Every minute is precious

Author: Liz Rowe

Every minute is precious

Liz Rowe
25 February 2022

Rowe, E. (2022). Every minute is precious. (A dissertation in partial fulfilment for the Master of Fine Arts degree at the Dunedin School of Art, Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand).  DOI https://doi.org/10.34074/thes.5739


This project proceeded under the conceptual frames of materiality and the everyday, alongside a methodology I called the project as process. While projects are intended to create change, processes are designed to resist change, so the two operate in unison but with different agendas. A set of rule-bound actions and procedures (the process) can be allowed to proceed potentially indefinitely, all the while generating ideas and observations that can inform the project and move it towards completion. The process governed the production of wheel-thrown ceramic bowls. My plan was to decide on a "perfect" bowl, then repeat it potentially hundreds of times. As the project progressed it was clear there were several avenues of investigation to explore. I have called the project in its entirety Every Minute is Precious - a name co-opted from a piece of writing exchanged for bowls and which encapsulates the contemporary dilemma of wanting to make the most of time but always being anxious that we are too busy to get everything we want done.  However, the central project that emerged from the methodology was The Exchange. Each bowl took an hour to make, glaze and document, and I exchanged it for an hour of someone's time. This hour could be measured in several ways, from the participant's hourly pay rate to goods or services for me or someone else that we agreed. Through The Exchange, and the process of negotiating and agreeing the 65 exchanges undertaken, social and cultural values were elicited, economic considerations were central to the process, and political values emerged from the consideration of time.

Keywords: ceramics, time, value, labour, relational, exchange

  • See images of Liz's work on Flickr

Liz Rowe's supervisors were Scott Eady and Ed Hanfling.


This abstract is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International

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