MANOLIS MANOUSAKIS   Composer / Sound Artist



Producing a Collective Cross-Arts Project in Times of Crisis

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.