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Gwynneth VanLaven November Presentation in Wyandotte

November 19, 2015

On Sunday, Nov. 1, WCAMI met with Gwynneth VanLaven at the Downriver Council for the Arts, in Wyandotte, to hear about her ongoing 8 year collaboration with the Washington D.C.’s Floating Lab Collective, an artists’ group that seeks ways to give voice to the disadvantaged. She showed a wonderful powerpoint of over 50 performative and interactive pieces that she’d contributed to in the socially engaged practice that revolved around relational aesthetics. Their practice aims for person-to-person interactions within an aesthetically and conceptually considered framework.

She covered the basic elements for collaboration:

  • Collaborators should be prepared to let go of the original idea because as people engage it necessarily changes.
  • Artists must learn how to see interaction as the medium of the piece.
  • Generosity is at the core of this work; it becomes an exchange of gifts.
  • Researching the community and new materials is a necessary and interesting step in the process
  • Each participant  contributes his/her own skills, which eases expectations and improves collaboration.

Artists  became very excited about the possibility of doing a collaboration with the Floating Lab and Gwynneth, and some ideas for projects were discussed.  These included:

  • Doing a collaborative piece at the river in Wyandotte,
  • Creating an art project to coincide with the Art Fair in Wyandotte in July, 2016,
  • Bringing an already existing work by Floating Lab such as “Sofa/Art” or “Chairs and Tables” for performance in Michigan.
  • Designing and executing collaboratively an art work on the subject of borders (The Detroit River is an International Border and the Underground Railroad is an important part of Detroit’s history)
  • Planning a performance based work for February WCA Conference in Washington, DC

Timetables for these projects were briefly discussed.  Any project scheduled for the Wyandotte Art Fair should be presented by Patti Izzo at the first planning meeting for the fair in January 2016.

 

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