While our region hunkered down under a snowy blanket last week, CDI ideology shined brightly at the College Art Association Conference in Chicago. (CAA is the most prestigious and competitive forum for the dissemination of art production and research.) There, Interim Director Scott Betz led a session emphasizing the benefits of collaboration and bringing into focus the artistic language of innovation, creativity, and collaboration.
The conference session blurb describes a clichéd image of a creative genius suffering in isolation for the realization of a calling to paint, sculpt, draw, or write. According to Cathy N. Davidson, 21st century-technology and realities of our brain function promise to change all that. “Global teaming requires an inherent humility, an intuitive and inquisitive gift for unlearning and learning, because one’s patterns and expectations constantly come into productive collaboration with those of people schooled in other traditions, other cultures.” In a world where collaborations across disciplines and across vast distances seem omnipresent, how are artists and scholars affected? What are some desirable alternatives to the isolated creative genius icon? In many ways artists, musicians, and actors have been forerunners in the arena of cooperative productivity. How can those practices best inform educational and business structures where independent results have long been required? How does a student or a professional get “credit” for collaborative work?
Betz contributed to this discussion, highlighting collaborations that allow richer and more dynamic growth in both areas of art and science, focusing attention on the critical need to create ways to occupy the artistic void in 3D print research, thus bringing the artist firmly into the technical conversation.