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TH E COLLABORATIVE TU RN

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.

I77.

THECOLLABOBATIVETUBN

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

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

parlicipation. particularly since the advent of conceptualism in the late 1960s. COLLABORATION NOW AND THEN No Ghost Just a Shell is only one of many art projects in which collaboration is central. However. or other kinds of intentional exchange through processes of "working together. Notions of artist groupings. exh cat 6 (Vienna: Kusthalle Wen. 2005) 8 Brìan Holmes.2 This particular collaboration is now over. "copyright.. Liam Gillick. On the contrary its genealogy is 2 ltisalittleunclearexactlywhatthetwoin¡tiatorsconsidertobecontribut¡onstothep@jectasawhole ln addition to video sequences by Huyghe. artists. as well as between artists and people from other fields altogether." ¡n Collective Creat¡v¡ty. 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. rt consciouiry situates itserf aithe intersection of the sensibirities of post-'1 96g sociar movements and hardcore post-Fordist mechanisms. ¡. networks. contexts. Its structure ends up like Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. pierre Joseph.6 According to the curator Angelika Nollert. its degree of complexity and contradiction. the Nazarenes in Rome were the first group of artists known to work closely together. as well as a marked interest in alternative ways of producing knowledge. lt extends from Rubens and other baroque artists' hierarchical large-scale studios (which were lucrative businesses) to surrealist group experiments. paintings by Joe scanran. praying out the probrematics and contestations of each... "onit"il"tion. "Art ls Life. group activity. as Brian Holmes does. and Richard phi¡rj. immunology researcher Jean-c¡aude Ameisen. See Ny'arion Piffer Damiani.s. redefinitions of ar1 tended to go hand in hand with collaborative practices. is about collaboration-cases in which some form of conscious partnership takes place through interaction. Parreno.4erik ohanian. 2001) 7. biologist and philosopher lsrael Rosenfield' art historian N'4olly Nesbit' art critìc Jan veruoert. "Get Together: Kunst als Teamwork" in Get Together: Kunst als Teamwork. coalitions. circres.1g4_g2 182 SELECTÊD MARIA LIND WRITING long and complex. curator Hans ulrich obrist. in suggesting that even the lone artist in his or her studio is dependent upon contributions from others. however. The forrner suggests collaboration to have been consistently present in the aft of the last twenty years.than what was created prior to the transference of rights.. and it certainry shares some of the characteristics of Michaer Hardt and Antonio Negri. 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.s lt has also been argued that collaboration was crucial in modernism's transition to postmodernism. 1999) Charles Green. having only entered the mainstream fairly recently. exh. the project includes the posters of paris-based designers M/M (which arso function as wa. "Artist¡c Autonomy and the Communicat¡on Society. The latter shows a pronounced affinity with activism and other ways of gathering together around shared concerns. as well as recent developments in the structures and motivations behind collaboration. associations. cooperation and coilaboration in the context of art is by no means new. from constructivist theater projects to Fluxus games and Andy Warhol's pseudo-industrial Factory. no 1 8 (November 2004): 555 .s This is especially true for many mde artists who have managed to rely on more or less invisible suppod from surrounding women. it is useful to underline the obvious.4aurizio Lùatato. Henri Barande. for questioning tn" production anå reproduction of identity. philosopher ¡.. The project inscribes itserf in the rogic of the art market. partnerships.s understanding of the . and many other collaborative methods and projects are frourishing in contemp orary arrtoday. music by Anna Lena vaney.4ehdi Berhaj Kacem.s rhizomes." lt will look at some attempted formulations of collaborative practices in contemporary arT from around the mid-1 990s. Ghosts and commodity Fetishism.a Moreover. [. objects by Angela Builoch and Imke wagner. F¡rkrit riravanija. Angel¡ka Nol¡ert. This text.7 At the same time." Third Text. and includes a number of different approaches to organizing artistic work and aesthetics. These collaborations can occur between people who are often. op cir .paper designec especiary for the videos). and teams are all buzzing in the air. a maguine by Anna Fleury with texts by the fiction writer Kathryn Davis. but not always.3 The project combines more idearistic notions of sharing with neoriberar rogics of networking and outsourcing.. No Ghost Just a sheil is probabry one of the most notabre collaborative adworks to have emerged over the last decade. in No Ghost Just a shelt. between around 1810-1830. 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. cat (Kassel: Kunsthalle Fridericianum. and Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. 5. art historian Paurice pianzota. During the following decade. and Life ls Art. alliances.common. No Ghost Just a shell's "promiscuous" creation story-its form and content. No Ghost Just a shet is specific for having invorved concrete popurar culture and commercialism. The Third Hand: Collaboration in Art from Conceptualism to Postmodernism (Ì\4inneapolìs: Univers¡ty of Minnesota Press. 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. videos by François curret.

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

dreams of collectivism have undoubtedly been a driving force. Hardt and Negri's concept of the "multitude" has been perhaps the best formulation of how group dynamics have emerged on a macro level." a multitude remains plural and multiple. (London and [.techno_ anarchist hacktivism to hippie-capitalist. 2000) . lt is compared with the individual as a pad of "the people. and communism. a multitude is not fragmented and disconnected. as well as the form they have taken in anti-imperialist movements throughout Asia and Africa. together with communication. lnterestingly enough. The latter takes the form of a sort of minimally regulated DIY form of e-collectivism. ln this. can avoid the risk of "consensus of the centre.change in the notion of community-that it has become less socially responsible. but according to Gregory Sholette and aft historian Blake Stimson. rather. Like the multitude. Nationalism is one such reduction. ln addition. pseudo-countercultural imperialism. lslam. absolute."¡nThirdText. relational." ln contrast to "the people. it is the intrinsic conflict in liberal democracy that should be cultivated instead. and. and sexual preference-but Hardt and Negri choose to underline class. as such. with feelings of belonging or affiliation and methods of repression having been orchestrated in local languages through the daily press. they distinguish between "common" on the one hand. The political philosopher Chantal Mouffe suggests that. but consists of active social subjects who can act together. and the other struggling to substitute the programmer for the ideologue. the multitude is a concept that can encompass all important group parameters-class.la Since the advent of modernism..2004) 17 Chanlal Ì!4ouffe.. lndeed. the "multitude" replaces concepts such as "the people" and the less ethnic "population. and major corporations. bonding. be defined as a non_ absolute-that is. community is not the basis for the formation of society or the origin of nations. "common" can include singularities. their roots in radical political thought and its reverence for solidarity come to the fore." Unlike the masses or the mob. Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (New York: The Penguin Press..s term. The Democratic Paradox (London and New York: Verso. gende¡ ethnicity..4inneapolis: UniversÌty of Minnesota press.in the wake of society. nationalism. 1 983 and I 991) lia_11!"4. counteract the forces of "empire."r""ndcregoryShotette. community should." which 16 Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. who disappeared with the communitarian ideals of Christianity." to borrow Benedict Anderson. 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." Community cannot be created: it is not a product of religious harmony or utilitarian trumpeting. but should be understood as a resistance to immanent power."ls This particular approach argues for the need to historicize collectivism-and includes the autonomous zones formed in Seattle and Genoa. caring. rather than consensus. in their understanding. but it is nevertheless there to." the network power that forms a new sovereignty based on the interactions between dominant nation-states. collaboration has become a central method in the new paradigm of immaterial production over the last decades.'. 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. This elaboration of the enlightenment ideal of emancipation has a curious vitalist touch to it.l6 Perhaps the problem is. it may also be seen as an expression of "imagined communities.l3 For instance. He also points out that community can be reduced neither to "society. tracing the processes leading up to American and European imperialisms. according to Nancy. ln this context. and "community" and "public" on the other. two major new forms of collectivism are at play in the world today: one based on an lslamist yearning for an anti-capitalist. supranational institutions.lT More difference and disagreement.no 186 SELECTED MARIA LIND WFITING 18(november2oo4): re-imagine and reshape collective action and take charge of social being in the present. for example. it is worth elevating their observation that." when the indlvidual must deny his or her difference in order to form "a people. like existence itself. which can.periodisingCoilectivism. For Hardt and Negri. the "common" is based on communication between singularities: it comes from the collaborative social processes that underlie all production. but in ways other than might be expected. Anderson's book lmagined communities takes an empirical approach. lead to fascism. rathe¡ it is what we find . 1991) 14 Benedict Anderson' lmagined Commun¡ties: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Natjonal¡sm (London and New York: Verso. lt is a set of singularities in which each social subject maintains its difference. in other words. idealized form of collectivity. ln contrast to Nancy's philosophical and somewhat idealistic theory. and dissolved to a certain degree-Jean-Luc Nancy claims in The lnoperative Community that the community is extremely vital. attracting ." nor to diverse mystical associations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.ny oi the thoughts mentioned above probabry seem very famiriar. a person not to be trusted. altruism. is both a means of protection and an act of protest. How & for whom. 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. 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 . 2OOS). It has been claimed that the anthroporogy of coilaboration must be considered together with Marcer Mauss's cail for gift rerations. ibid. no. . "Artistic Autonomy and the communicat¡on society. for treachery and ethicar instabirity. the consideration of time. flexibility.1g (November 45.as. rt is therefore wofth noting that communication and collaboration can be efficient smokescreens for their abirity to produce generosity and soridarity.4T. See Steven Wright. someone seruing the enemy.better.. 204. "Evorution and co-optat¡on: The 'Artist crit¡que' of i/anagement and cap¡tarism.' method. which outwardry embraces coilaboration as part of its mandate to promote communication and dialogue. The crux of understanding when coilaborations work (and when t-hey don't) thus lies in specificity. and other surrounding forces. producing "better" results? The curatorial collective wHW claims that the purpose of colraboration ries in producing something that wourd othen¡¡ise not take prace." ¡n coilect¡ve cræt¡v¡ty (Kæser: Frideric¡anum.in the precision of the . .borrow a term from Brian Hormes-through strategic separatism. A coilaborator can be a traitor. The same may be said of cooperative methods.' ib¡d 47 What. Something as apparently insignificant as a gift is not just an expression of unserfish generosity. it has to make possibre that which wourd othenvise be impossible. then. and solidarity are baked into the concept of collaboration.here and now. such as in sweden. rn. but collaboration can also stand for the opposite.a." has also made it essentiâl[ toothless. context.. See 2OO4) Bria Hormes. ls collaboration per se... 46' Eve ch¡apello.. SELECTED MARIA LIND WRITING Kunsthaile . but arso a way of exercising power through the reciprocal logic of the poflatch.. "The Delicate Esence of Artist¡c Collaborat¡on.46 ln a curture of mandatory coffee breaks and consensus. "New oufl¡nes of the po$¡bre. positive values such as loyalty. 44." Third rext.