12 January 2009

Vol. 1, Issue 6 | Definitions, Part 2

[originally written 22 March 2006, 12:42pm]

Been hearing the word ‘collaborate’ frequently this year, in the context of artists of all types working together on fascinating projects. While I understand the word as used contextually, I looked up the definition, as I’m wont to do...

1 • To work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort.
2 • To cooperate treasonably, as with an enemy occupation force in one's country.

This is fucking brilliant.

I find a sweet synergy in juxtaposing the definitions. The phrase ‘Intellectual Treason’ ricochets inside my skull, causing new thoughts, ideas, plots and conspiracies...

Treason is defined as “A betrayal of trust or confidence.” When artists collaborate, whom are they betraying? Other artists? Or maybe their own comfortable artistic conventions? Possibly the artistic community at large? And how would one betray such a community that lives to defy convention? By collaborating to make non-art? Within the artistic zeitgeist, is non-art still art when committed by artists?

What of the rest of society? As the saying goes, Art imitates Life/Life imitates Art. When artists collaborate, are they betraying the society in which they are a part of? Is the art they create together revealing our society’s secrets to outsiders? To ourselves? If so, isn’t it the responsibility of those collaborating artist to do just that?

This isn’t a post full of rhetorical questions, nor do I intend to answer them myself. Instead I want your input, your thoughts, your questions. Talk to me. I want to know. I want to collaborate with you... with all of you, right here, right now. And I’ll even still respect you afterwards.

Talk. Now.

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