Yours, Mine, & Ours: Collaborative Artwork, part 1
Usually when we think of art, we think of a painting, photograph, sculpture, etc., created by one person. However, collaborative art projects are becoming more and more common—after all, who hasn't heard of PostSecret? Due to the current trend in collaborative art, today's "Feel Art Again" post spotlights collaborative art projects.
PostSecret is the most well-known on-going collaborative art project, and probably the most international, too. It all started back in 2004, when a guy named Frank Warren distributed blank 4x6 inch postcards with instructions to depict a true, never-before-spoken secret on it and then mail it back to him. Originally created for an installation at Artomatic in D.C., the project has grown to include a blog with weekly postings of secrets, four books, a traveling exhibit, a discussion community, and videos. There are now also French, German, and Spanish PostSecret blogs. Anyone is welcome to mail in a secret, which has resulted in boxes full of secrets at Warren's home.
In the spring of 2007, the MusÃ©e de l'ElysÃ©e, Lausanne, hosted the "We Are All Photographers Now!" exhibit, a look at the "rapid mutation of amateur photography in the digital age." Like the title suggests, the exhibit invited digital photography submissions from around the globe. The photos were displayed "on screen," with a random selection of 100 printed in high quality and displayed each week. A "chat module" was also a part of the experience, with informal talks, structured and unstructured debates, and round table discussion.
For some projects, the many participants come together to create one work of art. That's the concept behind BOOK (2003-2004) and SKETCHTRAVEL (2006-2008). For BOOK, a sketchbook was shared for 36 weeks among 4 artists, two in Brooklyn and two in Belfast. Participants would receive the book on a Wednesday and send it back out the following Monday, creating a spread relating to the previous one over the course of those 5 days. At the project's completion, the book had traveled more than 60,000 miles. The book was exhibited in Belfast and now reproductions of both the book and individual spreads are available for purchase.
SKETCHTRAVEL was a similar concept as BOOK, but on a grander scale, with 50 artists contributing to the sketchbook. The project operates on a "1 artist = 1 page" basis, with one major rule: no postmail. The sketchbook must be passed in person, by hand, from one artist to the next. The SKETCHTRAVEL site includes scans of the artwork as well as photos (some of which are very creative) of the hand-offs.
Next Saturday, we'll take a look at collaborative installation art all around the world. In the meantime, we want to hear from you: Have you ever participated in collaborative art? Or do you know of any great projects that we haven't mentioned.