Collaborate to generate within the arts

Puzzle pieces by cgines, on Flickr
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When we started sharing ideas about this article, we realised that we didn’t have to put our sociocultural researcher’s hat on. The status quo of today’s reality provided us with all the inspiration we required.

With the majority of people having a great interest in arts and becoming more and more digitally literate, the stepping-stone for arts organisations to collaborate has been provided. The cultural digital content distribution and use of technology for interactive engagement is now being increasingly facilitated, fostering the innovative opportunities and positive outcomes that such collaborations could generate. After all, collaboration has and will always be the fundamental base of innovation.


Collaboration brings together a group of arts organisations within a community in order to introduce a new product, to modify something that already exists and to elucidate any obstacles turning it into something fresh and innovative.


Collaboration is about shared visions constructed by healthy ideas. A successful collaborative project is one that pledges that these visions and beliefs are fortified throughout the transmission of a development. By visions, here, we mean the constitution of a shared set of hypotheses such as what constitutes good work, how to deliver this work, what subjects are of importance to work on and how to create insights on the basis of them. For artists and arts organisations, the shared vision might be a new approach and a new design.


A successful collaboration in general, but also within the arts, is a collaboration that can and will push the boundaries.  The arts industry has identified that collaborative practices can create economic value and increase revenues. The advanced development of technology promotes en bloc collaborations and partnerships. With the UK having a concrete historic, cultural and ethnic background, arts organisations and artists can make the most of archives through digital technology. Social media are now of great importance delivering content in new, different and interactive ways in order to build strong and engaged audiences.


Collaboration poses, though, a number of challenges. One of these is the absence of a system for accumulating, interpreting and allocating data that arts organisations use and that is comprehensible to the wider audience. The system for data collection should be formed by some fundamental principles such as feasibility, flexibility and cost efficiency. We believe that the arts industry must create a unified data collection system of reasonable cost that will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of current data techniques; and that will ease and supply an infrastructure for new means of accessing data receptive to the needs of local and wider society.


This post originally appeared on Building Digital Capacity for the Arts, a initiative developed by the Arts Council England and BBC Academy.