The Simultania Project: One Worldwide Minute Of Life : The Picture Show Last Saturday, artist Erin Cooney orchestrated a worldwide, one-minute documentary. She is compiling the videos for an installation called "The Simultania Project."
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The Simultania Project: One Worldwide Minute Of Life

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The Simultania Project: One Worldwide Minute Of Life

The Simultania Project: One Worldwide Minute Of Life

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.


And I'm Melissa Block.

Last week, we told you about an ambitious plan called The Simultania Project. This week: the results. If you heard artist Erin Cooney explain her concept you'll remember that it was to create a coordinated one-minute snapshot of the world on video.

SIEGEL: Well, on Saturday several hundred participants shot footage at precisely the same moment. Erin Cooney returns now to tell us how it all went.

And I want you to remind us first why you encouraged people to do this.

Ms. ERIN COONEY (Artist): I encouraged people to do it basically because I want to see one minute played back from as many points of view as I can. It's kind of an attempt to have an out of body experience, if you will.

SIEGEL: And how many videos did you get?

Ms. COONEY: I've received more than 300 so far.

SIEGEL: And you have an audio clip made from all of this footage. What are we about to hear?

Ms. COONEY: You're about to hear audio from 18 different locations from around the world, ranging from Alaska, Thailand, London, Kentucky, New York, Slovenia, Montana and Arizona and a couple more.

SIEGEL: OK. Let's roll it.

Unidentified Man #1: Nine o'clock.

Unidentified Woman #1: It's started. We're in Denali National Park, Alaska. And it's still dark out.

Unidentified Man #1: Oh, this is going to piece together to make it a project.

(Soundbite of piano playing)

Unidentified Woman #2: Baby, say hi. Hi, Mommy. Yay. High five. High five for Mama.

Unidentified Man #2: What state in the United States.

Unidentified Woman #3: Yeah.

Unidentified Woman #2: Yeah.

(Soundbite of bells)

Unidentified Child: I'm going. I'm going. I'm going. I'm going. I'm going. I'm going. I'm going. I'm going. I'm going.

Unidentified Man #3: Take a picture of me.

Unidentified Woman #4: Oh, you're still going.

SIEGEL: Wow. That was terrific. How many places was that from?

Ms. COONEY: That was for a total of 18 places. We were hearing crickets from Thailand. We were even hearing the view from backstage on a Slovenian television show, believe it or not.

SIEGEL: I knew that's where that was. No, I'm only kidding. I'm only kidding.

Ms. COONEY: Of course. Wind chimes in Kentucky. We were hearing a woman in Alaska telling us that it was still nighttime in Alaska. I want people to understand that what they're hearing really was happening in time just as you heart it.

What you hear at second 20 is what was actually taking place at second 20 during the one minute moment from all over that world.

SIEGEL: In all those different places around the world.

Ms. COONEY: That's right.

SIEGEL: When will the video version be ready and where can people see it?

Ms. COONEY: Well, I've got a lot of work cut out for me now. It's going to take me many months to produce this. I'm thinking April, spring 2011. And people will be able to see it on my website at, as well as And it's going to play with StreamingMuseum, an organization in Newark, who have partners around the world. And they have screens in public places and plazas in different cities throughout the world. And it will be shown there, as well as in Los Angeles.

SIEGEL: Is there anything you've seen or heard in all of these videos that has really surprised you about what was going on at the one particular minute on Earth last Saturday?

Ms. COONEY: You know, I have to say I was thinking I was going to get some really surprising, shocking videos. I haven't received one of those yet, and that's probably a good thing. No. it's really what I asked for. It's a slice of life. You know, I'm seeing people in cars and on their bikes, on motorcycles. I've got a guy who's filmed his point of view while he's on a plane cross country.

The thing that is amazing for me during this editing process is to sit down and go through all these submissions, which I still haven't gone through all of them, there's so many. But to see all of these things happening during this one minute. It's magical. And I cannot wait to have people be able to see that, too.

SIEGEL: Well, Erin Cooney, thank you very much for talking with us once again about your Simultania Project.

Ms. COONEY: Robert, thank you so much for having me on.

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