Performance, Zadar, Croatia, 2003

The project consists of a collective measurement of the urban space of the old historic center of Zadar. City residents are convened to participate as human measuring tools that operate by the positioning and distance of the participants, located in different configurations, choreographed through loudspeakers placed on the roof of various buildings. The successive performances are registered to mark a substantial coincidence between the city and its community, where public space is activated through the multiple events of its users. Ethnical differences, still vivid in post-Yugoslavia, are canceled by the uniformity and repetition of the gestures.

We move in spaces that we know and routinely cross without realizing their dimensional properties: how wide, deep, long they are. The metric system has had the merit of making order in the chaos of the multitude of weights and measures, simplifying the measurements with the introduction of codes that can be shared because they are objectively determined, but also with the consequence of canceling a measurement system that was mainly based on the comparison of body parts and distances. This type of measurement continually forced us to relate the body to space and to experience it in some way. How many people is the square? How many people is on the walk? The project aims to measure the public spaces of Zadar by trying to recover the data of experience and the human body as a unit of measurement. We are not interested in knowing how many meters, but experimenting with “how many people” that space corresponds to, according to three different configurations – like nodes in a grid, in a row or juxtaposed to each other.