Round Table projects are dense, circular, sequential collaborations in which groups of participants produce sets of artworks. The Round Table process is such that these sets always comprise the same number of pieces as participants. The character of a Round Table project is one of artistic liberty within a structure of interdependence. Each finished piece can be said to have one principal author, and a number of contributing authors.
- A group is assembled, and a circular pattern is derived and sequenced.
- 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.
Commonly, collaborations consist of individuals working together toward an intentionally unified result. This is not necessarily the case with Round Table collaborations, though such intentions are not at all discouraged or unwelcome.
Round Table collaborators work independently, and enjoy creative autonomy and artistic liberty at every stage. This is not a call to shun influence nor undermine the intentions of others; it’s simply an opportunity for each participant to act, within an interdependent structure, in accordance with their own free choice. Many, if not most, will choose a cooperative path, others may aim to challenge. Some contributions may be bold, some bland; some perfect, some awkward.
While exercising this independence and artistic liberty, collaborators practice liberality in regard to the independent efforts and creative liberty of their fellows.
The Round Table process may be applied to a variety of art forms, including drawing, painting, collage, assemblage, movies, music, and poetry, and can employed at great distances using postal/delivery services, or the Internet.
Marty McCutcheon, Berkeley, California