M O D U L E   0.02   B R I E F    ::



Greg Skaggs / US [faculty]

Collaboration: Calamity or Conquest?

THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS IS EXCITING and packed with creative energy. Working with other artists from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines have been some of the most rewarding experiences I have had as an artist. I can also say in the same breath that it can be frustrating and time consuming.

My understanding of collaboration is one very much like the miracle of childbirth. The proud parents gladly show-off the anxiously awaited newborn child, but it does not come into this world without birth pangs. The successes, I find, are the initial brainstorming sessions, the art making process and the exhibition of the finished product. The downers are dealing with the participants' schedules, decisions about details and the occasional ego power spike. Of course, it does depend on the type of collaborative experience. Sometimes it's as easy as one artist handing over artwork to another artist in order for the second artist to add some stuff and make a few changes. I actually don't consider this a true collaborative experience, as only the outcome is a new idea (and a strange Frankenstein's monster at that).

Sometimes a project requires a collaborative spirit based on its size and scope. For example, most film and video artists team up with like-minded artists in order to see a completed project through. The nature of the media dictates the necessity of many artists because video is complex and time consuming.

Do not be troubled, my friends, but be encouraged as collaboration is the art of tomorrow. Very few new ideas are created by the mind of just one. It is the shared experiences and ideas that new things are made.

Former US President Woodrow Wilson once said, "I not only use all of the brains I have, but all I can borrow."

Well said, President Wilson.

TASK: After reading this brief by Greg Skaggs, go to MODULE 0.03 and answer the posted questions by Sheetal Donahue. I ask that you send all of your comments and/or answers to jjohnson@troy.edu and to sdonahue@troy.edu and we will post your responses.