Collaborative Art Santa Fe, Pt. I

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Michael Rohner/Gwen A.P.: Collaboration in Process

Collaborative Art: What springs to mind?  The Dadaists of Cabaret Voltaire? Andy Warhol’s Factory? Jeff Koon’s Studio? (or any number of less famous examples.) I’m used to the idea of collaboration in the workplace, or in improvisational theater, where good work can become great work when spontaneous sharing reigns and egos take a back seat. But co-production of an art piece opens the door to a crowd of questions: Who owns the work? Who’s the author (of particular concern where one talent has the idea which another talent executes)? Where is the work made?  Your place or mine?  Same time or consecutively?

Mark Dunhill and Tamiko O’Brien reflect thoughtfully on issues central to the process of artistic collaboration in their blog Collaborative Arts: Conversations on Collaborative Arts Practise  And truly, there are no static, definitive answers. There is, however, rich potential.  Two outstanding local examples are Meow Wolf’s Due Return, showing through August 21st at the CCA and Interference: an interactive video environment created by Brian Bixby, Charles Buckingham and Mike Root, featured at Currents 2011 in June. Watch for reviews of both productions in upcoming posts.

Bonnaroo Tree, Michael Rohner/Gwen A.P., On Site Collaboration

This weekend, delight yourself with a first hand look at spontaneous co-creation at the 39th Annual Girl’s Inc. Arts and Crafts Show on The Plaza. Look for Booth G-18, near the intersection of Old Santa Fe Trail and San Francisco. Santa Fe Emerging Artist, Mike Rohner will be painting with Gwen AP, of Pittsburg PA. The pair met in Tennessee, at the Bonnaroo music festival. “Our artistic vibes clicked,” says Michael,”and we began immediately collaborating on paintings, taking turns working at the canvas in front of the main stage and thousands of music fans.” After each went home, they started a long-distance venture, where one of them would begin painting a canvas and the other would finish it up. To the right is a sample of what happened in Tennessee, since sold. Below are the fruits of the pair’s long-distance efforts. You’ll have your chance to pick up a Santa Fe spawned collaboration tomorrow and meet the gracious and ever-amiable Rohner in the bargain.

Calvin Tree, Michael Rohner/Gwen A.P., via long distance collaboration

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