Questions of collaboration, collectivism and authorship

What type of activity is created by the Stitched Time Project? Are its members collaborating or working collectively?

In my mind, collaboration conjures ideas of people coming together on an equal footing to deliver something, whereas collective introduces an element of hierarchy in terms of roles.

It’s interesting Clare Smith’s asked if the opposite could be true based on a thesis read recently which suggests ‘collective is about joint authorship, while collaboration is more about single authorship’.

The original idea and instructions for what we’re making were conceived by Clare; from this perspective she’s the author of the work. However, decisions made beyond the initial starting point are determined by individual makers, and every stitch sewn bears their mark – a personal drawn line – so does the project ultimately deliver joint authorship? If it does, should the original author mind – does it undermine their position, or is it a state of affairs that should be embraced?

Recent conversations with Ruth Payne raised the issue of how any artwork is made. To protect their authorship, should the artist initiate an idea by themselves with the minimal external intervention? However, is this even possible, let alone desirable? I know my mind is like a magpie gathering bits and pieces from elsewhere to transmute them into something with a fluid and more open authorship?

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