Artistic Bedfellows

Histories, Theories & Conversations in Collaborative Art Practices, edited by Holly Crawford
Collaboration is an absolutely central topic in contemporary art practice, seen by many as freeing art from its traditional constraints of self-referentiality and subjectivity. In this useful anthology, artist and theorist Holly Crawford collects the most passionate practitioners and critics of collaborative art. With over 40 texts from noted academics and artists in the field, exploring both socio-political and psychological dimensions, Crawford documents a major development in contemporary art. –Dr. Daniel Palmer, Theory of Art & Design, Monash University, Melbourne


Although the modernist notion of art as autonomoushas been thoroughly contested, the discourse of the artist as celebrated individual persists. As a counter to that, this eclectic collection of writings on ‘collaboration as a cultural practice’ starts from the standpoint that collective approaches have been a

characteristic feature of artistic production throughout the 20th century and that a rich cultural and artistic interchange results from shared experience and dialogue. Informed by contemporary notions of an emergent ‘relational’ sensibility and participative forms of social and cultural activity (such as the

worldwide web) the editor, Holly Crawford,  brings together a series of interviews, essays, conversations and remarks on collaboration. International visual artists, critics, writers and musicians explore a range of histories, discourses and theories relating to communal, collective practices including FLUXUS, Zero, GRAV and SPUR in mid-20th century, women artists in the GDR and the Critical Art Ensemble in the Eighties and the experimental New Social Art School set up in Aberdeen in 2004. The resulting anthology, a considerable collaborative project in its own right, challenges orthodoxies and engages in the vital and current debate within the global artistic community about participative cooperative approaches.




Histories, Theories and Conversations

The Decoration of the Paris Panthéon by Paul Chenavard – A Particular Brotherhood

Pierre-Olivier Douphis

The Calling of Two Creatures:  Depression-era Collaboration and a Theory of Camera and Pen

Zoe Trodd

Creative Occupation:  Collaborative Artistic Practices in Europe 1937-1944

Horace Brockington

Collaborative Practices in Environmental Art

Grant Kester

Concepts of Collaborative Art in the Divided Germany of the 1960s

Nina Zimmer

“Avant Femme” or Futuristic Frauen “Avant-femme” or Futuristic Frauen: Collaborative Art by Women in the German Democratic Republic

Beret Norman

The Second Self

Charles Green

“Encompassing Unboundness”: Desire and Collaborative Authorship in Carla Harryman and Lyn Hejinian’s “The Wide Road”

Shawna Ferris

An Easy Alliance: A Dialogue on Methodology

Lull (Elena Knox) and Cristyn Davies

Learning from Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown

Vladimir Belogolovsky

Language of Innovation

Alan F. Blackwell and David A. Good

Working Together

Ken Friedman

Ken Friedman: A Life in Fluxus

Peter Frank

Temporary Bedfellows: Claes Oldenburg, Maurice Tuchman and Disney

Holly Crawford

The Ivory Towers Were Always Connected: Interdisciplinary Dia(b)logues as Challenge and Choice

Ursula Ganz-Blaettler

Socially Engaged Art, Critics, and Discontents: Interview of Claire Bishop

Jennifer Roche

“Detrimental to the Interests of the United States”: Cuban Artists (Not) in Residence

Jenni Drozdek

Suzanne Lacy: Oakland Projects

Dena L. Hawes

Simonides in the Machine: The Art of Virtual Memory in a Pentagon-funded Initiative

Carrie Paterson

Locating a Temporary Common Space: Cultural Exchanges in Weedpatch

Gillian Whitely


Lillian Fellmann

Having Their Cake and Eating it Too:  The Case of Christo’s (and Jeanne-Claude’s) Im(permanence) and Exclusivity

Holly Crawford

The Wu-wei of the 21st Century Art of Collaboration

Lisa Paul Streitfeld

What is Conversational Music or “Convers”?

Martin Simon

Shorter Comments, Thoughts and Projects

 Some Thoughts on Collaboration

Guy Van Belle

The Electron Buddy System

Nicolas Collins

I Always Appreciated Teamwork and Collaborations


The Dream of a Common Language: Thoughts on Collaboration and Protest

Zoe Trodd

Observations on Collective Cultural Action

Critical Art Ensemble

New Social Art School

Eva Merz


Andrea Thal


Catharyne Ward and Eric Wright

On Collaboration


“This Way Up,” Concept and Progress

Chris Fite-Wassilak

Online Collaboration in Genomic Art

Holly Longstaff

A Robot and Its Double

Pia Lindman

Collaborative Art Projects and

Fernando Galán

My Collaborative Art


Collaboration between Tracey Snelling and Salvador Diaz, Chicago, March 2005

Tracey Snelling

“i Woz,” and Gina

Steve Wozniak

“It seems simple, but it is not.”