From Critical Practice Chelsea
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94% was a short-lived collaboration that grew out of Unnamed Collaboration following the "failure" of this group to produce outcomes sufficiently meaningful to constitute an exhibition.
Foundation: Four members of Unnamed Collaboration reformed with the view of developing an alternative, process-oriented collaboration more concerned with challenging our individual ways of working methods than producing an exhibition of finished work. This (overarching) agenda reacted against the exhibition-oriented focus of Unnamed Collaboration. Simply put: we can locate an important difference between these two groups in the tension between "process" and "product," a tension wrapped up with different paradigms of art.
Constituency: 94% comprised of Ben Coode Adams, Tanya Cottingham, Jane Hoodless and me.
Duration: The group met only twice - once on June 11, 2009 and then again on July 1, 2009. We agreed at the end of the second meeting to continue working together, but this failed to transpire. There were several (possible) reasons for this:
- Time and Value: Were our meetings productive, generative, sustainable? Everyone was busy with other projects and this placed substantial expectations on our time together. Yet there was also a desire to proceed without cumbersome expectations.
- Different agendas: Our stated agenda was to develop a space that operated outside and/or in tension with our respective practices. Some of the more established artists in the group embraced 94% as a way of "opening up" their established ways of working. So...this was a secondary activity...Perhaps this helps to explain our limited commitment... Moreover, Ben quickly emerged as the "leader" of the group - He took the initiative of organising the third meeting and when this failed to manifest, none of the rest of us stepped into the breach. How to account for this inaction? Were we all thankful for an "out"?
- Alternatives: Retrospectively, we might have regarded our meetings a fodder for other, contingent projects. This was, in a way, what Josh Love did when he began working with Pierre in Unnamed Collaboration. While Josh's approach was problematic because it broke the terms of his and my agreement, they way he instrumentalised our work together for his own ends is an interesting model.
Meeting 1, June 11, 2009
Royal Festival Hall 7:00 - 9:00
- Tube strike on – Ben arrived late. Tanya, Jane and I were already there and waiting
- We agreed to call ourselves 94% based on Pierre’s reference to being 95% sure that he and Josh would get their epic film finished in time for our critique
- We reflected on Unnamed Collaboration:
- Jane felt the randomness of our pairings was significant - the challenge/opportunity of working with an unknown Other.
- Ben felt it was very much about intimacy – this was not something he usually considers in his work – this project gave him a way to step outside of his normal routine: How far does it put you outside of your normal position?
- Ben observed it's about what you're willing to accept - this seems related to hospitality - There’s a lot about being “moved” being moved from your familiar way of working and moved by the work – or not - so there are questions here around displacement.
- Ben also observed there were substantial questions about judgment: We were unsure if what we were doing in the context of collaboration was “good”
- Interesting that we all rallied against Pierre - that our frustration with him became a catalyst for other ways of working.
- Next phase: We’ve set July 1, 2009 as a possible date to meet
- We agree that we want to work together on an occasional basis – one day a month
- We need just enough structure to support our process
- We agree we need some kind of "end product" = outcome...
- Ben challenged us to think about ourselves as a gang
- Questions around personal territories
- Venn diagram
- We agreed we’d use a time-keeping system...to organise the day...
- We agreed we’d meet first thing to discuss how we were going to spend the day working
- Tanya agreed she’d start a blog where we’d develop a shared narrative
- We agreed we’d consider the following things - we'd come to the next meeting with a few suggestions and this provide some rationale for our activities - so there's the choice and then there's the “because” (justification):
- Subject – specificity (intimacy and touching two people at the same time)
- Key questions that came out of our past work
- What does it mean to collaborate?
- How do we share (in) this kind of work?
- We talked about the importance of being self-organized; of not having a leader.
- We talked about the practicalities of this process – for example, Ben’s made it clear that he can concentrate for about three hours and then he has to rest – also, he needs to eat regularly. These things are not incidental. They're practicalities that make working together feasible or not.
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Documentation from Meeting 2, July 1, 2009
Stapling our composition together - coloring flowers with chalk
Our composition in progress
Cutting up printed images of flowers
Detailed image of our composition
prostration in front of our Composition
Installation of composition in front of the church in Hammersmith
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