the economics of play

Yesterday, I met Will Robinson. I’ve been selected for small town collaboration’s mentored residency, and this year, Will’s the man.

We spent a few hours together yesterday afternoon and afterwards my brain hurt, but in a good way. I didn’t sleep very well last night because my brain was happy and excited and kept waking up my body to ask it questions. Eventually, I slept.

Body and brain struck a deal around 6:30 this morning, and I got up and couldn’t stop thinking about a similar collaboration with Shaun James almost exactly one year ago in Wales.

My work with Shaun (an exploration of play and the notion of artists as gardeners rather than architects ) was part of a larger project for which Shaun was solely responsible. This project too is Will’s baby. In both cases, I am a shareholder – and bonus! – if it all goes horribly wrong, I can claim the failure has nothing to do with me. But it won’t go horribly wrong. I am sure of that.

Will made a funny face yesterday when he realized I don’t have work of my own in Art in the Open. I think he worried my collaboration with him would come at a price.

For me, a glance at the photo below – an image of Shaun that somehow captures the joys of collaboration – is enough to remind me there are no costs involved. On some levels, I could argue that a single hour of play one year ago has done more for my developing practice than – thus far at least – the bulk of my MFA studies.

Investments we make in each other pay back, big time. Dividends, baby. Dividends.

DSC01160Nightlights for Grown-ups, with Shaun James, 2012

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