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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Collaborative Failure: Art & Intimacy

This is a generative post to what I want to eventually talk about at some length, which is collaborative failure or when collaborations fail or how collaborations fail.

I thought I would generate a bunch of corners to back into and then precede:

Does the artist choose collaborations that they know will be successful
or do collaborations that fail just disappear and not garner attention? Where do we see failed collaborations?

What does failure look like?

Is collaboration always a desire for intimacy? How does collaboration create a space for intimacy not relegated in other parts of our lives (as artists, as people)? Is the collaborative space a dangerous space?

Who decides?

When collaborations fail are they the failure of the two (or more) artists or the constraints or a problem of intimacy?

When is a collaboration not a collaboration?

& also if the working relationship works but the outcome of the work suffers
(if you write with someone & it fails what does that say about the relationship)

What if the collaboration is successful, but the relationship of the artists is not? What is a failure of intimacy in the midst of collaboration?

Where do we learn from failure vs. the breaking apart of communion?

Is it a failure to allow another into your space? (who are people that don't collaborate?)

Can collaboration succeed?

Can we argue that all collaborations are failures in their inability to cohere?

Or do they all succeed by their acceptance of opening up to the potential for failure?

Collaboration as the greatest source for potential failure/ how does this mimic intimacy?

If a collaboration fails, who takes the blame or Is collaboration inevitable?

At what levels, do we consider something a collaboration? Why are we more comfortable with failure in art and less so in our real lives? What is at stake to embracing daily failure in life?

Are we collaborating with the audience? As a medium, does poetry lend itself more readily to failure?

(Special thanks to poets Kristin Sanders, Ben Kopel, Lisa Pasold and Anne Boyer for discussions and thoughts generated about art & failure)

You can email me at: if you have any answers/ questions to add or comment below.

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