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Selected by Beatrice von Bismarck

This text evolved out of the two-part symposium TAKING THE MATTER INTO COMMON HANDS, which Johanna Billing, Lars Nilsson, and myself co-curated at laspis in Stockholm, in the fall of 2005. The title was a conscious play with language-grammatically

incorrect, yet embodying a form of "self-organization." For the symposium, the aftist Michael Beutler redesigned the project studio, constructing simple wooden benches in two different heights and adding brightly colored cushions. They were arranged to create a multidirectional situation, as opposed to the typical frontal setup. Following the symposium, the benches were given away to members of the audience.
The text first appeared in the book Taking the Matter lnto Common Hands: On Contemporary Art and Collaborative Practices, which documents the symposium and includes contributions by all participants. The book was edited by Johanna Billing, Lars Nilsson, and myself, and designeO Oy ÂOate. lt was published by Black Dog Publishing in2OO7.



which ended up in Pia Sandström's studio. Video conference with Henriette Heise. One of the benches from the symposium. 178 SELECTED MARIA LIND WRITING 179 THECOLLABORATIVETURN . designed by Michael Beutler.The project studio al laspis. of Copenhagen Free University. Arlists and co-curators Lars Nilsson and Johanna Billing in the audience at the symposium.

000 yen. via video or other forms of aft. "ConveHt¡ons. Normally. a temporary community of seventeen persons is created. acquired the rights to a Manga character from the Japanese agency Kworks for 46. a mixed economy: contemporary art. the aim was at the same time to give this "flashing sign" certain rights. Pileno (Cologne: Verlag der Buchhandlung Wallher . 2003).THE COLLABORATIVE TURN The story is well known: in 1999. This character has a name-Annlee-and a face. Stefan Kalmáf.I81. After having redeemed the figure-an insignificant extra in the popular commercial cultural arena-they introduce it to a new world. but a new order of identity as well. Huyghe and Parreno handed over their rights to Annlee to a newly formed association in exchange for one euro. No Ghost Just a Shell was a project-specific collaboration between a loose network of friends and colleagues. and she belongs in the production companies' ample inventory of peripheral figures.l However. however. eds. With only a name and a two-dimensional face. inviting each to fill the empty shell of Annlee with content. in which the artists gathered together around a shared interest-"a sign around which a community has established itself. Ph¡l¡ppe Pareno. two Paris-based aftists. Togethe¡ they draw on and establish a network of artists and other cultural producers. and Hans Ulrich Obrisi." as Huyghe has suggested-but also a phenomenon around which a particular energy has crystallized. This association guaranteed that the image of Annlee would never appear again in anything other 1. The artists. have other plans. and equipped with a casket made from IKEA furniture parts. For that reason. Piere Huyghe. ln the process. Annlee was allowed to pass away after four years. Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno. together forming not only a collaborative art project and an exhibition. The pafticipants shape episodes that can function as independent artworks. 17. she is destined to disappear from any story in which she happens to land. ln conjunction with her demise. Beatrix RrJf. Piere Huyghe and Philippe König. she is also one of the cheapest." in No Ghost Just a Shell. After a grand farewell fireworks display. THE COLLABORAÏVE TUBN . such characters are sold to anime and videogame companies without the time to create their own.

long and complex. exh. "onit"il"tion. a maguine by Anna Fleury with texts by the fiction writer Kathryn Davis. No Ghost Just a shell's "promiscuous" creation story-its form and content.7 At the same time. 2001) 7. it is useful to underline the obvious. ¡." Third Text.. These collaborations can occur between people who are often. as well as between artists and people from other fields altogether. "Art ls Life. exh COLLABORATION NOW AND THEN No Ghost Just a Shell is only one of many art projects in which collaboration is central." ¡n Collective Creat¡v¡ty. as well as a marked interest in alternative ways of producing knowledge. objects by Angela Builoch and Imke wagner. videos by François curret. During the following decade. 5. but not always. alliances. Notions of artist groupings. as well as a contract created by the lawyer Luc Saucier 3 One complete edition is now in the collection of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven 4 Jan Veruoert.s rhizomes. as Brian Holmes does. from constructivist theater projects to Fluxus games and Andy Warhol's pseudo-industrial Factory.s. F¡rkrit riravanija. lt extends from Rubens and other baroque artists' hierarchical large-scale studios (which were lucrative businesses) to surrealist group experiments.4aurizio Lùatato. is about collaboration-cases in which some form of conscious partnership takes place through interaction. No Ghost Just a shet is specific for having invorved concrete popurar culture and commercialism. This text. for questioning tn" production anå reproduction of identity. op cir . between around 1810-1830.3 The project combines more idearistic notions of sharing with neoriberar rogics of networking and outsourcing.s lt has also been argued that collaboration was crucial in modernism's transition to postmodernism. and Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster.6 According to the curator Angelika Nollert. She rightly points out that this type of artistic collaboration was first to develop a conscious strategy when the guilds disappeared and the notion of the romantic (individual) artist came to the fore.2 This particular collaboration is now over. "Get Together: Kunst als Teamwork" in Get Together: Kunst als Teamwork. Henri Barande. contexts. [. The Third Hand: Collaboration in Art from Conceptualism to Postmodernism (Ì\4inneapolìs: Univers¡ty of Minnesota Press. On the contrary its genealogy is 2 ltisalittleunclearexactlywhatthetwoin¡tiatorsconsidertobecontribut¡onstothep@jectasawhole ln addition to video sequences by Huyghe. and teams are all buzzing in the air. however.. Fridericianum.1g4_g2 cat 6 (Vienna: Kusthalle Wen. its degree of complexity and contradiction. Parreno. in suggesting that even the lone artist in his or her studio is dependent upon contributions from others. and Richard phi¡rj. no 1 8 (November 2004): 555 182 SELECTÊD MARIA LIND WRITING . Liam Gillick. networks. the project includes the posters of paris-based designers M/M (which arso function as wa. but confuses it at the same time-it is arguabry ihe first example of an extensive coilaborative art project presentei as a group exhibition to be bought in its entirety by a museum. Angel¡ka Nol¡ert. artists. music by Anna Lena vaney. The latter shows a pronounced affinity with activism and other ways of gathering together around shared concerns.paper designec especiary for the videos). See Ny'arion Piffer Damiani.4ehdi Berhaj Kacem.4erik ohanian. "Artist¡c Autonomy and the Communicat¡on Society.common. pierre Joseph. 2005) cat (Kassel: Kunsthalle 8 Brìan Holmes. cooperation and coilaboration in the context of art is by no means new.than what was created prior to the transference of rights. curator Hans ulrich obrist. paintings by Joe scanran.s understanding of the . the way in which it simultaneously touches upon the fetish character and the open sources of contemporary art-makes it something of a key project. partnerships. No Ghost Just a sheil is probabry one of the most notabre collaborative adworks to have emerged over the last decade." lt will look at some attempted formulations of collaborative practices in contemporary arT from around the mid-1 990s.a Moreover.. and it certainry shares some of the characteristics of Michaer Hardt and Antonio Negri. as well as recent developments in the structures and motivations behind collaboration. rt consciouiry situates itserf aithe intersection of the sensibirities of post-'1 96g sociar movements and hardcore post-Fordist mechanisms. associations. parlicipation. having only entered the mainstream fairly recently.. particularly since the advent of conceptualism in the late 1960s. in No Ghost Just a shelt.. Its structure ends up like Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. "copyright. praying out the probrematics and contestations of each. the Nazarenes in Rome were the first group of artists known to work closely together. coalitions.s This is especially true for many mde artists who have managed to rely on more or less invisible suppod from surrounding women. Ghosts and commodity Fetishism. The forrner suggests collaboration to have been consistently present in the aft of the last twenty years. or other kinds of intentional exchange through processes of "working together. However. immunology researcher Jean-c¡aude Ameisen. art historian Paurice pianzota. circres. philosopher ¡. and Life ls Art. and many other collaborative methods and projects are frourishing in contemp orary arrtoday. biologist and philosopher lsrael Rosenfield' art historian N'4olly Nesbit' art critìc Jan veruoert. and includes a number of different approaches to organizing artistic work and aesthetics. 1999) Charles Green. redefinitions of ar1 tended to go hand in hand with collaborative practices. The project inscribes itserf in the rogic of the art market. group activity..

Together with René Block. and participation are used and often confused. Nollert has argued that these newly proliferating collaborations of various sorls-between arlists and adists. "Cooperation. "lntroducing lnsouciant Art Collectives.. but where there are neveftheless opportunities to have an impact." a series of six 10 Gregory Sholette.'ray 2005. methods.. . COME TOGETHER. A catalogue with the same ti|e was published dur¡ng the exhibition 12 See en wikiped¡a orglwiki/Collaboration 184 SELECTED MARIA LIND WRITING 185 THE COLLABORATIVETUFN .' at Shedhaile in Zùrich Aprit 2005. ed christoph Keller (FranKurt: Revolver Archiv für aktueile Kunst. how they hope for some kind of emancipation." and "work together. and political orientations. The swedish curturar journar Gränta has made a speciaf issue on "coilective Art. last but not least. and publications over the last few years. artists and curators. as the above definition suggests. took place at laspis in Stockhotm ¡n September and october 2005. Projects and publications such as the following have years: lhird Text's "Art and Collaboration" issue from No .lo. interaction. encompasses all the others. "Collaborative Practices . Concepts such as collaboration. Recent publications include circles: lndividuelle Sozialisation und Netzwerkarbeit in der zeitgenössischen Kunst. There are also examples of willful immersion. Collaboration becomes an umbrella term for the diverse working methods that require more than one participant.Collective Creativity. collective action. lt is also necessary to pay attention to collaborative work and collective actions in society in general. an openended concept. and business.. the Latest product of Enterprise Culture. in principle. Among newmedia events dealing with this issue. Through its stress on solidarity. artists and others_began around 1990. as an instrument for challenging both arlistic identity and authorship.. the obstacles they encounter. ad.l1 lf group work in art may be said to be booming at present. the term is used in many varying contexts such as science.' in Cot¡ective Creativity. "Get Together. As there are already a number of formulations around practices since 1990 that could be described loosely as "collaborative practices. "Collective action" refers precisely to acting collectively. lifestyles." they should be taken into consideration as well.s They often appear as arternatives to the predominant focus on the individual so often found in the field of aft.Kunst als Team'rork" was an exhibition at the Kunsthalle wien in 1 ggg. the form and structure of these collaborative and collective activities have been presented.. As an intrinsic aspect of human society. dôcumented ¡n Gesammelte Drucksachen (collected newsletters). published by Revolver Archiv für aktuelle Kunst." Contrary to a general sense of I Free Cooperation' a newspaper publìshed in conjunction with the 2004 conference with the same title at the Department of Media Study." on the other hand. STJNY at Buffalo' in 2004 should be ment¡oned. The individualistic art world can thus bond with its antithesis. which." 2006.l2 "Collaboration" is. although each has its own specific connotations. emphasizes the notion of working together towards mutual benefit. Frankfurt pârt 2. education. "Dispositive Workshop.'. and based on a 2OO3 conference. Ambiguities appear from the outset. and they constanfly run the risk of being swallowed up and incorporated into the very systems against which they react. drawing from its grooviness. it is impoftant to analyze how these heterogeneous collaborations are structured and motivated. The symposium "Taking the rvratter into common Hands. what sort of satisfaction results from working in a group. The various collaborations also tend to constitute a response to specific-at times local-situations. René Block and Angetika Noilert. however.withmostassociatedwithaparticulartownduringthe previous decade. BE TOGETHER. London. which is the starting point for th¡s publication. in N. colloquia.. Cot lvlodern. ln a variety of symposia.withlecturesheldatZKMinKarlsruhein2000 and2001 Eachpartfocusedonacircleoranetwork. and. how they spread attention across various subjects. SUNy at Bufialo 1 1. conferences. WORK TOGETHER Current ideas about collaboration in art are interlwined with other contemporary notions of what it means to "come togethe¡" "be together. the critic and curator Gregory sholette claims that groups such as Gelatin and Dearraindrop satisfy the needs of entertainment culture by separating the image of collectivist art from its history of political radicalism. exhibitions.. for example.Diffusion: Wright. cooperation. the word "collective" offers an echo of working forms within a socialist system. the conference "Free Cooperation" at the Department of Med¡a Study. According to the collaboratively compiled Wikipedia. and to current theories of collaboration within philosophy and social theory. "Padicipation" is more associated with the creation of a context in which padicipants can take pad in something that someone else has created. examined.Col¡ective 2OOS: and Creativity..2002) "Circles"wasaseriesofexhibitionsinfìveparts. collaboration may be described as follows: Collaboration refers abstractly to all processes wherein people work together-applying both to the work of individuals as well as larger collectives and societies.. relationality. at the 'n Kunsthaile Fridericianum in Kasser. while "interaction" can mean that several people interact with each othe¡ just as a single individual might interact with an apparatus by pressing a button. and called into question: their short-term and long-term work routines. op c¡t ¡n 2403-2004: Colloquium on collaborative Practices at the Kunstverein N4ùnchen in July 2004.

community should. relational. gende¡ ethnicity. who disappeared with the communitarian ideals of Christianity. ln contrast to Nancy's philosophical and somewhat idealistic theory. 2000) 186 SELECTED MARIA LIND WFITING . (London and [. that there is too much forced commonality and prescribed collaboration today in the sense of social unanimity and political consensus-at least in North-West Europe. the "common" is based on communication between singularities: it comes from the collaborative social processes that underlie all production. 1991) 14 Benedict Anderson' lmagined Commun¡ties: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Natjonal¡sm (London and New York: Verso. and.s term. in their understanding. Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (New York: The Ì!4ouffe. ln this context. but it is nevertheless there to. counteract the forces of "empire. rathe¡ it is what we find . For Hardt and Negri. can avoid the risk of "consensus of the the wake of society." which 16 Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. Nationalism is one such reduction. their roots in radical political thought and its reverence for solidarity come to the fore.techno_ re-imagine and reshape collective action and take charge of social being in the present.l6 Perhaps the problem is. and dissolved to a certain degree-Jean-Luc Nancy claims in The lnoperative Community that the community is extremely vital. attracting . rather. together with communication." Community cannot be created: it is not a product of religious harmony or utilitarian trumpeting. as well as the form they have taken in anti-imperialist movements throughout Asia and Africa. which can. lead to fascism. The political philosopher Chantal Mouffe suggests Since the advent of modernism."ls This particular approach argues for the need to historicize collectivism-and includes the autonomous zones formed in Seattle and Genoa.2004) 17 Chanlal Democratic Paradox (London and New York: Verso. it may also be seen as an expression of "imagined communities. lt is compared with the individual as a pad of "the people.change in the notion of community-that it has become less socially responsible. bonding. it is the intrinsic conflict in liberal democracy that should be cultivated instead. lnterestingly enough. Anderson's book lmagined communities takes an empirical approach. idealized form of collectivity.. it is worth elevating their observation that. with feelings of belonging or affiliation and methods of repression having been orchestrated in local languages through the daily press. community is not the basis for the formation of society or the origin of nations." when the indlvidual must deny his or her difference in order to form "a people. as such. The latter takes the form of a sort of minimally regulated DIY form of e-collectivism." Unlike the masses or the mob. "common" can include singularities.. rather than consensus. but according to Gregory Sholette and aft historian Blake Stimson.'. Like the multitude. supranational institutions. for example. they distinguish between "common" on the one hand. Hardt and Negri's concept of the "multitude" has been perhaps the best formulation of how group dynamics have emerged on a macro level."¡nThirdText. lndeed. and "community" and "public" on the other. but in ways other than might be expected. pseudo-countercultural imperialism. the multitude is a concept that can encompass all important group parameters-class." ln contrast to "the people. but consists of active social subjects who can act together. He also points out that community can be reduced neither to "society.. lt is a set of singularities in which each social subject maintains its difference. like existence itself. and sexual preference-but Hardt and Negri choose to underline class. in other words. ln this. ln addition. two major new forms of collectivism are at play in the world today: one based on an lslamist yearning for an anti-capitalist.l3 For instance. 1 983 and I 991) lia_11!"4. and the other struggling to substitute the programmer for the ideologue. but should be understood as a resistance to immanent power. as well as the provisional community work of aftist groups like wochenklausur or Temporary services-in order to '13 Jean-Luc Nancy' The lnoperative Community. dreams of collectivism have undoubtedly been a driving force. and communism. the "multitude" replaces concepts such as "the people" and the less ethnic "population.. collaboration has become a central method in the new paradigm of immaterial production over the last decades. lslam.4inneapolis: UniversÌty of Minnesota press." to borrow Benedict Anderson. tracing the processes leading up to American and European imperialisms. and major corporations." a multitude remains plural and multiple. 18(november2oo4): Penguin Press. absolute. The anarchist hacktivism to hippie-capitalist. This elaboration of the enlightenment ideal of emancipation has a curious vitalist touch to it." nor to diverse mystical associations. be defined as a non_ absolute-that is." the network power that forms a new sovereignty based on the interactions between dominant nation-states.lT More difference and disagreement. a multitude is not fragmented and disconnected."r""ndcregoryShotette. according to Nancy. nationalism.

eds Beatrice von BÌsmarck. similar to antagonistic relationships. the "coming together" of different subject and genre areas-as subjects and genres-is unusual today. and activism have given political protest a new face. the ivory tower appears to become somewhat less remote. but these do not entail the literal merging of categories. An adversary is someone with whom you share common ground while disagreeing on meanings and implementations of basic principles-disagreements that simply cannot be resolved through the deliberation and rational discussion celebrated by'. with both underlining collaboration.. 19 See Games Fights Collaborations. thousands of people can now quickly gather together to express their viewpoints. And one cannot underestimate the extent to which digital technology has contributed to the boom in scope to. and even inexpensive.. however.. However.thirdway" politicians and defenders of the "post-political. being deemed shallow outside of their own field. and G8. even disappearing altogether when cultural studies enable popular culture to gnaw at literature." traditionalists.can be of use here for not being based on final resolutions. Actions aga¡nst corporate ownership and various political questions concerning justice are now a part of larger meetings of the lMF. where "tactical media" blends of new technology. and when contemporary visual art is subjected to the same close scrutiny as theoretical studies of historical paintings. Diethelm Stoller. for instance. and its criticism of the global political impact of international corporations on both the environment and employment rights. in which two people are forced to marry and as rare as successful blind dates. often find temporary collaborations within self-determined activities. Who can forget the pictures from Seattle in 1999? Or the ones from the many cities in the world where mass demonstrations took place against an impending US invasion of lraq in February 2OO3? With the help of new technology. lmmaterial labo¡ such as various kinds of services." as it is also called. You can even identify a desire for activism within the field of aft today. and The Anxiety of lnterdìsciplinarity. carries on some of the pathos of the post-1968 "new social movements. both individual and collective actions in urban space have increased. can fully cover several fields at once. Das Spiel von Grenze und Überschreitung. "Agonistic" relationships. began to have grave doubts. involve struggles with an adversary rather than with an enemy.' when new means of communication began to be evil. It is as unusual as arranged marriages. Ever since Reclaim the Streets cropped up in London at the beginning of the 1990s. The "anti-globalization movement. as soon as this crossdisciplinary development began to be described as . eds Alex Coles and Alexia Defert (London: BACKless Books in association with Black Dog Publishing. claiming common ownership of public space." which allows for a mild protocol for self-organization.le All this follows from the logic that very few people. post-Fordist working conditions often entail. perhaps for fear of Another cardinal point to consider in relation to questions around collaboration concerns the organization of work in presentday society. and Ulf Wuggenig (Lüneburg and Stuttgart: Kunstraum der Universitä't Lüneburg and Cantz Velag. As old borders are transgressed and different disciplines meet in the hopes of feftilizing each other. blocking traffic with festival-like happenings.2o We do. Mouffe's "agonistic pluralism. aft. if any. mainly through the use of the media. The longing for a different society based on sharing and cooperation. can be found in interdisciplinarity. has given large-scale cooperative activism a new public visage. their approaches are in fact very different." "movement of movements. 1996). Although post-political approaches and some attitudes of the socalled "new media critique" community might look similar at first glance. which has been forcefully expressed by the new media critique community since the mid-19g0s." or "global justice movement. but on an ongoing exchange marked by conflict.18 These movements have produced a lively discourse on. Strategies for collaboration in contemporary art seem to have a particular relationship to the last decade's political and social activities. With the exception of the bureaucratic and economically motivated Wagnerian experiment." both in the academic and the aftistic sphere.4AR¡A LIND WRITING . op cit i88 SELECTED ¡. for example. 1 997) 20 The Wagner experìment refers to the en'thusiasm that civil seryants and politicians often have for interdisciplinary projects planned top down so that they Ìmpose themselves on art and the o'ther disciplines 1 I See Free Cooperation. It may also be claimed that another contemporary way of . but also those who took on the challenges of postmodernism.coming together" and "working together. various collaborative methods such as "open space technology. World Economic Forum. alike.. and concrete practice of. and that the results of mixing disciplines therefore become far too thin. lt has been said that movements around open source and open content have thereby created new production paradigms that counteract the type of mandatory collaboration and imposed self-organization that. right-wing extremists as the only real alternative in the political arena..

4ARIA LIND WRITING 191 THECOLLABORATIVETURN . the curator and critic Nicolas 21 22 Bourriaud's 1998 book. . and philosophical phenomena. and checks these processes.23 Referring to Duchamp's 1954 lecture "The Creative Process. The same thing can be said to apply with regard to one of the recent decade's most influentialand disputed. exh cat (Kunstverein Hamburg. lt may even be claimed that the production of communication. the latter is more direcily instrumental." curated in collaboratjon with critic York: Verso. defines certain contemporary adworks as "an attempt to create relationships between people over and above institutionalized relational forms. and artists in particula¡ become important role models." and he continues by stating that present-day art strives to produce situations of exchange. the use value. even aggressively so The Los Angeles-based art historian and writer George Baker's "open letter" See Luc Bo tanski and Eve Chiape lo. represented by activism. and care. as well as other activities that create relations and social situations. the misconceptions and ignorance displayed ìn thÌs text have only been matched by its popu ar¡iy within contemporary curatorial circles A full critique of its terms however will have to await another moment. Liam Gillick." in Contextualize." in Traffic. the idealistic aspect of collaboration. NEW GENRE PUBLIC ART. Furthermore. lt is the counter-merchandise. Esthétique Relationnelle.4usée d'añ contemporain. and so bohemians in general. but build concrete spaces. An Open Letter to Nicolas BourrÌaud. art performs. social relations. ln his view. of relational spacetime. so the worker/producer must be prepared to work on shor. and cooperation are constitutive of immaterial labor.21 Here. despite its inabillty to develop and carry a theoreiical argument or model.stitutjons. AND DIALOGICAL ART Art and its working methods are certainly not necessarily the direct result of these social. political. 2005) to Nicolas BourrÌaud sounds like a vendetta: "Despite its myopia in the face of the full range of contemporary art practices oulside of France. Jorge Pardo.2002) 24 NÌcolas Bourriaud "An lnÌroduction to Relational Aesthetics. you must be able to alternate between being self-motivated and working independently. but nevedheless underlines the importance of these ar. and Maurizio Cattelan-the core group of artists whose work Bourriaud refers to. and the public? What linguistic means of expression are obtainable when trying to fÌnd adequate terms for all of these forms of relations? -90 SELECTED À. and being part of a group and working in a team.information. not least by the quoted aftists-constructions in contemporary art: the so-called "relational aesthetics. exh cal (Bordeaux: CAPC N. clashes with the crass demands to raise profitability and efficiency voiced by private businesses and the state. or the social relations that enable its production. Unlike merchandise. trans Gregory Elliott (London and New Such topics were brought up in a seminar entitled "New Relation-alilies. While the former stands for self-organization and self-empowerment. no pagination Ninalvlöntnann. lt is an art that "is not trying to represent utopias. and more recently during a delayed. but instead create new situationsmicro utopias-using human relations as their raw material. They seek to entice the observer or viewer into the aesthetic experience offered by the artwork. Anthropologically speaking. The New Spirit of Capitalism. This requires even greater flexibility-and lack of securitythan is typically associated with working a steady job. A journey into recent Western art history would take us immediately to the work of artists such as Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. Yet it does not reproduce the world that it has been taught to expect-it tries to invent new worlds." Although not discussing collaboration per se. Carsten Hölle¡ Philippe Parreno.whichtookplaceatlaspisinStockholmonFebruary25 2006." Bourriaud acknowledges that interactivity is scarcely a novel idea. taking human relations as its material. are crucial to the paradigm of post-Fordist work. Art participates in both the production and reproduction of these phenomena. economic.Theseminardealtwithart focusing on social relations and employed a critical and theoretical approach to decoding and understanding ihe types of relations wÌth viewers produced by works of art What are the relations created between art. France. depicts." almost as a foundation for collaboration. and Holland. KONTEXTKUNST. CONNECTIVE AESTHETICS. anolher more specific 'open letter"' Quoted from "Relations and Counter-Relations. they are pad of the culture in which these processes operate. Bourriaud claims that these artists do not wish to reproduce or depict the world as we know it. Relational aesthetics was widely debated in the mid-1990s in Scandinavia.2a 23 Nlcolas Bourriaud's essayistìc and yet relevant discussion on relationa aes'thetics has been widely disputed. Many of these aspects may indeed be recognized in some of the leading examples and understandings of collaborative aft practices over the last fifteen years.tists' production of inter-personal experiences aimed against the ideology of mass communication.t-term contracts. it does not conceal the work process. Rirkrit Tiravanija. 1 996). creativity and flexibility are essential for maximizing profit under these conditions.22 RELATIONAL AESTHETICS. Those who work should also be innovative and think in unconventional ways. yet significant reception in Great Britain and the United States. Howeve¡ in contrast to the ideal of the romantic artist. Angela Bulloch. this heterogeneous group of artists proposes social methods of exchange and alternate communication processes in order to gather individuals and groups together in ways other than those offered by the ideology of mass communication.

Many of the artists whose work he deals with have also worked with each other. However. and increasingly functionalist approaches (such as arVarchitecture collaborative groups). alone. as were their predecessors from the 1g80s and 90s." interactive activities. Although their art has rarely.26 ln contrast.Despite the fact that the notion of relational aesthetics was originally coined to discuss works by specific artists. Whereas he believes that the works in question are problematic.. The aft based on relations that retain their tensions and difficulties is better than the art that is assumed to seek agreement and harmony. This also reminds one of the importance of experiencing the project one discusses.'.Octobec no 110 (fall 2OO4):51_79 192 SELECTED MARIA LIND WRITING 193 THE COLLABORATIVETUFN . the commonality between Bourriaud. this position is an inversion of Wright's criticism. Undoubtedly. it is clear that potentially political content is often present. it must not on any condition be judged if the relations produced by the work can be considered exploitative or disrespectful. which she ascribes to the work of Tiravanija and Gillick. which often depart from the model Bourriaud formulated. London-based critic Claire Bishop's criticism of relational aesthetics in October magazine stemmed from a more formalist art historical position. howeve[ comes in considering how this art should be judged. it has become a catchphrase used carelessly to describe any artwork with an interactive and/or socially related dimension. and Tiravanija. and society's class-based power relations are reproduced. contending that they glossed over the tensions and conflicts that exist in all relations between people by orchestrating a kind of conviviality. Here. and participation -what is the quality of the exchange being stimulated? For the Canadian art historian Stephen Wright. and Bishop is striking: they are all equally-perilously-impressionistic in their descriptions of aftwork and equally sweeping in how they mingle their understanding of aftworks and artists' practices as a whole.'collaboration'. Her greatest stumbling block. And actually. ::aïi26 Wright." like Christine and lrene Hohenbüchler. for being exploitative.2s Everything connected to relational aesthetics is therefore dismissed as capricious and exploitative. for her. or of at least being able to rely on detailed and trustworthy eyewitness accounts. making the concept of relational aesthetics even more open-ended than . padicipant. She focused on a few works by Gillick and Tiravanija. referred to these third-way abstractions. "Antagonism and Retational Aesthetics. "The Delìcale Essence of Artistic Coilaborarion.. Jens Haaning. even bad. interaction." The participants' efforts. relational tendencies. they subscribe to what is basically a quasi-democracy and buy into compromise and consensus. foisting services on people who never asked for them and drawing them into "frivolous interaction. "working with others" is favored by "sozio-chics. ln this context. it is also crucial to distinguish between an interpretation of a work of art and the work itself. According to Kravagna. ¡n Third Text. but collaboration remains one facet among many. and parlicipatory practice. no 1g (November 2004): Claire Bishop. discursive and pedagogical models. but in ambiguous and opaque. A significant amount of the criticism that has been leveled against Bourriaud concerns to what degree the concept of relational aesthetics implies "good" collaboration. sometimes even direct collaboration between the artist and individuals or groups. "positive. are not reimbursed. a matter often overlooked by all three. ln recent years. closer examination reveals that the aftists to whom Bourriaud refers have engaged in more or less every type of interaction and exchange imaginable. neo-activist strategies. Bishop cites Santiago Sierra and Thomas Hirschhorn. have included interventionist and offsite projects. much of the radically heterogeneous art that Bourriaud refers to involves interaction and participation. Wright. the art associated with relational aesthetics is intellectually and aesthetically meager. This sort of interventionist. who devote themselves to building social and communicative relations t¡¡ith the public. albeit precise. and context-challenging the putative image of the art world as a self-righteous place where social and political issues from other segments of society are embraced. the problem for Bishop lies in their containing too little conflict. however small. the art historian and critic Christian Kravagna's distinction-with an interest in human interaction-between four different methods seen in contemporary ad may be useful: "working with others. However. if ever. collective action. claiming that when they collaborate with people from different economic backgrounds. ln her understanding. ln this context.. Here the artists cynically instrumentalize the public. they retain the inherent tensions and conflicts between observer. cooperative work has proven to be even more difficult to describe-let alone analyze-than other types of art. Many of these are on the margins outside of the mainstream art world. for those with a deeper knowledge of these bodies of work.

their accomplishments and disappointments. lt is about creative participation in a process. 30 Suzi Gablik. where a common public library was created in a residential neighborhood. Gablik is an active critic. Gablik states that connective aesthetics "makes art into a model for connectedness and healing by opening up being to its full dimensionality-not just the disembodied eye. and Clegg & Guttmann's Open Library in Graz and Hamburg. are described in detail and cited as two examples of participatory practice. Activities are primarily pursued far from the established art institutions. peter Weibel's so-called "Kontextkunst" has remained unexplored. in which the artist shook hands with 8. while Kravagna does not present concrete examples. that a group of people formulate an idea that they can then carry out together. saying "thank you for keeping NYC alive" to each and every one of them. and teacher. which features 430 older women discussing their hopes and fears of aging. intentional image and object-based art-as relational aesthetics does-must be seen in the light of the spectacularization. and many feel somewhat suspicious of the didactic. Group Material. noninteractive. connective aesthetics locates creativity in a kind of dialogical structure that is frequently the result of collaboration between a number of individuals rather than an autonomous author." Suzanne Lacy's *new genre public art. rather. and social responsibility can be discussed in terms of arI. theorist. " also in its embrace of traditional values such as compassion and care.3o Connective aesthetics is fudhermore listener-centered rather than vision-oriented. often relating to marginalized groups.parlicipatory practice" presumes a distinction between producer and receive¡ but the focus is placed on the latte¡ on whom a significant part of the work's development relies. ln a 1995 anthology entifled Mapping the Terrain. 1 in 19-128 term to d¡scuss a number of very different projects PÌper to Las ¡.ecj FrancescaGrassiandFirkritT¡ravanija (Zürich: JRP Ringier. ln this way.s Funk Lessons. and Fred Wilson. and aimed at anothe¡ less anonymous public than that of art institutions. Among the more overlooked conceptualizations of collaborative practices from recent decades are Suzy Gablik. New genre public art emerged at the same time as relational aesthetics. f ggs). from 1987. 2007). The examples in her book function as case studies. Judy Chicago. and nonpadicipatory orientation.s . ethics. coined the term .4ujeres Muraljstas Prais I Die Kunst des öffenilichen. and it is characlerized by cooperation. and the artists include Vito Acconci."2e lt is a working model based on relations between people and on social creativity rather than selfexpression. salutary intentions. seeing and responding to needs. interactive. eds [. Mother's Day in Minneapolis. rang¡ng from Adrian 194 SELECTED ¡. RlrkritTiravanijâ:ARetrospectiveflomorrowisAnotherFineDay). Connective aesthetics is the antithesis of modernism and its "nonrelational. and Grant Kester's "dialogical art..4ARIA LIND WRITING 195- THE COLLABORATIVETURN . The idea behind collective action is.. Lacy. Formerly an artist. 80 the US from the 1 97Os to the 1 990s.. Ny'apping rhe Terrain: New Genre pubric Art (seatfle: Bay press." Her examples include Jonathan Borofsky and Gary Glassman's 1986 video documentary. Suzanne Lacy's The Crystal Quilt. rathe¡ the work itself produced a community that had not previously existed. Just as ad that seeks to go beyond the contemplative.. social contexts such as residential neighborhoods or schools.27 The interactivity of the work permits one or more reactions that can influence its appearance without deeply affecting its genre public art" to discuss ar1 that seeks to engage more directly with audiences.ways." Outside the German-speaking context. j 999) 29 suzanne Lacy. in other 27 See Maria LÌnd. and is therefore claimed to be pad of "a new consciousness of how the self is being defined and experienced. Adrian piper. Joseph Beuys. they have surely opened up new ways of thinking about the role and nature of ad with regard to its audiences. in which the artist arranged and made videos of putatively ethnic dance lessons. ¡. Yet.." . Mierle Laderman Ukeles. Prisoners. "The Process of Living in the World of Objects: Notes on the Work of Rirkrit Tiravanija.4ooelle partizipatorischer Connective aesthetics and new genre public art have been largely disregarded. with collaboration at the core." Psychotherapy and ecological discussions are sources of inspiration. a founding member of the Feminist Studio Workshop (FSW) at the Woman's Building in Los Angeles. it is socially engaged. one can imagine "push-button art" to be included in interactive aft and that Guerilla Girls' actions could exemplify "collective action.500 sanitation workers over a period of eleven months. 43 Lacy uses the ¡n 28 See Chrrstian Kravagna. as did the kindred connective aesthetics developed by Gablik. and notions such as "healing" crop up often in her writing.2E Funk Lessons was not the point of departure for an already existing community.connective aesthetics. "Connective Aesthetics: Art After lndividualism.. a kind of reverse exclusivity emerges: those who are attracted to the project have more access to this art than the usual aft public." ibid . lt is community_ based. According to her. and Mierle Laderman Ukele's 1978 Touch Sanitation.4ar¡us Babras and Achim Könneke (Amsterdam and Dresden: Verlag der Kunst.. Lacy defines it in this way: "New genre public ar1 calls for an integrative critical language through which values. not to mention the slightly "new agey" character claimed by the authors.

. this goes hand in hand with political impotence and the general sense of being unable to really affect political processes. which is to say that they seek '. resulting in a boarding house. although they use very different methods to reach their public. no 1 I (November 1 995): 83-95 dialogue and empathetic insight are at the core of the works he refers to.. This art primarily exists outside the international network of galleries and museums. see Nina l\y'öntmann.000 local residents were invited. Howeve¡ Kravagna contends that the latter two suffer from political deficits. focusing again on the intersection of art and cultural activism. is that of Kontextkunst (context art)." remains a tricky issue that all of these concepts maneuver around. that "the social. and Suzanne Lacy's 1994 The Roof is On Fire. creative 31 seePeterweibel. acknowledging what happens today as having an effect on the future. Thomas Locher. assembled by the artist and curator peter Weibel as parl of the '1 993 Graz steirischer Herbst. dialogical art is based on a critical sense of time that considers its own cumulative effects.commodification. Dialogical ad as discussed by art historian Grant Kester in the 2004 book Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art is a more recent treatment of work mainly from the i g90s. A third concept of relevance here. Like Kravagna and Lacy. however. Kester also discusses the work of Stephen Willats and Adrian Piper. often through various forms of collaboration.with the destructive eff ects of capital ist commod if icati on. Among his examples are Wochenklausur's 1994 project in Zürich. Kunst als sozialer Baum (Cologne: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Konig. This thorough study traces art's function as communication. where certain questions can be asked and where critical analyses can be articulated. so should new genre public art and connective aesthetics also be considered as attempting a similar break. or somewhat newly developed and updated ways of working under a notion of "collectivity" have appeared. - RECENT MODELS OF COLLABORATION What do the more recent collaborations look like-those that were formed or became visible after the mid-1990s? Undoubtedly. but newly. and include Mark Dion. in advertisi n g . Aesthetically. in Texte zur Kunst. as have the adworks they refer to. Howeveç in contrast to the former. Clegg & Guttmann.32 Kontextkunst also takes a view to participation. with voluntary work and other social interests replacing political influence. Of course. the approaches of contextual artists are interdisciplinary. Renée Green.Kontextkunst-KunstdergoerJahre(corogne:DuMontverrag. and their art tends to be site-specific.1994) r\4anyofthe relevant discussions about the work of these artists had. and include such areas as architecture. Andrea Fraser. And a good amount of Bishop's criticisms of Tiravanija and Gillick can be found in formulations of new genre public art and connective aesthetics. been publÌshed in the journal Texte zur Kunst. previous to the exhibition and the cata¡ogue. Furthermore. based on collaborating with diverse audiences and communities.the good. and sales boom of the 19g0s. Kontextkunst reached a wider public in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name. with groups of people sharing as wel I as questioning together. Gen¡vald Rockenschaub." or "sociality. there 32 For a discussion on art as socìal space. lt seems. new genre public art. which they then compensate for with pastoral means. 2002) 196 SELECTED MARIA LIND WRITING 197 THE COLLABOFATIVETURN . music. these methods of working continue to exist. with straightforward delivery of information as a prominent strategy. Relational aesthetics.3r The artists involved are thought to investigate and question contexts. contextual artists are more historically oriented and their methods are more academic.authorship. But beyond this.t he himself addresses. some of Bourriaud's descriptions of relational aesthetics are better suited to the art that Lacy and Gablik examine than the ar. and are connected along an axis from New york to Cologne. which involved floating dialogues with various women. but in positive terms. Their critical investigations into how culture is actually produced often reminds one of the institutional analytical strategies of the 1960s. and christian Philipp Müller.' ln his view. where the artist worked with 22O teenagers in Oakland to question racial stereotypes in a media event to which more than 1. Shelter for Aid Drug-Addicted Women. Most of these interpretations of collaboration-based artistic practices have been around for a few years. Kester understands dialogical art as an "open space" within contemporary culture. Like the artists associated with relational aesthetics. and a number of those ìnvolved felt that we¡bel and some of the other curators had hijacked their project See Stefan Germer "Unter Geiern.Kontext-Kunst im Kontext. connective aesthetics. but rather than using the social as its backbone.. they tend to keep a low profile. and makes the crucial point that they all associate semantic accessibility-for example. and dialogical ar1 focus on the relation between the work and the public and on forms of participation. it privileges the political. from Clive Bell and Roger Fry to Clement Greenberg and Jean-François Lyotard. which came about around the same time. as are models for successful communication. curators and collectors. and mass media.

and Thomas Hirschhorn. have approached groups of people who already have something in common. and sociorogists-who together nourish a desire to change society with their work. and Ross Sinclair had a situation similar to this in 34 See www Ìkk nu 198 SELECIED I\IARIA LIND WRITING . deriberation. architects. However. who individually involve groups of people in their projects. Reena Spaulings is both the name of a gallery in New York run by a collective of aftists. club. anO taig-er groups who have worked together for a long time. Ergarand-vargarand lLeit rtggren and carl Michael von Hausswolff). Jeremy Delle¡ Apolonija Suðterðic. produces a new identity that does not always go tidily with their primary identification. consisting of three young female artists and sociologists. Eriksson. stilr others. Temporary services is a coilective based in Chicago and focuses on temporary and ephemeral projects in public space. and Hirschhorn. one should not overlook loose groups of aftists who. Deller. Fictionarizing is a wet-tested method for questioning authorship. but they generally lack the "healing" impetus of new genre public art. Simon Starling. A backdrop tó most of this is the awareness that coilaboration entairs contact. and that this produces subjectivity takes the form of a lobbying organization for business enterprises speciarizing in undocumented cross-border human traffic. Christine Borland. Claire Barclay. through UKK (Unge Kunstnere og Kunstformidle fyoung ad workersl)33 and rKK (rnstitutet 5r konstnärer och konstförmedrare [lnstitute for a¡lists and art workers]). and the artists then propose a new type of activity. Some have systematically collaborated with others. however. Annika Eriksson. such as Radekbommun¡ty in Moscow. whose main character bears the same name. Santiago Sierra. and Women Down the pub in Copenhagen. confrontation. OOa eroiesi. the individual members of the groupings pursue their own careers. and negotiation to a degree surpassing that of individual work.3a Denmark and Sweden Daniela Johnson. Marysia Lewandowska and Nell cummings. or to bureaucratic organs. criticarArt Ensembre in the US.. and dialogical art. atude to the business world and branding methods. such as Bernadette corporation. live and work side by side and share attitudes and approaches. Douglas Gordon. these artists work with groups in very different ways. others have chosen to organize themselves around the model of a music group. which for park Fiction was to prevent a vacant rot in a deprived area of Hamburg from being developed.N in Ljubrjana. and Suöterðið. Neither are they normally credited as collaborators. IRW. While discussing contemporary collaborative practices.are many forms of artistic coilaboration: stabre murtipre authorship duos. rn this coniext." for involving varied groups of people. Deller. All. As collaborations. There are single-issue groups such as park Fiction that dissorve after achieving a specific goar. these artists appealto latent qualities and conflicts. for a time. which are tested and then acted out. whose name stands for a group of curators and artists. as Generar rdãa and Freie Krasse do. are based on collaboration between specific founders. They can even leave without a guilty conscience. these projects can perhaps be regarded as "weak. which. it is important to emphasize the differences in the types of relations established between the artist and those involved: Are the latter given a role or task by the former or do they develop it together? ls the "commission" carried out with or without remuneration? ls it a win-win situation or can one person be said to exploit another? The question becomes one of whether you even speak at all about collaboration when the responsibility lies very clearly with one pafty. a method they share with individual artists such as Johanna Billing. while others immerse themselves completely in group work. The projects are parlicipatory. Clegg & Guttmann. some of their activitlãs resembre the art activism of Raqs Media cotectir. Jacqueline Donachie. such as Bik Van der pol. ln many cases. Group Materiar in New york. Eriksson. The ratter two consist of people coming from various professional backgrounds_artists. to an extent." or not "fullfledged.e and Murtipricity. for example. ano one of the more recent additions to the art scene is the curator 33 See www ukk dk seen an increase in poriticized pubric discussions on curturar production. connective aesthetics. as it does in many projects by Billing. ln these cases. The people involved are not responsible for improving or following up on the project. and this has created new speciar interest organizations for arlists and art mediators. Nathan Coley. They worked together there with the rocar inhabitants investigating and redefining the use of various types of space. and the title of a collectively written novel. Schleuser. such as Gala Committee. Since 2000. ln their projects. *u" oà""0 in the rstanbur quarter of Garata for a number of years. the currentry inactive societät Hirdesheim can seem aroof because of their devotion to intensively fictionalizing themselves as an archaic upper_class have Billing.

"How AnnLee Changed lts Spots.4ünchen. cropping up in different formations for different occasions. and .. as there are innumerable variations on the theme.Glasgow in the 1990s. The people involved want to stimulate the greatest possible distinctiveness." and Ross Sinclair." in Colloquium on CollaboratÌve Practice." in No Ghost Just a Shell. rather than any kind of official joint ownership-a temporary collective of originators/creators. or to use various types of action to wield political influence. shared interests and values. who took over Tensta Konsthall in Stockholm in the spring of 2004. and at the Kunsthalle Zürich. who are awarded the same status as the author. and lCA. eds .DAE. Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. solitary. DAE in San Sebastian. like the group Tucuman Arde in Rosario and the Art Workers' Coalition in New York at the end of the 1960s. op cit. it may also be claimed that the project has even contributed to changes in the prevailing exhibition paradigm.andB+B 38 Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt. as with Monte Verita and in Worpswede during the turn of the last century. as was the case with Konst2 (Art2). collaboration. in which they focused on postwar Polish film clubs organized in factories. Colloqu¡um on Collaborative Practice: Dispositive Workshop Part 4 (Munich.3T Some groups have become incorporated within institutional contexts-albeit temporarily-as some of the groups mentioned above have been (in Museum Ludwig. B+B in London. Ordinarily. the collaborators have joined together in order to react to a specific local situation. Sylvie Fleury John Armleder. op cit 2OO SELECTED MARIA LIND WRITING . . 35 36 See Katrrna Brown.a0 lt recalls the impodant distinction between one single. and Liam Gillick successively for a month at a tìme in the same room. but also in the realization of the work. between those with a fixed number of members and a common name. "Curatorial and lnstitutional Structures. it has been shown at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. ln the forme¡ the author remains alone and others contribute towards realizing an idea that is already more or less formulated. Here lies the distinction between more improvised and thoroughly structured work. collaborative project and ongoing col laborations between authors and/ or others." ibid Ph¡lippe Parreno. Manifesta 5. arlistic. and they tend to be self-organized. Also published in Collected Newsletters (FrankTurt:RevolverArchivefüraktuelleKunst. Katharìna Schlieben. but this should suffice to show their prevalence and indicate their heterogeneity.'single. the motivation to engage in collaborative practices cerlainly varies: people have joined together to find new ways of living closer to nature. and those without any general plan who gather like a flock of birds.4unich... As a single complete project.. emphasizing artists' working conditions. Early on.3e According to Hans Ulrich Obrist. as well as with conceptual art. collaboration is synonymous with Kravagna's "collective action.. The idea is developed together with others.36 These loose groupings or networks are obviously close to the classic "circle of friends. Historically. and curatorial activities. Another clear division in terms of the varied forms of collaborative work is that which exists between formal and informal groupings of authors. such as KMKK in Budapest.38 The various constituent parls of No Ghost Just a Shell have been shown in a number of different institutional contexts-the project itself could hardly be considered without institutional interference.. the lnstitute of Visual Culture in Cambridge. It is warranted here to distinguish between . while others have even taken over entire institutions.4KK. these collaborations lie on the border between activist. 40 Hans Ulrich Obrist. "The Circle and Geneva. in Neil Cummings. for instance.. such as their collective sensibilities and attitudes.s and Marysia Lewandowska's The Enthusiasts. respectively). Sydney Stucki. and WHW inZagreb.double.weshowedthef¡rstfourvideosequencesby Dispositive Workshop Part 4.Double.35 During the same period GianniMotti. and others did the same in Geneva. collaboration takes place both in the formulation of the idea on the parl of the author.' collaboration would then refer to the cases in which the work takes "collaboration. but out of something shared." in Circles: lndividuelle Sozlalisation und Netzwerkarbeit in der Zeitgenössischen Kunst. Kunstverein N. op cit See Lionel Bovier." but their role as breeding grounds for temporary collaborations should be acknowledged. Historical forerunners of this include the artists associated with Fluxus and their many and varied collaborations. "What's in a Decade. 2004). as its subject and theme. and who also all participate in the execution of the project. The basic models of contemporary collaborative forms in ad can be easily extended. The former composes a kind of collective authorship and a search for even the smallest common denominato¡ whereas the latter is about shared points of departure. "Trust. and Judith Schwartzbart..Triple. Many of today's collaborations in art contexts operate horizontally and consist of actors from different fields. as a part of the exhibitÌon "Exchange & Transform (Arbeitstitel)" in sprìng and summer 2002 See page 349 in this book. The double collaborations seem to be the most typical form of present-day collaboration. Pìerre Huyghe.. ln the latter. very often. 39 DuringmytimeasDìrectoroftheKunstvereinN. This is the model used for No Ghost Just a shell.200S) in the same publication SeealsotextsbyK¡.. a crucial difference emerged between wanting 37 lMaria Lind.

" We have seen an increase not only in self-definition and a withdrawal from the commercial market. ln an increasingly instrumentalized arl world. with its orientation towards a rational division of labor and maximizing profit. a working method. is rinked to economic contexts. wanting to-be a stronger force in society is a kindred motivation.precarious workers. lf the art of the 990s was previously distinct marked by a desire to dissolve borders and mingle fields.a3 Collaboration has become a conscious process among artists. lt is easier to strategically separate oneself as part of a group than on one's own. are connected to a desire to withdraw from the exploitation of the art market. as an intrinsic critique of individuarism and profit seeking.Notes on Artist and Curator Groups. selforganized initiatives are more investigative. 41 Judith schwartzbart. Then there is the prosaic fact that aftists often want to create their own working conditions. discernable in the strong interest in activism we now find in contemporary art.. 42 Stefan Römer.a2 And it is important to point out that aftists and curators today often work under similar economic conditions. 43. culture necessarily becomes an arena for ideological debate. that is. self_ determination and a desire to be a more powerfur force in-society have also been mentioned as important motivations. Since the middle of the 1990s.. A common explanation for this has been that generosity and sharing provide an alternative to contemporary individuarism and the traditiònd rore of the romantic artist as a solitary genius.. to turn away from the production of objects and from marketing. or long taken for granted. And there iÁ always the fun of working with others and the practicar advantages of dividing tasks according to speciarties and preferences. This urge to create space for maneuver-a "collective autonomy. but a significant number are clearly more at home as self-organized parallel initiatives. we have reached a point where culture and art are not only used as instruments in the political arena. lt is simply easier to develop your own self-determined ways '1 of working when you are self-organized. the field of art has expanded and developed affinities with a number of methods inspired by activism.Alex Farquhaßon." to "The soc¡ar as a medium. beyond aftist_couples." This should come as no surprise. teamwork.'. with the former at one point living and working together and the ratter being content with collaborative work. and therefore tend to adhere to the principles of entertainment. mean¡ng and mot¡vation. collective activities. when political principles are completely steered by a capitalist economy. and aft in particula¡ then function as venues where the political is allowed to be enacted. Collaborative practitioners can indeed be found everywhere within this. but also constitute a potent force. .. cit. and be shaped by them at the same time. op. as it has increasingly been developed as a way of creating room for its practitioners to maneuver around instrumentalizing effects of both the art market and publicly financed art alike. A kind of "neo-idealism" flourishes in the ads alongside political "neo-radicalism. and art begins to seek out latent forms of political expression-such as notions of citizenship-that have either been eroded. ¡n cor¡oqu¡um on coilaborative Practice: Dispos¡tive Workshop part 4. preferring to question given preconditions. ibid. if sometimes covertly. but also in the distinction between larger mainstream public institutions and self-organized parallel initiatives' Whereas the larger mainstream institutions strive to be public-friendly.t worrd.. armost in proportion to the number of different modes of working. A proliferation of new social movements seems to suggest that collaboration per se is positive. the need for infrastructure has brought about coilaboration around technicar equipment and venues.¡bid. their workini conditions are unstable and uncertain. The motivation behind today's coilaborations varies live and work together commune_style and wishing only to work together. formarized groups of artists can often be associated with self-promotion and a desire to achieve success in the ar. as is a désire to create intellectuaily and emotionaily stimurating working conditions. A situation then emerges in which the political discussion in the public spaces of parliamentary democracies turns increasingly to ethics and morality. It is here that the collaborative turn in contemporary ad becomes most apparent. utterly transformed.. While this division has always existed. as well as within public and commercial institutions. 202 SELECTED MARIA LIND WRITING 203 THECOLLABOBATIVETURN . the distinction between living and working together and only working together is clearly exemprified by how the copenhagen-based gioup" N55 and superflex have structured their forms of coilaboration. both can be classed as . ln contemporary art. "Are the vorcanoes st¡il Active? About Art¡st serf-organ¡zat¡on at Art schoors. similarly. Today. on the other hand. in recent years it has seen more pronounced distinctions. both commercially and publicly..or rn ceñain cases. As Beatrice von Bismarck has pointed out. the new millennium has revealed a form of "neo-separatism. Culture in general.

producing "better" results? The curatorial collective wHW claims that the purpose of colraboration ries in producing something that wourd othen¡¡ise not take prace. Something as apparently insignificant as a gift is not just an expression of unserfish generosity. and other surrounding forces. and solidarity are baked into the concept of collaboration. rn. positive values such as loyalty. It has been claimed that the anthroporogy of coilaboration must be considered together with Marcer Mauss's cail for gift the precision of the . a person not to be trusted. "Evorution and co-optat¡on: The 'Artist crit¡que' of i/anagement and cap¡tarism. 2OOS). such as in sweden. someone seruing the enemy.' method.a. . rt is therefore wofth noting that communication and collaboration can be efficient smokescreens for their abirity to produce generosity and soridarity. it has to make possibre that which wourd othenvise be impossible. altruism.46 ln a curture of mandatory coffee breaks and consensus. How & for whom.borrow a term from Brian Hormes-through strategic separatism.. which outwardry embraces coilaboration as part of its mandate to promote communication and dialogue. but arso a way of exercising power through the reciprocal logic of the poflatch. ibid.ny oi the thoughts mentioned above probabry seem very famiriar. A coilaborator can be a traitor. context. no. ls collaboration per se. The same may be said of cooperative methods. flexibility. for treachery and ethicar instabirity.1g (November and now." has also made it essentiâl[ toothless." Third rext... "The Delicate Esence of Artist¡c Collaborat¡on. the consideration of time..better. SELECTED MARIA LIND WRITING . 44. then. is both a means of protection and an act of protest. a "good" method? Eve Chiapello claims that the co_ option of "aftist critique" by neoliberal neo-management theory while proving that it has been "successful. "New oufl¡nes of the po$¡bre. "Artistic Autonomy and the communicat¡on society. Kunsthaile 204.. . See Steven Wright. but collaboration can also stand for the opposite." ¡n coilect¡ve cræt¡v¡ty (Kæser: Frideric¡anum.' ib¡d 47 What. 46' Eve ch¡apello.4T. But what of the resurts? Does it make any difference whether diverse forms of aftistic collaboration lie behind an artwork or any other kind of cultural production? ls collaboration an inherently . The crux of understanding when coilaborations work (and when t-hey don't) thus lies in specificity.. See 2OO4) Bria