In Collaboration: communication, accessibility and sharing
A public series of group discussions, physical activities and online get-togethers facilitated as part of our Practice makes Practice residency, exploring ideas around collaboration, problems we encounter when working this way and strategies to open up exchange and dialogue.
at The NewBridge Project & online, 2020
We focussed on collectively trying to re-define what it means to collaborate - opening up questions surrounding different forms of collaboration, issues around authorship and ownership, sharing and exchanging rather than competition and the ethics involved in working with others. Alongside this group conversation we worked on some small exercises involving writing and interviewing, as a strategy for getting-to-know your collaborators.
Credits: Photography by Abel Shah
“Collaboration thrives on diversity of perspectives and on constructive dialogues between individuals negotiating their differences while creating their shared voice and vision.”
In this session we will explore a range of modes of communication, ask questions around being critical while maintaining a sensitivity to others and open up ideas around conveying thoughts in non-linguistic ways. We would like to use this meeting to experiment together with sound, associations, improvisation and the body.
Credits: Photography by Abel Shah
“Construction of knowledge is collective and is embedded in the cultural and historical milieu in which we arise. Thinking is not confined to the individual brain/mind and creative activities are social.”
Who gets to be part of something?
How do you gain access?
When are online spaces ‘safe’?
How does the online retain its usefulness?
How can we balance the online vs offline?
We invited some of the Into the Wild cohort (Chisenhale's artist development programme) to discuss their wiki resources page MESH; an open-source wiki page they devised and created for sharing artist resources from residency opportunities, artist-led organisations to workshop facilities and many other things.
We hosted a Q&A with the MESH-founders questioning online vs. off-line sharing. How do we navigate these spaces and how this is changing in our current climate? How do we judge accessible “spaces”, policy vs. policing, the internet as a contradictory space of accessibility, the dissemination of information and ideas around responsibility?
We then asked the Into the Wild cohort to host a Hackathon with us, where we all in unison added to MESH by sharing our favourite resources, links, tool-kits, guides, useful listing sites, essays you've written or read that you think are vital to share with other artists.
Check out the Wiki page here: https://mesh.miraheze.org/wiki/Main_Page
Sharing and Caring
Our final session centred around thoughts on resourcefulness, caring and community. We will discuss what it means to care for each other, how the passing on of knowledge and skills is embedded in our existence as social beings and what role the responsibility and the ethics of care play in a society pulling towards the individual.
We facilitated a short discussion with the audience that reflected on our collective and individual learnings from the past three sessions.
For the rest of the session we facilitated an informal intimate zoom gathering. We had asked participants to come prepared to the session with something they’d like to share with others when thinking about care and sharing. Something that excited them perhaps, something they'd felt shy about sharing with others, or something that they'd had up your sleeve for a really long time but hadn’t found the right instance to air it out yet, eg. a special secret skill, a piece of writing, a family recipe, a piece of music....
Our intention was for participants to share something without any pressure. The group was there to listen, learn and engage but without the need for feedback or discussion. With this session we tried to counter the previous session of sharing resources via online platforms with a more direct, personal or visceral way of sharing. Still via a screen but hopefully closer to the daily physical encounters we were missing during the lockdown isolation periods.