When artworks are authored collectively, either by groups of artists working together or in a co-creative relationship with non-artists, it becomes important to understand the project in terms of its process over time, and to develop a different understanding of mastery, skill, credit, and social and cultural capital. How does this process of collaboration become visible and readable to an audience that is not actively participating in the work? Is it important that it does? What does masterful co-created work look like, and how is its aesthetic quality evaluated? Is it possible to share artistic identity, and the social and cultural capital that is associated with it?
These questions impact the temporal framework for looking at a socially engaged artwork as a non-participant, how the mastery and value of it is assessed, and the economic models that can be successfully applied to it. To perceive an artistic process, when must an external audience start looking, and how does this looking manifest itself? When a project initiated by artists is sustained long-term by a community of non-artists, does it remain an artwork? Does it change character? Does it achieve permanence? What economic models can be applied to collective creative practice? Is the active participation of non-artists in a project a declaration of its value? How does this value relate to other arbiters of value in contemporary art?
This episode looks at hybrid forms of often long-term collaborations where authorship is shared among groups of artists or participants or dispersed with and among audiences, with a particular focus on the temporal frame required for understanding works that are initiated by someone and expanded on – even completed – by someone else, and the value of shared authorship and artistic process.