Good Intentions – a summary

by julie

The Project

Title: Good Intentions (working title was “otherwise engaged”)

Location: Cornmarket, Belfast

Duration: 10-12 daily 10th – 15th November

Artist: Julie Miller

This work was included in FIX XI (

The project had three main phases, the production of a tract, the distribution of this tract, a voicemail service to allow participants to hear an excuse of the day and leave any excuses of their own.

A tract is a term used to describe religious literature however the term itself originally meant any leaflet used to distribute literature of any kind. In Belfast it remains a regular sight to see street evangelists distribute Christian literature in various ways around the city centre. With this in mind I began a series of tracts, the first being Good Intentions. The tract (shown in the previous post) uses a modern-day parable to share an easily recognised experience. The need to share the experience is precisely because of its common nature, things that are commonplace or everyday have lost their criticality and have lost their interest for many people.

The tract was distributed everyday from 10-12 at Cornmarket, this site was chosen has often been used by street preachers. Each day I dressed sensibly always in the same trousers, shoes, jacket and scarf and handed the tracts personally to passersby. The daily experience can be found in earlier posts.

Each tract was numbered as a print edition would be, this was a subtle clue that this tract differed slightly from others and also allowed for me to measure how many I was able to distribute. Each tract included a telephone number which linked directly to a voicemail recording of my daily excuses for missing an event I intended to attend. It was not mentioned within the message what the event was and each message was designed sound like a personal message for the caller. Everyone has received a voicemail like this before when a friend cannot make something you planned together. The recording was changed every day.