Beyond Good and Bad Practice: Collaboration, Creativity and the Value of Failure

Goldsmiths, University of London
16. November 2016

Kolloquium mit einem Beitrag von Christian v. Wissel.
Archaeology of Interpretations: Multiple perspectives on collaboration and participation in socially-engaged artistic urban interventions in Paris and Johannesburg.

The terms participation, collaboration and co-production are becoming ubiquitous in academic institutions.  A range of actors in the higher educational sector are taking an increased interest in working with others. The notion of 'working with others' often entails entering into research or 'advisory' relationships with external organisations, working in partnership and collaboration with colleagues and departments form other institutions on scales that span the local to the global.  Research partnerships between higher educational institutions and non-academic partners are increasingly favoured by funders. They are seen as fostering relationships between institutions, across disciplines, offering good value for money, knowledge exchange and public engagement. Simultaneously there has been a growing interest in social art practice, and 'practice-based' or 'practice-led' research. This reflects an interest in the potential of art practice to extend the possibilities of knowledge production, and articulating this in meaningful ways to diverse publics.

Although these relationships arise out of a desire to do things better by doing things together, in their realisation these arrangements, which require that we work closely with others, are filled with internal and external tensions, misunderstandings, differing expectations and unequal power relations. In the exchange between practice and education historical, institutional and social assumptions and traditions are exchanged and reproduced. The 'success' of collaborations relies on multiple factors, not least a commitment to conduct careful, ethical collaboration and dialogue.

convened by Alison Rooke, Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths