The Art of Collaboration

Processes • Technologies • Authorship

Video documentation of all panels and keynote address will be available here. Check back soon.

Location: The Dark Lab, in UCSC’s New Digital Arts Research Center (DARC), located between the Music Recital Hall and Baskin Visual Arts on West Campus, UC Santa Cruz.

Date: Thursday October 22 through Friday October 23, 2009

Time: Thursday 430p-730p, and Friday 930a-730p

UCSC’s Arts Division and Porter College are proud to present an interdisciplinary symposium investigating collaboration as a key concept in contemporary art and creative production. More than twenty scholars, artists, filmmakers, game designers and theorists will come together to discuss the meanings and cultural aspirations associated with collaboration, including non-hierarchical production, shared authorship, cross-disciplinary and trans-cultural approaches to research. Collaborative work between artists, curators, programmers, designers, scholars, students, activists and others will be considered as an alternative to the notion of individual authorship in intellectual and creative endeavors.

This event is free and open to the public.

If you would like to hear Co-Organizer Prof. Margaret Morse talking about the "Art of Collaboration"on the radio show, Artists on Art, with DANM alum, Nada Miljkovic, please click here. This interview was broadcast live 10/20/09. Also, click here to see a short video from the KZSC radio station in the moment.


Hosted by the Digital Arts and New Media MFA Program, The Art of Collaboration marks the inaugural symposium of the new Digital Arts Research Center (DARC). The symposium will be divided into three panels including: Dialogue and Difference; Authorship, Technologies and Frames; and Modes of Production and Reception. Joining our esteemed UC Santa Cruz faculty will be participants from the Bay Area, as well as national and international guests. These panels will consider questions regarding what it means to work together, such as: How has collaboration evolved as an activist response to notions of individual genius in the arts? How do creative production, curating and scholarship become collaborative practices? What strategies have evolved for authoring, synthesizing, presenting, publishing and archiving artists' works? How do these developments redefine what art/scholarship/curatorial practice can be? Can artists and filmmakers ever truly collaborate with communities or share authorship with subjects?

In addition to our panels, a keynote address will be delivered by Professor Grant Kester, Chair and Associate Professor of Art History in the Visual Arts Department at UC San Diego. His publications include Art, Activism and Oppositionality: Essays from Afterimage (Duke University Press) and Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art (University of California Press). His forthcoming book is The One and the Many: Agency and Identity in Contemporary Collaborative Art (Duke University Press). His talk is entitled “Enclosure Acts: Collaborative Practice in an Indian Village."

With the UC Santa Cruz Foundation, The Art of Collaboration will co-present a lecture by Dr. Ed Catmull on the topic of collective creativity. Dr. Catmull is co-founder of Pixar, and president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios. He will be awarded the 2009 Foundation Medal at the Founders Day Dinner on Friday, October 23 ( His UCSC Foundation Forum keynote address is entitled “Creativity: What I Don’t Know and What I Know.”

Artistic presentations in conjunction with the proceedings include collaborative works of art by students, as well as a joint reception with Sesnon Gallery (Porter College) to celebrate Full Disclosure, an exhibition featuring collaborative projects by UCSC arts and science faculty and lab researchers. By exploring the complexities of collaboration, this symposium challenges overdependence on intellectual individuality in favor of the non-territorial, collective, dialogic, participatory and relational.

Conference organized by Margaret Morse and B. Ruby Rich. Coordinated by Soraya Murray, Cris Imai and the Digital Arts and New Media MFA Program. Research assistance by Margaretha Haughwout, Lindsay Kelley and Laila Shereen Sakr. Special thanks to Lyle Troxell.

Affiliated departments include: Community Studies Department and Social Documentation MA Program, Film and Digital Media, the Digital Arts and New Media MFA Program.

Sponsors: UCSC Arts Division, the Porter Festival Grant, the Arts Research Institute, the Academic Senate Committee on Research (COR), the Center for Art and Visual Studies (CAVS), the UC Santa Cruz Foundation and Awake Media.

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