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Jan with Michael Chang
In the Morning
The Commons
Ithaca, NY
Photo by John Criscitello

Collaboration?
You call that art? I don’t understand!


We live in a world oversaturated with information, so the plea I often hear is “Keep it easy and accessible; don’t throw curve balls and definitely don’t ever change the rules. Otherwise, I can’t keep track of it all!” If art reflects life, it should, indeed, be throwing curve balls and embracing unpredictability. This is why collaboration between artists is so important today. It’s a global imperative that we should learn to get along and work together for the greater good in a world that is in constant flux. Collaborative art is a first step toward this desirable and worthy goal.

To understand collaboration, it helps to remember the premise that humans are social animals. We have been gathering into groups and sharing ideas for eons. We know that innovations come quicker through the cross-pollination of cultures. When many minds, hearts, and hands contribute unselfishly, our cultural heritage is enriched in the most life affirming way possible. Unfortunately, many voices of the art world speak narrowly about art making. They continue to promote the definitive modus operandi for artists as that of the lone artist-genius toiling away in his garret. This classic representation probably includes a freezing cold studio, a debilitating illness, unrelenting bill collectors, and major suffering due to a dramatic, dead end romantic relationship. This mythology makes an excellent storyline for a gripping novel or Hollywood film, but doesn’t reflect the reality so many artists throughout the world are living today.
On these web pages I share some of the finer moments I've found, not alone in my studio, but by collaborating with others.

--Jan Kather, 2011
Tom Oberg giving Jan bunny ears
Wegman's Cafe
Elmira, NY


Jan with Kika Nicolela and Zachary Sandler
Exquisite Corpse Video Project Screening
Monkeytown
Brooklyn, NY

Jan with Marty McCutcheon
Setting up Fragments Installation at the Arnot Art Museum
Photo by Michael Chang