Farolyn's last post about collaborative cooking has stirred up my thinking. Over the semester she has spoken about cooking, theatrical production, TV taping, news reporting, and other activities as being slyly collaborative endeavors. It appears many products in our world are the result of collective efforts.
All of this makes me wonder, what isn't collaborative? Do I do any fruit-bearing activity entirely on my own? And, is it 'bad' if I don't?
Let's look at a typical day is the life of me. What what products do I produce and what activities make them?
I get up, get clean, and commute to work. Products produced: pollution? Yes, that's collaborative, I suppose.
At work as a graphic designer I work in proximity with the client, the printing house, my boss, and other employees. I need input from all of those sources to enable an appropriate final product. Products produced: print designs (posters, brochures, etc). Very collaborative, now that I think about it.
Commute to school... more collaborative pollution.
At school I make art projects and contribute to class discussions. The art projects are made with concern for the preexisting guidelines and the comments of my peers as I work. That seems collaborative, right? Certainly the class discussions are collective performances.
Commute home... more collaborative pollution.
Next I cook dinner. I usually do the heating and stirring alone, but I certainly don't grow the vegetables and grains myself. If I'm using and recombining someone else's (collaborative) product like bread, is my dinner collaborative? In the art world, isn't that like drawing on or collaging someone else's images? Does the person need to be aware of the collaboration to be a partner in a project?
Finally I do homework that ranges from reading a book to working on a group project. I guess these projects' collaborative status depends on the individual activity done to create them. Then again, I can't remember the last time I completed a homework with some input on theories or grammar from a classmate or a friend. Even this blog entry is part of a collective whole.
Maybe I really don't produce anything entirely on my own. But, I think I'm OK with that. ...do I need someone else to agree with my here before my ideas are valid?