Collaboration as Practice
I have collaborated with others since I began making art. The crossovers started in small ways because as a young artist I was very much concerned with control. My first true collaboration was with Brent Aldrich, for our aptly named group DENT. Together we initiated performances, not for an audience but for the camera. We wondered if we could change the our relationship to landscape, the notion of natural vs artifice, and to the notion of ownership through simple and historic gestures like planting flags. My love for collaboration is cultivated by the fearlessness to experiment, the capacity to be ambitious, and that other person pushing for more. For me, I worked in ways that I couldn’t individually.
When I moved on to grad school, I left my collaborator. I embarked on a project that was completely uncomfortable, I ran for Homecoming Queen. I hated performing, but it was beautiful. This project, produced during the first semester of grad school, brought my peers and I together which would turn out to be catalyst for collaboration in the future.
Right now I’m actively collaborating with Radar Collective on the nationally touring project, Barter Boat. A project which was born from our desire to collect and to share. My collaborators Anna Abhau Elliott and Robin Schwartzman and I travel from city to city in our intrepid Barter Boat (okay, it’s a carnival stand that looks like a boat) trading with the citizenry.
So far we’ve traded in Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Atlanta and Scottsdale is on the docket. We have curated our collections from these cities into hand-held assemblages. Those who trade with us are given one of these precious packets, an eco-friendly bag carefully curated with the small possessions of passersby in a far-off city. In turn, whatever we collect will become art too, and traded at our next stop. From the mundane to the superb, from the pocket lint to the beloved action figure, we want it. Your trash is our treasure. We’re looking at you Florida!
I’m also collaborating with Kale Roberts on his dreamy mobile art and performance space Tailgate Projects. Think of tailgating but with art instead of sports, yeah, it’s awesome! As a method of public intervention, Tailgate Projects, sets up shop with a group of artists set to perform, show work, and initiate their own actions, and invites the community to participate, to grill and eat, and enjoy a myriad of art from local and international makers during each event. Keep your eyes peeled for our first event in December.
The projects are based in interaction and are accessible to a great diversity of participants outside of the gallery and lovers of art. Connecting with others through art processes in comfortable settings has opened up the possibilities of what art can do. Art has always been a relationship between the maker and viewer. A capacity to share and understand a moment, emotion, or concept through physical rendering. I am drawn to performative and interactive art because it asks you not just to connect with your eyes and mind but perhaps to talk, touch, jump, crawl, and imagine in ways you’ve never before. As an artist facilitating this type of temporary and site specific art we get to interact with those who choose to participate in new and more connected ways.
Barter Boat: fb.me/BarterBoat
Tailgate Projects: Insta: @tailgateprojects