Becoming a work of art: Collaboration, materiality and posthumanism in visual arts education

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Roussell, D & Fell, F 2018, 'Becoming a work of art: Collaboration, materiality and posthumanism in visual arts education', International Journal of Education Through Art, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 91-110.

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Collaboration has become a core aspect of teaching, learning and research in university art departments, especially as contemporary artists have increasingly turned to collective and socially engaged studio practices. Despite this, hylomorphic approaches to arts education continue to position matter as a passive substance to be shaped by the artist(s) in service of linguistic discourse. In this article, we ask how a new materialist approach to collaboration might disrupt humanist ontologies of visual arts education in the university. We first draw on posthumanist writings to re-compose collaboration in ways that are responsive to the specificity of material entanglements as they are enacted within an ecology of studio practices. From there we work diagrammatically across a collaborative ‘data event’ of art in the making, drawing on a year-long participatory study with a cohort of third-year art students. In the final section, we develop propositions for collaboration as a transversal practice of ‘becoming a work of art’.

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