When the year started in September, and we were set the eight week group project, I was a little bit apprehensive as I thought that working in a group would involve too many compromises. Immediately I had planed to break away and work on my own, but when I got talking with some other students I really found what they had to say very interesting. So in the end I committed to working within a group our question being: can success be engineered?
We began with the idea of making a kinetic sculpture (a giant chain reaction machine), mostly just because I thought it would be enjoyable and provide the opportunity for a more logical sort of creativity, one which that would require many calculations and experimenting. However, it was apparent that we had not brain stormed or discussed any other directions to take the project, so we held a number of quite intensive meetings and eventually settled on the project that ultimately became ‘Art Camel.’
Using the phrase ‘A camel is a horse designed by committee’, we set out to discover wether an artwork that was designed by a committee (us) could be successful; Do too many cooks spoil the broth? I found that this would be an interesting experience as it actually reflected how I felt about working in a group to begin with.
As this was an eight week project we decided that we would create the final artwork at the very end, so in the weeks leading up to this we would each produce a small piece of art based on a predetermined theme. We then displayed everyones work each week in the link gallery with instructions for passers by, to vote on the piece that they deem the most ‘successful’ on the ballots provided. We also asked them to write why. We would later then use these results when constructing the final art work. Over this period, the six of us produced work for five different briefs. This is what I produced for each of them (images below).
Overall, our conclusion was that people tended to prefer work that either required a certain amount of skill or much more simplistic, conceptual work. We considered this when making the ‘Camel’ and included aspects of the top two pieces from each brief.