Parameters and Practice – A Year of Tasks for Creative Collaboration

Parameters and Practice is a year-long project designed to lay the groundwork for a collaborative mode of hybrid artistic/academic work. The activity of the project is envisaged as an extended investigation into the conditions and methods necessary to such work. The project is conceived of in terms of practice as research, but it is not concerned with any particular topic. It is instead a kind of ‘meta-project’, meaning that the topic is the activity of the project itself: the iterative discipline and accumulation of the exchange and performance of tasks and the composition of responses, as described below. Individual tasks and activities may have their own intrinsic value but these individual tasks are less important than the growth and development of the project.

How the project works

Each Monday one of us will set the other a task that will be shared here on the site. The following Monday, the person who has received the task will publish a response to and/or record of the given task and set a new task for the other partner. And so on, with the setting or carrying out of tasks exchanged between partners from week to week.

General Rules

The project exchange will take place primarily via the exchange of tasks. However, we do not ask questions or request clarifications about set tasks, or assist each other in carrying out a task unless a task specifically requires it.

Rules for Setting Tasks

Start with what you (think you) know, then reach out from there.

Don’t be too precious about the task you are setting.

Tasks must include:

  • A physical, practical or creative activity

Task will include one or more of the following practices:

  • Observing
  • Mark-making
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Drawing
  • Doing yoga
  • Moving
  • Exploring
  • Filming
  • Photographing

Duration and frequency (i.e., number of times to be performed) of task is open, unless otherwise indicated.

Tasks may be a development or response to the experience of a previous task or may concern something new.

Tasks must be posted by noon on Monday.

Rules for Performing Tasks

Start with what you (think you) know and work on the task within your own framework, then reach out from there.

Tasks need to be performed at least once.

Don’t be too precious about how the task is done.

No questions can be asked of the task-setter in regard to the task, though questions may be asked in the responses that follow the task.

Rules for Responses and Documentation

Both responses and tasks are addressed to the other partner. Where unspecified in the task, responses may include:

  • A record of the task undertaken
  • A description of the process of preparing/performing the task and/or of producing any artefacts (prose, film etc.)
  • Questions and reflections generated by this process
  • Ideas for further reading/watching/doing
  • Creative reflection as writing, mark-making, filmmaking, photography etc.

Responses have to be posted by noon on Monday.

Introductions to the project by both collaborators

The two collaborators on this project are life partners with different expertise, backgrounds and experience. We decided it made sense for us each to compose an introduction to the project that expressed our individual perspective and objectives.

‘Parameters and Practices’ is a platform for myself and my life partner, Alan, to investigate methods and shared interests in artistic and academic disciplines. The set-up of the project allows us to work together through a task-based format that integrates our respective expertise.
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Marie and I have talked about developing a collaborative and hybrid art/academic practice for some years. We have postponed collaboration until now for the usual logistical reasons, but also because issues of equality and status seemed difficult to overcome.
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Acknowledgement

The form of ‘Parameters and Practices’ is modelled on ‘Two Trainers Prepare’, a year-long project between academic Maria Kapsali, Lecturer in Physical Performance at Leeds, and Marie Hallager Andersen. ‘Two Trainers Prepare’ was designed to explore ‘the space between creative expression and [the two collaborators’] respective yoga practices’. The project was intended ‘as a preparation towards integrating different styles of yoga and other art forms in an interdisciplinary pedagogy’, and its task-based methodology has directly inspired the approach we adopt for this collaboration.

See here for Marie’s reflections on the ‘Two Trainers Prepare’ project.