Floating Lab Collective

I also enjoyed hearing the members of the Floating Lab collective speak in class last week. It was really interesting to see the way three different members spoke about their work, and interacted so closely with one another. Like Farolyn, I also was most intrigued by the "Protest on Demand" project. I have never heard of anything quite like it. What I wanted to ask them was how they marketed themselves and this project ahead of time in order to get so many protest requests. This question came up several times in my mind as they kept saying how many requests they received. In the Mexico City version, it seemed like they just positioned themselves in a busy area and relied on foot traffic, but in the Washington DC protests, requests had to come in through the internet. I wonder about how it was marketed and what type of audience was attracted to participate and send in protest requests to an artist collective. One of the most important and also most tricky factors in collaborative, participatory art seems to be the element of participant(s). With the Airwaves project, the participants turned out to be surprisingly positive, productive elements of the collaborative project. With Protest on Demand, the same seems true. What would happen, however, if very few people participated in either project? It would determine a lot about the "success" of the project. I am curious about what steps FLC takes to ensure that there is success on the participant side of their projects?

Another thing I was struck by was how much of a commitment each member seemed to make to the group. I am impressed that they seem so dedicated to the group and their work together and that they are so organized in many ways--in terms of getting together to discuss ideas and also in more technical aspects such as funding and grant-writing. When I was reading Nikki's last post and her request to start a collective, one of the first things that came into my mind was, Why isn't there some sort of collective in place at the Corcoran already? or Is there a student collective that I don't know about? It seems like an art school is the prime place for an artists collective to start, as Floating Lab has done through George Mason. I would guess that one of the barriers to creating a collective is the practical aspect of time and organization. From the example that FLC gave us, it seems like there is definitely a solid requirement of time and organization in starting a collective. I like the idea a lot, but would not feel able to contribute much to a collaborative group right now. Maybe the key is flexibility, which FLC also seems to have down.

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