The Imagillaboration Project

Posted by on Jan 9, 2009 in Art Coverage

Ten minutes of the Imagillaboration Project presentation and discussion at Mocajacksonville.org, 1-8-9.

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20 Comments

  1. markcreegan
    January 10, 2009

    Excellent! I have yet to see the ones at FCCJ, but many of the sculptures at the UNF gallery rock the casbah! I highly recommend!

    Reply
  2. valuistics
    January 10, 2009

    I like many of the sculptures I’ve seen and I like this approach to collaboration because it helps each artist “step out of their comfort zone” as each presenter said.

    But to me the process is far more interesting than the products. The ten artists who each worked on every piece become one large artist- a giant Voltron Robot artist of sorts. The question remains to be answered: what can that ten-headed mutant creator do that no single artist can? Can it radically transform the pieces in terms of form? (Or does it even want to?) I don’t think the mutant conjoined decatuplet artist can yet.

    Each artist wants to make a portion of each piece entirely their own, it seems. I sense (especially when Patrick Miko spoke) that the artists involved did not welcome much altering of what they’d added, and opted instead to weld or attach a new limb. Which makes for interesting works to be sure.

    But the transformation into a new creative creature is incomplete. Each artwork still has ten heads- none of the works bear witness to the process of melding into one big head that is ten times as clever.

    The process is great. The amount of organizational work involved with a project of this scale must be commended. I’d like to see things like this continue. Perhaps the next thing is one where everyone sheds their specialties and doesn’t worry about the pieces being taken too far.

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  3. Byron King
    January 10, 2009

    After hearing the presentation I felt the project was a bit shallow in concept, but it was the communication or lack there of between the artists that was the unknown sub-concept that seemed to emerge

    I really wish they would have documented the communication and somehow showed it with the work to inform the works context. A book would be a perfect way to print the projects with their corresponding emails, etc. Each piece I’m sure has a very interesting story that could not really be told merely through the presentation.

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  4. valuistics
    January 10, 2009

    I don’t think the concept is shallow: if anything it is working to broaden the scope of the sculptors’ work. I think the concept is strong because it has the potential to be wide open. It’s just that the work doesn’t go as far as I think the concept allows.

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  5. Byron King
    January 10, 2009

    Maybe shallow is a bit too much. Being too wide open I think it becomes too wide open to interpret for most. It seems to me to have needed some sort of overarching theme.

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  6. valuistics
    January 11, 2009

    Perhaps. But I think collaboration itself was the theme- which is highly admirable because great things happen when people come together. It’s great to see that many artists coming together to make work. I think if transformation was the theme then we would see more formal diversity.

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  7. Byron King
    January 11, 2009

    I agree that the collaboration is the theme. It must have been an amazing amount of work and that in itself is highly admirable. I unfortunately have an issue with the project.

    With all the education, tools, facilities and talent, in the country, the majority of the work that I saw seemed to look like someone went dumpster diving and collaged some pieces together randomly.

    If the collaboration was the theme then I think that should have been shown with the work. For instance present the collaborative headache, or triumphs that took place through the process with each piece. Then we could realize the theme was actually the communication between the artists to achieve each piece. The end sculptures to me, are essentially a byproduct of that process and shouldn’t be taken that seriously.

    It’s the human factor that makes this project interesting to me, not the sculptures.

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  8. markcreegan
    January 11, 2009

    I agree that the most interesting foregrounded aspect to the project is the expansive collaboration process, but i am not sure I need to see the explicit evidence of that process in order to understand or imagine all the frustrating or triumphant moments in making these.

    In fact part of the enjoyment of reading these is discerning what elements were added, in what order, how did one element obscure another, what was the last thing added and how dramatically did it alter the piece? It is interesting how the ego plays into the process. Artists are not usually used to a collaborative process like a film where some of your ideas and work can be altered, denied and obscured. Making work is so intimate the feelings (positive or negative) that arise thru collaboration are akin to a sexual orgy. (not that i have ever done that…ahem.)

    I think that if I had participated my contribution would not be to add a physical element but to contribute by placement and context. I would like to determine where and how the piece is presented, even to the extent of denying its physicality by presenting it online in an image or description.

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  9. kurt polkey
    January 11, 2009

    A couple of months ago I told Ben that they should have an artists night at MOCA. I told him that the artists I know would really appreciate an institution getting behind them. In fact, I told him that most of the artists feel a little bitter towards MOCA because they never do anything for “us”. Last Thursday, after seeing a presentation about a project done all across the country involving a collaborative effort of over 100 artists, I stood in the lobby looked around and didn’t recognize but a few people.
    Where were all the artists?
    “They’ll come around. They’re just a little jaded. Broken promises and all.” That was my rationale to Ben. To his credit he said they will continue to do these artists nights. (But for how long?)
    The night was billed as an opportunity for us to come together, to build a community, to talk about our troubles and try to find some solutions. To meet new people, to discuss art and politics or babies or whatever.
    Where all the artists?

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  10. Byron King
    January 11, 2009

    Not to make an excuse for all of the artists in town but it was the night of the U.F. national football championship in Miami. Football is nearly a religion here in Jacksonville. As different as artist are they seem to still like football.

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  11. markcreegan
    January 11, 2009

    i wuz teaching.

    Reply
  12. valuistics
    January 11, 2009

    It was a good turnout, I thought. You have to consider that only a fraction of the people you invite to a given event at the MOCA are actually going to come. People forget, get the date wrong, or aren’t as stoked about hearing the artists who are slated to speak. If it were someone else presenting, then maybe a different crowd would have surfaced. Let’s please not dis it. We want it to be a regular thing. Cursing those who skipped out is a bad idea. If I had a family thing come up or a sick kid or had to teach, I would not appreciate someone dissing me in my absence. Let’s applaud the artist’s night and hope we’ll see more folks next time.

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  13. valuistics
    January 11, 2009

    Besides, not every artist wants to meet new people or talk about what they do or listen to someone’s presentation. Some are content with watching the game, hitting the bong, or the waves or the yoga center or the bar. I like presentations, so I’ll attend with regularity.

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  14. Byron King
    January 11, 2009

    I thought the turnout was nice for the presentation. The after party thing had a small turnout but I don’t think most folks can stay till nine usually on a weekday to talk art. I can’t. I stayed till past eight, and had to get back to family events. The presentation was nice though. I enjoy that type of thing. I’m honestly waiting like a giddy little school girl to be asked to do a presentation about Globatron and art blogging. Looks like I’ll have to keep waiting.

    Reply
  15. valuistics
    January 11, 2009

    That would be a good topic since Jacksonville is apparently lighting up the blogosphere. The panel would include Byron, Joey Marchy, Madeline, and perhaps Biggie Tea? I’d like to be on it, but I’d settle for being in the peanut gallery.

    Reply
  16. kurt polkey
    January 11, 2009

    It’s one night. There was plenty of notice. A sick kid or work can account for some not turning out, but there were over 30 artists in the Making Marks show and three of them showed up. This event was billed as an artists night, not as a presentation, so it shouldn’t have mattered what the presentation was. Besides, I got the feeling that most of the people showed up just for the presentation. There have been plenty complaints about MOCA, especially on this blog, but it was MOCA reaching out, and it was the artists who stayed at home.

    I’ve heard a lot of reasons for artist not going to this or that, but a football game has never been one of them. Hell, I got home in plenty of time to watch 3/4 of the game.

    James, I understand what you are saying, but I wasn’t trying to dis any one person. I was trying to point out that as a group I think we didn’t show well. I have a suspicion that not many of those that didn’t show up had the situations that you described in your comment. Hey, I have kids, I’m a single dad, I know it isn’t always easy to make time for these things, but come on it’s only one night. I don’t care how early someone has to get up to work – 9PM isn’t too late to stay out. The fact that I am a dad makes me want to establish something even more. I really want my kids to see a part of Jax. that I never saw. I’m afraid it’s up to us to make that happen.

    It seems like a few weeks ago everyone was jazzed about getting together, about talking art, about doing critiques, well it seems to me the best place to do that sort of thing is the museum. My hopes were running pretty high and it made me feel bad when no one showed up.
    I’m saying all this with a sense of sadness and urgency, I know that blog comments can come out petty and judgmental, but I’m really not feeling that way.

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  17. Frank
    January 11, 2009

    I was there for the meet and greet only, as I came to late for the presentation (the doors were locked to the auditorium by the time I got there).

    When the social time started, I was a little lost since I don’t know ya’ll by face, except for Byron who I very briefly met at C. Foard’s Flux show. The people present did what comes natural and talked to people who they already know and hugged the bar. Understandable. I did have a pleasant talk Leigh M., Rachel L. and a art student named Judy. The gas money was well worth it for that, but I would have also liked to have met ya’ll.

    I did notice a few people wandering around with that lost look on their faces, but I couldn’t find the right moment to say hi before they left. My bad.

    Maybe the result of the social time best illustrates the weight of achievements in the collaboration lectured about in the first half.

    I think MOCA should continue the same idea.

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  18. kurt polkey
    January 11, 2009

    okay I’m dropping it. Looking forward to the next one. I know they will get better and better.

    Reply
  19. valuistics
    January 11, 2009

    Kurt: I hear ya. I have two kids, work, and a deadline for an upcoming show and I still was there with bells on. MOCA has never been great at publicizing events, but they did a good job of getting the word out about his event. I had the same sense of disappointment over so many no-shows. Now that I think of it there were 4 artists from Making Marks- Jenny Hager was on the stage. I look forward with anticipation to the next one. See y’all there.

    Reply
  20. Byron King
    January 11, 2009

    I would think the panel if we had one would include all of you guys. I would love to have a panel about art blogging. What we are doing on this blog specifically is amazing I think. I think we’ve had some amazing conversations about art in general, and Jacksonville.

    I hear you Kurt, and I was just being sarcastic about Football. But I myself have to put my kids to bed at 9pm. Read them books, and all that jazz. So I was for real when I said 9pm was late for me. I could see it working better for me on a weekend during the afternoon. My situation isn’t the typical one though.

    Did anyone post about this are talk it up? I posted about it. Were there any comments on that post?

    Just wondering. It came and went as does everything, did anyone else document it? Just wondering.

    Things come and go in this town and if we don’t document them they don’t exist. That should be our mantra. Why aren’t more of us documenting the events? Or even going to them.

    For instance I would have loved to have gone to Art Walk on Wednesday but I can’t go to everything with two baby girls to put to bed. I’m having another brain surgery in two weeks too. I know the worlds smallest violin is playing just for me. I can’t be everywhere folks. I’ve talked about this till I’m blue in the face to get help from the community with this sort of thing and I am just tuckered out asking.

    Would we be having this conversation Kurt if no one documented it?

    Reply

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