I had been wanting to develop my creative collaboration skills for some time and what better way to experiment than with other OCA students for the OCA zine Edge?
A post to the OCA student forum garnered some interest from painters as well as photographers and our first hangout was last week. Not having ever done this before, I was not sure of the best practice or even a structure to approach this so I made some stuff up and scribbled it down on a bit of paper:
The hangout went well and we agreed on a few principles for this initial foray into collaboration:
- We figured the key benefits of collaboration in this case were:
- Creating something potentially greater than the sum of our individual efforts
- Being able to spark off each other creatively and open up new ideas, angles and approaches
- Providing support, encouragement and momentum
- Documenting the process on our blogs – great for reflection and development
2. We do not want it to add stress to anyone’s schedule or to be disruptive or (unpleasurably) distracting – the aim is for it to add to and enhance our studies and the development of our practices.
3. The deadline for the next Edge submission is January 31st so given the short timescales (and everyone being super busy) we decided for this edition, it would be most straightforward to work in pairs (ideally, but not -essentially, cross-disciplinary). In future, we may try a more ambitious approach that brings the whole group together.
4. We will use a shared G-drive to save down ideas, inspiration, visual research, prototypes and the work of other artists tackling this theme.
5. Next steps/actions: confirming the pairings so people can work with their collaborators to brainstorm ideas and plan the best route forward for both students.
6. There will be another hangout mid-Jan to regroup and see if anyone needs support/ideas etc
7. We have given ourselves the working title of the ‘Inside Edge Collective’ and if anyone cannot be involved this time, the collaboration is hopefully something we can build and develop for future editions of Edge (and maybe also other projects/exhibitions?) so we don’t want anyone to feel like this is a ‘now or never’ thing.
I have already been inspired by the brief brainstorm we had on the initial hangout. We talked about moving house as one of the group is relocating at the end of January and there was a suggestion that we could think about the non-material things we take with us when we move on – things we keep inside. I was interested in the idea Sarah mentioned that we cannot take our deceased pets with us and this was something I had not considered before. We’ve buried four cats in our garden. This spurred me on to start experimenting with ideas. They are not very ‘inside’ yet but it feels like a positive start and satisfies my magpie approach to
steal borrow ideas.
My second potential direction was inspired by my recent reading on Mythogeography. One element of the mythogeographical taxonomy of space is:
Dreamtime: Discarded beds and mattresses, frames overwhelmed by brambles, unexpectedly discovered on country paths and behind well-ordered urban edifices. These are delirious places where the walker can pause and invoke the dreams dreamt, babies born, the sex, the sleep, the unconscious. The inside in the outside.
I would love to create a little typology of the inside-outside things I see on streets around my neighbourhood and it would be interesting to collaborate with a student on another country/different culture to compare and contrast.
We shall how it all develops…