"Measure In Common" is part of a collaborative video exchange and performance with artists Rahraw Omarzad (Director of the Center for Contemporary Art Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan), Sheenkai Stanekzi (CCAA student, Kabul, Afghanistan) and Susan Main (Derwood, Maryland). The artists exchange small measured slices of the Common (the surface of earth, the sky, food) via webcams and the Internet. The Common is projected in live performances or in site specific installations.
For Measure In Common, Steenkai Stanekzi and I recorded one minute of the sky each hour of a working day (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The footage, exchanged via snail mail and projected side by side in each country, is rear-projected on pieces of Plexiglas (18” X 24’) that hang adjacent to each other. Fragments of text from our e-mail, audio and Instant Messaging chats cut across the center of our skies revealing some of our difficulties with long distance, electronic communication/collaboration. Ambient sound, captured while the cameras were pointed at the sky, is audible. Viewers tip their heads back to look up into the skies. A bird flies through. A dog barks. The light changes. To compensate for the time zone difference of 9 ½ hours, we captured the sky during their 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours and then again to match the partner country’s 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Note, 5 p.m. (Kabul time) is 2:30 a.m. (Maryland time). The videos are synced to match the time in each place.