements from that list, but none can be said to compile all the elements necessary for a judgement of "art." At the same time, there is nothing to say that one or more of the activities above could not be judged later as art, given a change of context. For example, the documentary on Gabriel Garcia Marquez or some of the images or videos on social media might one day be considered art, given the right change of time, place and viewing audience.