Round Table projects are leaderless collaborations in which each collaborator operates independently, in sequence, contributing according to their own judgment at every stage. The collaborator who works first on any given piece, completes that piece, after fellow collaborators have contributed.
Since 2009, hundreds of people of all ages and backgrounds, mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also across the country and around the world, have participated in Round Table projects and workshops. Well over one thousand collaborative collages have been featured in more than thirty exhibitions.
A collaborator who works first on a piece, works last on that piece, and is called its Principal Author. The other collaborators are Contributing Authors.
In the Group Process [VIDEO], each and every member of a prearranged group plays both roles— Principal Author and Contributing Author. Each group member starts and finishes one artwork, and contributes to all other works started by fellow group members. [Postal Collage] [New Shapes] The Group Process produces sets of collaborative artworks, comprising the same number of pieces as participants.
In the Individual Process, one may choose to be only a Contributing Author, contributing to any number of works-in-progress, but never starting & finishing anything. To play the role of Principal Author, one must also be a Contributing Author. [Check It Out] The Individual Process produces any number of single, collaborative artworks.
- A group is assembled, and a circular, sequential pattern is established.
- Each participant in a sequenced group initiates a work-in-progress.
- Each participant passes this first-stage work to the next participant in the sequence, and so, each receives a first-stage work from the sequentially prior participant.
- Each contributes to the first-stage work they received, transforming it into a second-stage work.
- This second-stage work is passed along as before, and so, also as before, everyone in the group receives a second-stage work.
- Each contributes again, and passes along in the prior manner.
- This continues until the final-stage, when each participant receives the piece they, themselves, initiated (having now passed through the hands of all other group members).
- Each participant completes the work they started, and when all group members have done so, the set is complete.
Each participant is considered the Principal Author of the work they initiate and complete, and a Contributing Author of the rest.
- Any collaborator may take on the role of Principal Author by initiating an artwork, and contributing to one or more, already underway. The new artwork is made available for contributions. When some number of others have, one by one, contributed to the artwork, it is returned to the initiator for completion.
- Any collaborator may choose the role of Contributing Author by gaining access to a work-in-progress, making a contribution, and returning it, making it available for the next collaborator.
Project participation is possible for any interested person or group. For more information, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marty McCutcheon, Berkeley, California
Round Table Collaboration is a Berkeley Commonplace program. Support Round Table Collaboration with a donation to Berkeley Commonplace.