Last week many of us turned in art proposals in hopes of financial support for our little, or in some cases huge, artistic desert visions. The value and beauty of many of these projects is not only their eventual physical manifestation; the highly collaborative nature of their conception and construction is equally important.
Historically, in the early parts of the twentieth century, collectives and collaborative art production were a feature of Dadaism, Surrealism and Constructivism. This spirit of collective art production was then revived in the 60s by the Fluxus, Conceptual, community-based, and feminist art movements.
‘The greatest legacy of the 1960s is the community based arts’ – Lucy Lippard
Turning to our current world of desert art making, how is this collaborative nature changing the current language/dialogue of art? And how is it doing so using the many web networking tools we have at our disposal? With the importance of the art making moving from ‘appearance’ to ‘conception’ and now to ‘society’ how is Burning Man participating in fundamentally changing values within art?
The Berlin-based KS12 collective is asking some similar questions about the fundamental nature of art in highly networked times in their “The Future of Art” – an immediated autodocumentary. The film was shot, edited and shown at the Transmediale festival last week and supplemented by realtime photos from Flickr, videos from Vimeo, and questions via Quora. It was open to for anyone to submit to the process of production. The very tools of these highly networked times shaped the film; it was a production-as-process work.
The questions they were investigating are very relevant to the Burning Man art making process:
What are the defining aesthetics of art in the networked era? How is mass collaboration changing notions of ownership in art? How does micropatronage change the way artists produce and distribute artwork?
These are some of the very questions that one ponders when making work with collaborative groups such as the Flux Foundation and Flaming Lotus Girls. Last year we saw many examples of the importance of networking tools. We saw the power of social networking as it challenged Paypal, and Kickstarter revolutionized the fundraising process for countless creative projects, making the concept of ‘micropatronage’ not only tangible but accessible and essential to successful work.
In what other ways do you see this networked era change and challenge our ideas of art and art making?