“What We Hold in Common” essay by Ishmael Randal Weeks / Ximena Garrido on Artnet

PROTODISPATCH, November 2, 2022

“What We Hold in Common” by Ximena Garrido/Ishmael Randal Weeks is an essay commissioned by PROTODISPATCH, a new digital publication featuring personal perspectives by artists addressing transcontinental concerns, filtered by where they are in the world. It was originally published by the international nonprofit Protocinema and recently as part of a collaboration between Protocinema and Artnet News.


For PROTODISPATCH, Ximena Garrido/Ishmael Randal Weeks write and share images of a collaborative ongoing work called Materia Comun (Common Materials) which is a participatory earth work. Their focus is on structures that tie coexisting cultures together. Here human bodies, thoughts, and emotions are matter that is equal to vegetation, animals, and the earth itself, interconnected and in constant flux. With the public participants’ own inspiration, the physical materials people brought and texts being read started from mass media and mass-produced objects and slowly became intimate items with deep meaning, personal journals, and letters. Materia Comun (Common Materials) touches the core of humankind’s temporary life in a body, occupying a society/city, in relation to a cyclical, interrelated organism, earth, of which we are each a very small part. — Mari Spirito, founder of Protocinema