Monday, 31 May 2010

Collaborative Art, collective bullshit?

Now, much has been said about inspiration both in these pages and other blogs, but I have never considered the idea that inspiration can truly be a joint effort. Is inspiration by committee possible?

I ask the question for two reasons.....firstly, unsurprisingly, the British entry for the Eurovision Song Contest came last. Life has become so wonderfully democratic in the Free World we live in that YOU can “have your say” about most anything, with a few exceptions of course, (Afghanistan, Israel, freedom fighters, what you have in your luggage, who governs you, etc etc..) but..... you are allowed to vote guessed...which song WE should enter for the Eurovision Song Contest (Europe has long included Israel!). .. as the general public are mostly morons (that’s only based on the people I have met and is not a scientific study) ...they chose the worst of the songs on offer, of course. These are the people that the Boys want in SL, the great mentally unwashed.

Which brings me round to the Boys, again. Now... I did a fair amount of moaning last year about SL6B....and as that time has crept up on us again (people were trying to keep it quiet so I wouldn’t apply)... it is time for me to moan some more.

1) why, oh why, oh why... do people have to invent a Theme? Why not, just as a suggestion....say...”build the best thing you can build”???

2) If you are gonna have a Theme...I could not in 7 years of thinking about it come up with a worse idea than....Unexpected Collaboration. omg omg omg.

“Collaboration is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together in an intersection of common goals — for example, an intellectual endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus. Most collaboration requires leadership, although the form of leadership can be social within a decentralized and egalitarian group. In particular, teams that work collaboratively can obtain greater resources, recognition and reward when facing competition for finite resources. Collaboration is also present in opposing goals exhibiting the notion of adversarial collaboration, though this is not a common case for using the term.

Structured methods of collaboration encourage introspection of behavior and communication. These methods specifically aim to increase the success of teams as they engage in collaborative problem solving. Forms, rubrics, charts and graphs are useful in these situations to objectively document personal traits with the goal of improving performance in current and future projects.

[I include also the following with tongue in cheek] Since the Second World War the term "Collaboration" acquired a very negative meaning as referring to persons and groups which help a foreign occupier of their country—due to actual use by people in European countries who worked with and for the Nazi German occupiers. Linguistically, "collaboration" implies more or less equal partners who work together—which is obviously not the case when one party is an army of occupation and the other are people of the occupied country living under the power of this army.” (Wikipedia)

now...sorry....if you got lost there..... for me the bit “by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus” is the bit that does it for me.....

“Consensus is defined in English as, firstly - general agreement and, secondly - group solidarity of belief or sentiment. It has its origin in a Latin word meaning literally to feel together.

The formal process of achieving consensus ideally requires serious treatment of the considered opinion of each group member: those advocating the adoption, say, of a particular course of action, genuinely wish to hear those who may be against the proposal, since discussion, it is supposed, can only enhance ultimate consensus. The hope is that in such circumstances action, or the adoption of group opinion, without resolution of dissent will be rare. A consensus rather than a voting process is often employed with this intention, as well as to minimize any possible damage to interpersonal relationships.”(Wikipedia)

Now...add to this the idea that this consensus could be arrived at as an "Unexpected Collaboration"....Duh!

What an amazingly wonderfully democatically CRAP IDEA..... this returns us full circle to the question...Is inspiration by committee possible?

Art is not like building a new Ford.
Art is not construction, although some may be necessary.
MichaelAngelo did not ask the cloakroom attendant which colours she thought he should use.
Art is, in no way, shape or form a democratic process.
Art is elitist in nature....

....and I see “Collaborative Art” as a crap mock-democratic pathetic pseudonym for Communal Bullshit...... and I defy anyone to show me an amazing, life-changing piece hanging in a gallery anywhere in the world which is a collaboration.....( I am often wrong.... what percentage of masterpieces are collaborative efforts).

Let’s hope SL7B will do better than Josh Dubovie (UK entry)....



  1. Don't forget to send this post to CARP, UWA, Caerleon and PIRATS where a good reflection on their Communal Bullshit could make a new tsunami towards LOST AND FOUND be a refreshing new inspiaration for all individual "artists".

  2. hehe i love soror's use of the word crap. it tickles me no end.

  3. ok, sis. I hear ya and i do agree that going for consensus is the crappy kiss of death... a lunge for the lowest common denominator, where everyone in the consensus process agrees that s/he can (omg) 'live with it'... with the outcome. But... and you knew there'd be a 'but,' didn't you "-))... I can envision bringing two entirely different forms of art--say, painting and writing-- together in collaboration and have a better outcome than if the writer attempts also to paint or the painter also to write. An even more striking instance where collaboration happens is in performance art--the theatre. A whole tribe of talents must come together.. not in compromise but in commitment to the end result. Anyhow, oeur d'oeuvres for thought "-) I do agree with you! Maybe y'all ought to produce an exhibit lampooning really bad collaborative art. My guess is that it would be hilarious.

  4. Yes, I absolutely agree, Maeve, that two unlike artists work well together as neither is trying to moderate the other.... that works well, often.

    As for exhibits lampooning collab art...well...we should get a fair few of those at SL7B is my betting.....

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  6. I don't allow blatant advertising by anyone other than me....

  7. Except I'm not advertising - I just thought you might appreciate our collaborative art.
    Maybe your point is less pointworthy once you're faced with the truth