Business has a mad crush on collaboration — witness the billions spent on social networking sites, or all the hype around “collaboration studies.” But beneath all the flirtation, business needs to remain the boss. As long as the process of collaboration is controlled and monetized, the relationship will always be one of forced cooperation. This book argues for Free Cooperation — an alternative way of doing things together, from parenting and the workplace to event organization and cultural production. Brian Holmes, Howard Rheingold, Christoph Spehr and the editors critique the dominant methods of socio-economic integration, and elaborate a practical alternative, one that promises to surmount both the problems of inequality and the lack of independence in daily life.
Taking the Matter into Common Hands maps out the issues surrounding collaborative art from a practitioner’s perspective. With contributions from Marion von Osten, Nav Haq, 16 Beaver, Copenhagen Free University, Maria Lind and Lars Nilsson, it examines the working relations between artists and other producers of culture, and explores the future of collective action in the art world.
In recent years, the art world has shown a renewed interest in collective work and activity. Collaborations between artists and artists, artists and curators, and artists and outside professionals have begun to rival the traditional focus on the individual artist. This type of collaboration has called into question how we view works of art that are not the voice of a single individual, and how that impacts on the concept of art as a means of self-expression.