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Art: Collaborative Projects

By Sharon Fujimoto-Johnson
“Everything is interwoven, and the web is
holy; none of its parts are unconnected. They are composed harmoniously, and
together they compose the world.” -Marcus Aurelius

In art, there is often a physical and
psychological distance between the artist and the viewer. The artist creates in
relative solitude, and his/her work is viewed in a gallery somewhere by a viewer
who interprets this artwork with his/her own distinct set of parameters. Even
so, part of the allure of art is that it’s a collaboration of sorts. Art allows
or perhaps even asks the viewer to become engaged, to ask questions, and to
In the global multimedia world,
collaborative art projects are emerging as a new type of participatory art. In
these projects, art is shared–not in a
linear fashion between the artist and viewer–but through the collaboration of
all of its participants. Each individual participant becomes both creator and
viewer within a larger community working to create a collaborative and often
ever-evolving work of art.
are a few collaborative projects in which you too can participate:
You Are Beautiful
The stated goal of this project is “to
spread a positive message throughout the world by any means necessary, except
through commercial use.” In exchange for a SASE, one receives five “You Are
Beautiful” stickers to be distributed or displayed in his/her city. These
stickers appear all across the U.S., and on every continent–in countries as
diverse as Egypt, China, India, Australia, and Argentina. Have you seen one in
your city?
[murmur]: Hear You Are
This is an archival audio project based in
Toronto, CA. At specific locations throughout the city, one can find signs with a telephone number and
location code marks. Visitors may call the number on their mobile phones and
listen to a story about that particular place while engaging in the physical
experience of being there. There are also [murmur] projects in San Jose, CA, as
well as in Vancouver and Montreal, Canada.
The 1001 Journals Project
This began as The 1000 Journals Project, an
experiment to follow 1,000 journals through their travels around the world. Travelers added to journals
before passing them along. This project eventually gave birth to the new “1001 Journals Project,” in which
participants can add to a traveling journal or to a “location journal” to which they themselves must travel. Or they can share a personal journal.
The Mirror Project
Also an ongoing community project, the
Mirror Project invites people to send in photographs they’ve captured of
themselves in reflective surfaces. It is based on the concept that
self-portraits reveal one’s truest face. The Mirror Project was featured in O,
the Oprah Magazine in 2002.Go ahead. Make art.

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