by David Hoptman
Collaborative art projects are really nothing new but what is new is the ability to connect and collaborate with like-minded people anywhere on the planet in real time. With the advent of the world wide web, smart-cell phone technologies and the arrival of Phonagraphy.com it is possible to connect and collaborate with just about anybody on the planet no matter where or how far.
Historically a great part of our survival skills have been honed collaboratively throughout the millennium, from hunter and gatherer’s to fierce high tech armies that are designed to protect a way of life. A family unit is a collaboration designed to help secure the continuation of the human species.
The basic family model has helped to insure survival for many life forms on the planet and it is this basic close-knit collaboration that has enabled the evolution of the human race to continue for untold millennium. Today most of us live in family clusters, we gravitate towards team sports, join clubs etc. because we are social beings that like to share and interact, hence Facebook. Collaborative groups help facilitate process by combining many unique talents into a single entity so to speak creating a sum greater than the parts.
There are many art forms that rely on this same collaborative process to enable a group of people to accomplish what one person could not possibly manage to do. Musicians, dancers, filmmakers, actors, our government for that matter is a collaborative but maybe a bad example at this point in time. When we think about it, pretty much everyone on the planet has some experience working collectively or collaborating for a single purpose. The concept is not new to any one of us.
My first experience with collaborative art was about three years ago while I was living in Tuscany Italy. My painter friend David Einstein an exceptional painter and professor of art came to spend a week with me at my home and studio. He brought special hand made brushes made by Glenn Grishkoff along with water color papers, cut and ready, India ink, water colors etc. etc. I must admit never having done this type of collaborative art process before and my initiation to the process as a painter was a slightly intimidating My attitude is give it a shot and get whatever you can out of it. The idea for phonagraphy.com in part came from that experience.
We got set up in my beautifully restored 350 year old Art studio pulled out the paper, brushes, put on the sounds and began to collaborate putting paint on paper.
The idea is this, Blank sheet of white paper charged brushes with black India ink or water colors: David obliterates the pure white as he puts down the first mark. I react to mark one and put my mark down and so on until neither collaborator has any more to add. The process is magical and before you know it the mark making is rolling and the newly born prints are scattered, dotting my entire studio surfaces.
It was thoroughly enjoyable and the results were fantastic. We made art just about everyday together it was a great experience for me and I learned a lot from the process.
The same process occurs when you are painting by yourself the only differences is that you area reacting to your own first mark as opposed to your collaborators mark. I call this the creative loop and refer to this in my blog post…
Today with digital technology, the World Wide Web and Phonagraphy.com we can take the collaborative concept to new levels never before imagined and share the experience with like minded collaborators from all over the planet. The Phonagraphy.com site is designed to facilitate this collaborative process.
COLLABORATIVE IDEAS/ PROJECTS
Writers…. Start a short story or a novel for that matter. The first writer in the group puts down his take on the subject; sci-fi, novel, short story, poetry, prose, etc. The next writer begins where the first left off and so on until the screen play or whatever the guidelines were for the specific project are complete.
- When the piece is finished it can be passed onto an illustrator or a photographer etc. at that point they can add their graphic take to the project in any way that seems fit for the project.
- When the project is done the staff at Phonagraphy.com will collaborate with book arts people to create a limited edition of the collaborative creation. The book will be published as a limited edition book and also in other formats that will be more affordable including e books. The collaborators will be paid a percent as the book is sold for their efforts, the rest of the profits will be used to cover expenses and eventually placed in a foundation to support the arts. The same process will apply with other collaborative projects done on Phonagraphy.com whether they are video, documentary, coffee table books, or whatever the muse is open to.
- The idea in part is this; Phonagraphy.com eventually will have a huge members list of talented people from all over the world. Groups can be formed at any point and for any location on the planet. As time goes by and project after project is finished site members will know from experience what styles certain members have and who would work better for or a particular project. The idea to keep in mind is that we are collaborating to raise money to support the arts, artists and ecological/social issues. We can create a vast resource to make positive changes on the planet we just have to collaborate. CONNECT COLLABORATE GIVE BACK.