EST & UTC +5

Named after the technical time zones where the artists are located, EST & UTC +5 brings together 10 artists from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and 10 artists from Karachi, Pakistan, in an effort to connect across time and space through the universal language of art.

Immersed in a world where technology aims to increase communication and connect us, we often find ourselves alienated. Considering this paradox, EST & UTC +5  is an attempt to use creative collaboration to foster interpersonal and cross cultural connections. In October 2017, ten artists, writers, designers, performers, and makers from Philadelphia and ten from Karachi were matched into partners like modern day pen pals. Throughout the next few months, each of the 10 pairs embarked on an independent, personal exchange to get to know each others’ lives, work, and context with the ultimate goal of creating a collaborative work of art. Based on shared interests and dialog, each pair outlined parameters for their joint project, considering what ‘local’ means to each of them, and how much of that ‘local’ could be transported to each other, both assisted and limited by their only form of communication: text, images, and the occasional phone call or video chat. Within the timeline of this project, the artists would never meet. Their entire relationship would exist online, through an exchange of emails, text messages, Skype conversations, and social media posts, separated by a ten hour time difference.

The result was 10 distinct collaborative works of art, created by the 10 pairs, exhibited  simultaneously in Philadelphia and Karachi (at Little Berlin and at FOMMA Trust, respectively), as well as a zine published to mark the completion of the projects. The artwork shown ranges in medium and form, including interactive performance, extensive and intimate photographic and written documentation of daily life, site specific installation, and others. Throughout their conversations and creative partnerships, each artist learned more about the other’s culture, artistic practice, and personality. In EST & UTC +5 art is a bridge to connect citizens from political opposites on the world stage, a catalyst for real friendships and empathy in an increasingly divided world.

Little Berlin, 2430 Coral Street, Kensington, Philadelphia PA

FOMMA Trust, FDAC, Zamzama Park, Zamzama Boulevard, Phase 5, DHA, Karachi, Pakistan

Press:

ArtNow Pakistan

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Participating Artists:

  • Anam Abbas (Karachi, Pakistan) and Em Jensen (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Aziza Ahmed (Karachi, Pakistan) and Paige Fetchen (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Fiza Khatri (Karachi, Pakistan) and Ethan Patrick Sherman (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Saad Khurshid (Karachi, Pakistan) and Cayla Lockwood (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Sadia Khatri (Karachi, Pakistan) and Terrill Warrenburg (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Samya Arif (Karachi, Pakistan) and Will Owen (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Sara Pagganwala (Karachi, Pakistan) and Eric Anthony Berdis (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Shaanay Mansur (Karachi, Pakistan) and Amalia Witar Lewis (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Veera Rustomji (Karachi, Pakistan) and Alyssa Kreilick (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Yasser Vayani (Karachi, Pakistan) and Alex Schechter (Philadelphia, PA)

This project and exhibition was co-curated by Terrill Warrenburg and Fiza Khatri who re-connected on social media several years after spending a summer together during an artist residency in New York.