Last Friday I was part of the 12hr Jamming Symposium as part of Studio Jamming: Artists' Collaborations in Scotland exhibition and series of events, 30th June - 2nd August 2014 at Cooper Gallery, Dundee.
I read, as part of the Writers in Residence, a text by Ben Burtenshaw, edited by me:
We’ll focus on the subject position an individual holds within a collaboration, exploring how this can be navigated away from the position of the professional sceptic to one that embodies a pragmatism, through commitment — as a subject position. The idea of losing individual authorship within collaboration inherently conjures up ideas of a symbiotic working style, with two minds working as one. And though this can often appear as a desirably open working model, it has the potential to supply a hindering subject position for respective parties.
This text was bridged by the introduction of a new, incomplete text by me:
The table presents the rationale of sharing, however, without the retreat and a fixed seat, thoughts will contract. To conduce, there must be the potential to reflect through departure, which in turn, can offer a return which abets the collaborative process. The individual’s seats embody the subject position.
The reading culminated with a reading of Silas Parry's text Bringing Silence to the Table. Silas is a collaborator of mine, it felt appropriate to invite him to respond to our texts as his methodology is aligned with intuition as opposed to analyticism. Silas has written an ode to a painting partnership, looking at maintaining the ability to retreat whilst using the painting process as a shared dialogue or ‘table’:
Last winter I met an old man on a bench. He sipped from his disposable coffee cup, rummaged about in his pockets for a cigarette. We glanced at each other, smiled. Then looked away again. A cold wind blew through the spidery trees behind us. The old man cleared histhroat and said: It was a conversation that lasted many years.