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Change the World: One Second Everyday. Cesar Kuriyama’s Project

Do you ever feel frustrated by the amount of time you spend not doing creative things that you enjoy, and that nourish you?  Or, that you live your life at a distance, not fully engaged, or present, effectively losing your life, because you are physically or mentally somewhere else? Check out this very cool, possibility-filled project.

Cesar Kuriyama was dismayed by the way his job swallowed up his free time, and his ability to be creative. He decided to take a year off to do his own creative work. His first project: he began recording one second of his life, every day, and will do so, for the rest of his life. Each second is added to a continuous stream of video.

“I never want to forget another day that I have lived, and this is my way of doing that.”If he lives to be 50 years old, having started the project at 30, he will have 2 hours of his life encapsulated. At 40, he will have a one hour video of his 30’s.

As many creative endeavors do, the project has enabled Kuriyam to re-evaluate how he sees and approaches each and every day of his life. He now sees every day as possibility.

Kuriyama’s is also engaging in a personal protest against the way people constantly record experiences, rather than living inside of them. His one second rule prevents that.  If you’ve been to a big concert recently, you’ve likely seen cellphones bobbing in the air, in place of the lighters people used to hold up. Audiences are not watching the concert, they are watching their phones watch the concert. This is just one of many distanced ways that people now participate in life. How does this impact they way in which we experience and connect to our own lives, and those of others? In what other ways do we mediate the world around us, feeling separate from others and their experiences?

Photo by Tommy Agriodimas

Photo by Tommy Agriodimas

When  a family member of his was in a very serious medical condition, Kuriyama learned that it is not easy to take a camera out and record the difficulties we experience, and that we often only want to keep records of happiness, fun and excitement. What he discovered, however, was that recording these moments of difficultly allowed him to see his good experiences more clearly.

Kuriyama is interested in what it would be like if everyone recorded one second of their day. And, what would it be like if a person could type a date into their computer and have the opportunity to see one second of other people’s lives on that particular date from all over the world? How might that change the way which we look at the world? What assumptions of other human beings that we have, might that unravel? Would the spirit of connectedness and community be strengthened by this ability to see the perspectives of others?

Here is a beautiful and poignant note written to Kuriyama on Facebook, which he published on his 1 Second a Day Blog:

The Future

He believes this project has a lot of possibilities. We agree.

Kuriyama also developed an app so that users can easily chronicle their lives one second per day, just like him. Want to participate? Download 1 Second Everyday.

Watch Cesar Kuriyama share his ideas, and some of the many seconds of his life, on TED Talks below:

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Karen Steinberg