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The Flat Diamond is a conceptual and theoretical object that operates as a proposition and invitation to explore the values of collaborative art practice; the work’s central concern is exploring the roles of the author and of narrative in the generation of value in an artwork. As identified by Claire Bishop in her book Artificial Hells, most collaborative artworks presented in an institutional context are singularly authored by a named individual or group, the Flat Diamond questions the validity of this standard and proposes the idea of dispensed authorship: a mode of representation that posits the possibility of collective/subjective ownership of collaborative work.

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Documentation of Ghost Ethics in the Black Board Cafe

Documentation of Ghost Ethics in the Black Board Cafe

, Nir Segal, collaboration with Dr Mathelinda Nabugodi, 2015

EARN event, Slade Research Centre, Slade School of Fine Art.

Dr Leni Dothan

The works that make up this research include performances, invitations, events, and proposals; each of which helps to develop the argument for an art practice that embraces modes of collaboration, facilitation and dispensed authorship. The representation and authorship of such work is explored in this report, which deploys the reflective/subjective account of its author alongside witness testimonies of collaborators, which are presented as the portfolio in the second volume of this research, to explore how collective work might be narrated.

The generative/discursive methods and structures developed over the course of this research have already been used to help support communication in patients with aphasia, and it is also envisaged that the work will contribute to discourses around art practice, collaboration and authorship.

As a result of this research, I identified a number of values that relate to collaboration, the most significant being the value of intimacy, which sits alongside terms such trust, belief, kindness and generosity. In this report, I wish to argue that intimacy is an essential state in the collaborative act and retrospectively ask, ‘In what way does a collaboration perform intimacy, and what does intimacy enable in the act of making?



Primary: Jo Volley
Secondary and third: Late Professor Edward Allington and Dr Hayley Newman