Defining a Collective/Collaborative Cross Arts Production from the Scope of the Independent Arts Producer
Although different manifestations form a mosaic of collective characteristics in this paper, I argue that a contemporary collective doesn’t have to form a community, an extended family model, have a political background or even a common philosophical outlook. I support that a collective could be a production prototype formed to serve the artistic purpose of the participant artists. It is a vehicle to enter the market of contemporary arts and a tool to help achieve competitive independent cross-arts. In this paper I will set as a paradigm (Case Study 1) of collective work the production “Fragments of the Unseen” by Medea Electronique: a collective cross-arts work that involves a number of practices such as music, dance, video art, photography, set design, animation, and installation art in which I participate as a composer and producer. On the other hand I will use as an example of collaborative work (Case Study 2) the interactive photography installation ‘Arbitrariness’ by Maria Paschalidou, in which I participated as a sound designer and composer.
In order to make a definition of what collective artwork is, I need to make a distinction between collaborative art and collective art. By giving a clear description on what constitutes a collective cross-arts piece I intend to make a distinction between works of multiple authors and single authors respectively. Many times the authorship of the works created by a large group of artists is in question. The concept of single authorship is in doubt and rightfully the artists of cross arts collective works acquire equal intellectual property rights on the works created. For that reason, I will also define collaborative art as a separate method of creative process and use this definition as divergent to collective. My intention is that my definitions work as a consensus between artists, producers and technicians involved in multidisciplinary projects.
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Koumaria Residency Temporary Symbiotic Collective Art Process
Within this paper I aim to introduce and expand on collective/collaborative art practices that take place in a micro-residency environment. Taking as a paradigm Koumaria Residency, which is dedicated to cross arts, I will give examples of works that were collectively created at the residency during the period 2009-2011. Furthermore, I will evaluate through the scope of the independent arts producer and curator, the working environment in which they where created and the production methodology followed in relation to the place and conditions in which the art works took place.
I will introduce the term ‘Temporary Symbiotic Collective Art Process’ defining the residency not only by the way it was produced, collectively, but also as a process which takes place in a short period of time involving a number of artists that choose to live together in order to work on a common project. During this time period, which has a definite beginning and end, they cut themselves off from their normal daily routine whatever that may be and create special living conditions that include only the members of the work process. I shall expand on the importance of this symbiotic method supporting that the relationships and the dynamics created within such an environment are as important and valuable to the final production outcome as the art process itself. In this paper I will also propose that a naturally isolated working space, like Koumaria Residency, with limited influence from external disturbances could set a model for contemporary independent cross arts productions.
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Producing a Collective Cross-Arts Project in Times of Crisis With Reference to The Works of Medea Electronique Collective.
The very notion of cross-arts calls for large collaborations of artists that serve different art disciplines and are eager to spend time in an artistic collective environment. The roles of the participants are not always distinct; artists participate equally and acquire roles in a variety of production elements. Works are co-directed, music is largely improvised by a group of musicians, and artists usually have multiple roles as choreographers, directors or production managers. The involvement of a large number of different specialities needed for cross-arts works, when not in a collective environment, can make these productions so expensive that it may impede the production itself. For the majority of artists, funding is an absolute necessity for such ventures to be undertaken alone and the recent economic crisis has increased the problem. Yet this same crisis has enhanced the need for developing sustainable artistic collective environments.
Within this essay, I will also give a definition of what is a contemporary artistic collective and propose ways of how to produce a cross-arts collective project. I will set as working examples, cross arts productions by Medea Electronique from 2007 to present. These are collective cross-arts works that involve a number of practices like music, dance, video art, photography, set design, animation, and installation art in which I participate as a composer and producer. Simultaneously a dictation of collective production ethics and practices must be introduced. When working for collective cross-arts productions, practical issues often dictate how the piece is created. I will expand on these practical issues and propose methods for calling artists, sharing the profits and organizing a collective production.
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