Thoughts about collaborative art.

A contemporary approach to thinking about collaborative art is in the appreciation of the aesthetics of relational art. It is not possible to look at an artwork made by more than one person without asking/imagining what was the nature of the interaction, how aesthetic effects came into being, how the process of production causes visual pleasures in a distinctively new way. Whether or not one knows the details of the social relations of production, the consequence of a non-individualistic mode of creativity gives rise to a new mode of aesthetic appreciation. Through the imagination/understanding of the social relations of production, the beholder of a collaborative work creates their own place in the sociality of its appreciation – a form of aesthetic engagement that simultaneously questions the spaces of production and reception. The viewer of a collaborative artwork engages with the relational aspects of its production by the recognition of a newly created social relations of reception – a many to one, one to many, many to many cycle of interaction. The viewer is drawn into the web of relationship. Imagining a social relations of creation is analogous to interrogating the creative dimension of one’s own processes of aesthetic appreciation.


This work is by myself and Emma Beer: 2016:7. “Blue tesseract”. This work is currently on show at “P+O: Paint and Object” curated by Andrew Leslie at Annandale Galleries, Sydney.

And for its cross-cultural implications, see my Relational Agency: Rethinking The Aboriginal Memorial at

See also my Relational Agency: The Elcho Island Memorial at


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