Sustaining Collaborative Practice – Local Time

Abstract: As a collective we intend to use the platform of SCANZ to support a specific research project on interdisciplinary artistic collaboration. Artists and cultural organisers have periodically developed new collaborative initiatives to take a more active role in determining the agenda and context for their work. This has often been response to institutional and critical environments which fail to support interdisciplinary aesthetic, political and agendas for creative practice.

Whether conceived as an artistic collective, or a broader organisational platform supporting other aspects of production, such collaborations face a unique range of challenges. Institutions usually endure precisely because they are not centred around cultural production, instead they conform to an established set of expectations about their role. How do we sustain platforms for collaboration which are responsive to emerging creative practices? What are the critical issues such collaborations face and what opportunities do they have to sustain and develop practice under conditions of globalisation? In the move from individual practitioner to collective, what kinds of documentation strategies are required to enable the sharing of experience and conceptual development? These are the questions we intend to research on the residency.

Local Time based a project in Taranaki in 2008, organising an arts project for the Parihaka International Peace Festival. We see the residency as an opportunity to extend the relationships we have in that community, and to create links into the community of practitioners in SCANZ. Our project intends, firstly, to collaboratively research existing theory and practice in the field of artistic collaboration; and secondly, to interview the other interdisciplinary practitioners who are on the residency about their experiences and insights into collaborative practice. Our aim with the meeting is to provide a context to share practices and experiences, develop support networks, and strengthen underlying philosophies. We expect that this research will eventually result in the publication of a book.

Local Time are a collective of four established artists, curators, and writers who facilitate art projects and events, with a particular emphasis on issues of local and indigenous knowledge. Members of Local Time have coordinated significant international symposia and hui such as Cultural Futures: Place, Ground, and Practice in Asia Pacific New Media Arts (2005) and Cultural Provocation: Art, Activism and Social Change (2003).

Local Time –

Danny Butt –

Jon Bywater –

Natalie Robertson –

Alex Monteith –

Danny Butt

Danny Butt lectures in Critical Studies at Elam School of Fine Arts, National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries, University of Auckland. He has written, lectured and consulted widely on new media, culture, and development. He is on the working editorial committee for the Digital Review of Asia Pacific, and an associate member of The ORBICOM International Network of UNESCO Chairs in Communications. He is a Certified Management Consultant and a partner at Suma Media Consulting. He is on the SCANZ residency as part of the Local Time collective.

The Local Time Collective consists of Alex Monteith, Natalie Robertson, Danny Butt and Jon Bywater.