What is building between people and within their individual artistic practice when there is interaction and exchange?
An artist's practice refers to both the conceptual and making processes of an artist and their work. It examines how the artist develops ideas, concepts and themes through the influence of their global and personal world and other artists and their movements. What defines your artistic practice are your constantly developing experience, skills and knowledge shaped by your perception.
I like to see collaboration as a meeting place to build and exchange. When working with more people than yourself there is a need to formulate your thoughts and ideas out loud, explain them to someone else and respond to possible feedback. All people involved have their own background and will bring their own skills, knowledge, experience, personality and working methods. Together you will have an enormous amount of resources, knowledge and experience. When there is an open, safe and challenging working space in which you can explore and experiment together, this can create fruitful exchange in which all involved will grow.
All which has been shared and explored will develop the personal practice of the individuals and feed into their future projects and activities. At the same time there is something building between the collaborators. A foundation of shared experience, common language, understanding and trust will grow by sharing and exchanging experience, skills and knowledge. This process does not only include the exchange that happens when creating work together, it includes every shared experience as artists, friends and human beings depending on how we choose to frame and reflect on it. When choosing to share a process, outcome or product with an outside audience this can be seen as part of the exchanging process and has grown out of the always building foundation.
Often collaboration is there to create a final outcome. You work and create together to develop something which will be shared with an audience later. I like the idea of taking away this final sharing moment and just focusing on the exchange and growing foundation between people. I somehow feel this might allow the group to develop an unique way of working and making with more space for creative individuals, as supposed to artists only defined by their disciplines. Although it is not the goal, this way of practising can of course be a fruitful beginning or foundation for performance material.
“Creating or making springs from a need within all of us to communicate and to share with others. Without expression our sense of ourselves shrinks and contracts. The presence of a partner who goes with us in our journeys of imagination making alongside of us, watching, looking at and sharing in what we create, enables us to get to know the life and significance of our images more deeply. What we make, or do, or say, grows and comes more alive for us as it is heard, received by others. To enter another’s imagery is to get to know the feel of their world to sense them much more fully than we can in everyday life. And we discover a world that is shared, no longer simpy inside ourselves, but coming alive and growing between ourselves and another.”
A Widening Field by Miranda Tufnell and Chris Crickmay