Participation & "De-Authoring"

“The gesture of ceding some or all authorial control is conventionally regarded as more egalitarian and democratic than the creation of a work by a single artist, while shared production is also seen to entail the aesthetic benefits of risk and unpredictability. Collaborative creativity is therefore understood both to emerge from, and to produce, a more positive and non-hierarchical social model.”(1)

Collaboration in art-making is not new. In fact, much contemporary art is a collective production engineered through technical support and mediated through components of technology. What is more intriguing about the collaborative making of art is the idea that it embodies a “de-authored lineage that aims to embrace collective creativity.” The rejection of a sole “author” responsible for the artwork is an essential 20th Century art theory and currently fertile grounds for collaborative art-making. This “de-authoring” continues to launch new interpretations of collaboration in socially-engaged art, postconceptualism, cinema and performance.

The goals for Graduate Collaborative Studio come from my vantage point as an artist who creates participatory installations that function as sites for the collaborative art-making experience. My text-based installations invite viewers to actively participate; to “play” with the words and meanings hidden in the text by writing directly upon the panels. This collaborative play with text “stands in for” the experience of art as the viewers’ contributions affect the “final image” of the work.

There are two areas of collaborative art-making that I wish to explore: situations, sites or installations that invite collaboration to transform viewers into participant /interpreters; and “de-authored” collaborative works that yield control by one “author” to production shared by many.


1. Bishop, Claire. “Viewers as Producers” in Participation, London-Cambridge, 2006, 12.