GlobalLives YBCA Exhibition

Ten screen audio/visual installation and exhibition.

  • Dates: 2010
  • Location: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
  • Role: Audio/Visual Design and Technical Consulting
  • Collaborators:
    • GlobalLives Board of Directors
    • David Harris – Executive Director
    • Rafael Alcala – Production Manager
    • FOURM design+build
    • Deanna VanBuren – Design Principal
    • Matthew Toon – Construction Principal
    • Liz Ogbu – Senior Designer
    • Sand Studios
    • Larissa Sand – Principal
    • Benjamin Damron – YBCA Forum Architectural Design
    • Adrienne Aquino – Envirographics Designer
GlobalLives YBCA Exhibition 1
GlobalLives YBCA Exhibition 2
GlobalLives YBCA Exhibition 3
GlobalLives YBCA Exhibition 4

We are proud to announce the world premiere of the Global Lives Project, an innovative video installation featuring documentaries that capture 24 hours in the lives of ten people from around the world who represent the diversity of the global population. Working with acclaimed filmmakers, artists and designers, Global Lives assembles the realities of everyday life from Lebanon, Serbia, China, India, Japan, Malawi, Indonesia, Brazil, Kazakhstan and San Francisco.

Framed by the arc of the day and conveyed through the intimacy of video, we have slowly and faithfully captured 24 continuous hours in the lives of 10 people from around the world. They are screened here in their own right, but also in relation to one another.

There is no narrative other than that which is found in the composition of everyday life, no overt interpretations other than that which you may bring to it.

By extending the long take to a certain extreme and infusing it with the spirit of cinema verité, we invite audiences to confer close attention onto other worlds, and simultaneously reflect upon their own. The force and depth of human difference and similarity are revealed in this process. Gaps which mark cultural divides feel, at once, both wider and narrower. This sense – that we, as humans, are both knowable and unknowable, fundamentally different as well as the same – opens a space for dialogue.

Sometimes projects with the simplest premises are the most complicated to execute, and this can be said for Global Lives.

Hundreds of volunteers from around the world make up our collective. Some are filmmakers and photographers, others are programmers and engineers, some are architects and designers, others are students and scholars – all are everyday people in their own contexts; each has participated according to his or her own motivations. They have donated, quite literally, thousands of hours towards bringing this project into being. This installation, our world premiere, offers us an opportunity to thank them, along with the generous communities that collaborated with us in each of these shoots.

This project is designed to remain a work-in-progress. Our volunteers are subtitling all 240 hours of footage in their original languages and translating them into English and beyond. This will form the basis for our online, participatory library of human life experience –the other major venue for our work. We continue to accept new footage for our expanding archive – fresh additions to an evolving visual conversation.