in your critiques of the concept of genius you state:
I do not think there is such a thing as genius. As I have already indicated,
I have a lot of time for Newton's idea of team-work.
I regard individuality as a contingent characteristic, preferring the
Foucauldian notion of the distributed self or Latour's of expanded and
diffused agency. In these models the individual is regarded as an instance
of the collective and enabled through that context, drawing on and defined
by the resources within and without them (there is no notion of an essential
or irreducible self .
A contemporary example of diffused agency/distributed self is found of course
in open source software development groups. Many of us think of
open source software development as a source of innovation and creativity
as compared to commercial development or very institutionalised contexts
but a recent article by Viktor Mayer=Schonberg in Science on
Can We Re Invent the Internet
he points out that in general social network topologies are not
conducive to radical innovation- and he suggests that the value
of a 'node''s value in a social network is not proporitional to the
number of links (facebookers beware) but the connections to
disparate groups=which span 'structural holes' and enable
radical approaches= he argues that much peer produced code
is rarely altered except in an incremental manner= he suggests
that one needs to create incentives to form network structures
that, structurally, stimulate and enable innovation-and he suggests
its an interesting thought that the actual 'structure' of the network
of a collaboration can in itself determine whether the collaboration
is inventive, and can make radical non incremental innovation
but it also higlights how even in team work, individuals can play
key roles in enabling radical innovation by a group= there are
organisational geniuses ?
which brings me to Nina Yankowitz comments on the emobilart
collaboration groups:- have added my comments in CAPS
As an emobilart participant>> list some of my thoughts re:
collaborative projects / establishing good conditions for problem
1. Inviting prospective participants - distributing details of all
participants proposals and profiles at least one month in advance of
meeting, to ponder, can better prepare invited collaborators to make
efficient choices when deciding with whom to collaborate.
ONE OF THE STRENGTHS OF EMOBILART WAS THAT THE COLLABORATORS DID NOT
KNOW EACH OTHER
BEFORE THE FIRST WORKSHOP WHEN THE COLLABORATION TEAMS FORMED= BUT THE
LIMITED AMOUNT OF TIME INDEED MADE THE GROUP FORMATION PROCESS PERHAPS
NOT AS GOOD AS IT COULD BE=AT THE SAME
TIME THE FACT THAT MOST OF THE GROUPS WERE ABLE TO COMPLETE A PROJECT=
TESTIFIES TO THE POWER OF THE COLLABORATION IMAGINATION DRIVE !
2. Clearly establishing a non-hierarchal relationship between all
participants and organizers, with special attention to this when
participants from each category are creating and exhibiting in the
I THINK WE WOULD AGREE THAT WE DIDNT THINK ENOUGH AHEAD OF TIME ABOUT
BETWEEN THE ORGANISERS THEMSELVES AND BETWEEN THE ORGANISERS/CURATORS
AND THE ARTISTS.
PERHAPS A RECOMMENDATION WOULD TO DO ACTUAL TRAINING IN COLLABORATIVE
TECHNIQUES=THESE ARE WIDELY USED IN THE BUSINESS WORLD FOR INSTANCE=
ACTUALLY TRAIN IN COLLABORATION TECHNIQUES
3. All members should, I believe, have equal access to all meetings
about the projects and networking meetings too, equally sharing in the
decision making process and the potential networking benefits that
these meetings can provide.
IN STRATEGIC ALLIANCE METHODOLOGY IN THE BUSINESS WORLD, IT IS KNOWN
THAT ONE MUST ESTABLISH THE CLEARLY ARTICULATED VALUES AND
METHODOLOGIES AHEAD OF TIME AND IN WRITING
= IN EMOBILART WE LEARNED BY DOING WHICH IS HIGH RISK !
4. I do believe the future, as I think Roger is suggesting, is in
collaborative pooling of resources.
A CLEAR PROBLEM WAS THE HUGE AMOUNT OF DONATED AND CONTRIBUTED
RESOURCES NEEDED TO COMPLETE THE PROJECTS. THE COLLABORATION TEAM
ITSELF WAS GROSSLY UNDERFUNDED=BUT IF WE HAD
SUBMITTED A PROPOSAL WITH THE TRUE COSTS IT PROBABLY WOULD NOT HAVE
BEEN FUNDED. CATCH 22
5. Whether small or large groups - formations need structure,
mutual clarification of goals, and how to best meet specific group
needs. Assumptions about how projects may get funded by participants
in respective groups can be problematic and would best be detailed
within each. Also addressing how grants can / should be fairly
disseminated if received when individuals apply for project funding
and are awarded?
PER MY DISCUSSION ABOVE RE OPEN SOURCE NETWORK STRUCTURES=YES=THE
STRUCTURE CAN DETERMINE WHAT KINDS OF OUTCOMES ARE POSSIBLE
6. Personal aspects - Although numerous snags abound when initially
cross-connecting myriad cultures, uncovering ingrained biases, intense
egos that non-cyborgs nurture, that we all succumb - I found flying
with my teams very valuable to my personal and spiritual growth and
growth for the future of the planet in general. I look forward to
THE INTERPERSONAL TENSIONS ARE PERHAPS PART OF THE CONTEXT OF CREATIVE
FRICTION ? IT MIGHT
HAVE BEEN USEFUL TO HAVE A GROUP SOCIOLOGIST OR PSYCHOLOGIST ON THE TEAM !!
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