Skip to main content Link Menu Expand (external link) Document Search Copy Copied

Week 02 Episode 02: Exercises

Table of contents

  1. Listen
  2. Transcript
  3. Exercises
    1. Today’s writing exercises:
    2. Today’s audio exercises
  4. Further Reading
  5. Subscribe



Hello and welcome back to the Parallel Worlds podcast. This is week 2 episode 2. Yesterday I asked you to record a tour guide around your immediate surroundings, recommending the elements that people should enjoy, pointing out the parts that they might avoid, and sewing the odd fact, rumour or anecdote here and there. How did this work out? Did you discover anything new, did you get frustrated, did you love or hate the exercise? As ever, please do leave a voice message to let me know what you found out, or what you thought – these messages may be included on future podcasts, but you can also keep them private just by saying don’t publish this.

Let’s get straight into the writing today. As ever, I’m going to ask you to start with a free write about your current context. What’s going on right now? How are you feeling? Have you felt any slow shifting of identity recently? What are you looking forward to, what are you thinking?

The same rules as normal apply here - don’t police your writing, just let the pen flow.

If it helps, you can record this part on your smartphone using the Voice Memo app, or write – it’s up to you.

5 mins

Great, now let’s do the same again, but this time I’d like you to write about your own artistic practice. How do you define yourself? What would you say to someone who’s never seen your work before? Feel free to record rather than write if this helps.

You’ll have five minutes to do this, starting now.

5 mins

OK, now we’re going to jump into audio. How much do your surroundings reflect the artistic identity you just wrote about?

We’re going to do a task where you record into your phone. I want you to imagine you are a detective investigating a crime. What crime, I can’t say at the moment. But your job is to describe the scene you see right now. If you can, stand up from where you are, and enter the area afresh. Turn your voice memos app on your phone on, and try to see the area you’re in with fresh eyes. What can the relationship between things tell you about the current scene, and its inhabitant? Have they left their headphones plugged in to their laptop? Are they still warm? Are there coffee rings on furniture? Are there open books, open browser tabs? Are there areas which are clearly used more often than others? Try to map the relationship between objects, to investigate this space. Try to keep talking the whole time as you’re observing.

If you’re in the class at MIVC, you’ll be uploading this for your colleauges to see. If not, please keep hold of your recording to listen back to and edit later.

When you’re ready, pause this podcast and record your crime scene. Go!


Welcome back. How was that? The final thing I’d like you to do today is to keep on recording the sounds of daily life. What does it sound like when you answer an email? When you take a shower? When you open the window? Be careful not to drop your phone down the toilet or anything like that, but try to capture the sounds of life happening to you.


Today’s writing exercises:

  • 5-minute free write about life at the moment
  • 5-minute free write about your artistic or design practice. How do you define yourself? What is your intention? What do you aim to achieve with your work?

    Today’s audio exercises

  • 5-minute forensic description of your surroundings as if you’re a detective and this is a crime scene. Imagine that you are a detective and your job is to make inferences about the objects in the space and its inhabitants. Walk around, using your phone as a dictaphone, describe what you see. What inferences can you draw from the relationship between objects? What could the relationship between objects tell you about the life of the person who lives here? Are there coffee rings on the desk, are the headphones plugged in to the laptop still warm? What can you infer from the state that the place has been left in, the browser tabs still open, the keys sat on the desk?
  • Carry on recording sounds of daily life

Further Reading

  • Resources - resources and inspiration for writing, producing, and editing audio stories
  • - a great list of audio resources


Apple Podcasts / Spotify / PocketCasts / Google Podcasts / RadioPublic / CastBox / Breaker / RSS / Listen online

Want to contribute? Send a voice message!

Copyright © 2020 Ollie Palmer. Site content distributed under an MIT license (you are free to reuse content as you like); student work remains their property.