You (yes, you) are invited to a collaboration experiment.

The Wednesday Machine Arts Collective is coordinating a project intended to encourage collaboration, communication, and support between artists of all sorts.  We will be connecting artists, writers, actors, puppet-artists, musicians, and creative minds of all sorts to work together across borders of geography, genre, medium or personal acquaintance.

Perhaps someone will write the monologue a puppet’s face suggests.  Perhaps a short story will be distilled into a song.  Perhaps a poem will become a performance by a couple of actors.  The possibilities might just be endless.

In short, if you’d like to participate:

You would send an email to virtualartsfest (at) gmail (dot) com with the following information:

Email Address
What form of art do you work in?
Anything else?

Also, please choose one of these options (or make up your own option):
1.    I want an active collaboration – please put me in touch with someone and we’ll figure it out from there.
2.    I work best on my own, but want to be a part of this.  Please send me someone else’s work to build on and/or I will send a piece of work for someone else to build from.

Now is the part where you email us and ask us questions – this is an ever-changing experiment in collaboration, so there are no hard and fast rules.  We’re making it up as we go along.  I hope you’ll jump in and play with us.  And play nice!  I suppose that’s the only definite rule – collaboration can be a tricky process, so we’d like to trust all the participants to be respectful and kind to each other.

What happens at the end?  Well, we hope this will spark friendships and future collaborations, and we do hope to share/publish some of the resulting work (with the artists’ permissions, of course).  Stay tuned for future news, as we can’t make the plans until we see what kind of work arises from this project.  One likely possibility is to create a website to serve as virtual gallery, with links to writings, images, and videos.

Q & A:

How long do we have to create something?
There are no deadlines here – perhaps this collaboration opportunity will become a friendship with no ending.  However, once we begin to see where people are taking this, we might have deadlines – for example, if there seems to be a lot of writing and we decided to put together a printed publication, we’d have a deadline.  But so far, no time-based pressure.  Just get out there and talk to each other and create!

I’m very busy.  Just what are you asking me to do?  I don’t have time for this.
Well, you can really participate as much or as little as you’d like.  You can begin work on a large project with someone, or you can simply collaborate on a single poem by emailing each other lines back and forth.  You can find someone in your city you’ve never met before and work together sporadically.  You can ask for a poet to send you pieces that you will then turn into songs, if you’d be writing songs anyway.  You can take a piece of visual art you’ve already created and send a copy to a writer to add words to it or use it as inspiration.  It’s all up to you.  I’m hoping the immense flexibility in this project will encourage people to participate – you can work with us in whatever capacity helps foster your own growth as an artist.

But I like my painting the way it is!  I don’t want a writer adding words to it!
That’s understandable.  If you don’t want to collaborate, simply press delete and I apologize for cluttering up your inbox.  But maybe you can keep safe all your work you don’t want changed, and try to create something specifically for purposes of collaboration, just to give it a shot.  You might have fun.

Ok, that’s all the questions I can think of at the moment.  Just drop me an email and we’ll figure it out as this project begins to take shape.  I know some of this seems a little vague, but that’s the nature of the beast – we have no idea what amazing things are waiting to happen until we see who wants to play and get moving!
for more info, or to participate: virtualartsfest (at) gmail (dot) com