Artist Reflection: Resource for Teachers | Library Of Collaborative Methods

Letter from 2016-17 Resident Caroline Woolard and Or Zubalsky.

Caroline Woolard is a New York-based artist born in Rhode Island. Woolard employs sculpture, installation, and online networks to study the pleasures and pains of interdependence. Her work has been commissioned by MoMA, the Whitney Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Creative Time, the Brooklyn Museum, Cornell University, and Cooper Union.

Or Zubalsky is an artist, designer, and programmer living in Brooklyn, NY. His work and collaborations have been supported by The New Museum, The Museum of Art and Design, Queens Museum of Art, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Brooklyn Museum, Rhizome, Eyebeam, ILAND, Smack Mellon, Culture Push, Vox Populi, and Sheila C. Johnson Design Center.

Dear teachers and students of collaboration,

As residents at Eyebeam, Or Zubalsky and I have been developing an open access library of collaborative methods. With support from the New York Foundation for the Arts, today we are launching The Study Center for Group Work.

We hope that teachers, art spaces, collectives, worker-owned businesses, art classes, and working-groups will use this online library of collaborative methods that have been recommended by artists. These methods often embrace the unknown, encouraging people to listen deeply enough to be transformed. We invite you to learn about collaborative methods, to access teaching resources, and to see the schedule for upcoming events and jobs related to collaboration.

For example, here are some methods for:

-group functioning (Asset Mapping) (Diagram Hacking)

-decision-making (Voting and Ranking)

-role clarification (Threeing) (Questions for Schematic Theater)

-healing and care (Support)

-shared leadership (Leadership Compass)

-communication (Intergroup Dialog)  (A Field Guide to Spatial Intimacy) (Hand Signals)

-conflict resolution (Shark, Owl, Turtle, Teddy Bear, Fox)

-reflection (Three-Line Matrix) (Group Self-Assessment)

-analysis of images and systems (Project 404) (Mirror/Echo/Tilt)

-and speculative futures (Objects as Fictions, The Alternative Unknowns

The artists who have contributed to this resource include: Leonard Nalencz, Shaun Leonardo, Robert Sember of Ultra-red, Project 404, Sick Time with Canaries, Judith Leemann, Kenneth Bailey and the Design Studio for Social Intervention, the Extrapolation Factory, taisha paggett and Ashley Hunt, Jean Gardner and the estate of Paul Ryan, Asha Iman Veal Brisebois and Adelheid Mers, Christopher Robbins, Aaron Landsman, Cori Olinghouse, Melanie Crean, and Chloe Bass, as well as curators Danielle Jackson, who facilitated a retreat for the group earlier this year, and Stamatina Gregory, who curated an exhibition at Cooper Union in 2016 that led to this site. You can see a video of that, here.

If most people have no experience of democracy at work, at home, in school, or online, how can we learn to collaborate? How do we develop a musculature of shared decision making and of shared work?

A few years ago, we began to notice that many visual artists had developed methods of listening and group work. Yet they did not have a way to share their work with one another or with the public. Just as dancers take classes throughout their lives, more and more visual artists are committed to group work through daily practice. We ran a pilot program that took the form of an exhibition called WOUND: The Study Center for Group Work, curated by Stamatina Gregory, at Cooper Union in 2016-2017. The Center was written up in The New York Times, Art in America, and Artforum; we knew it needed to continue. We are excited to share this online library of collaborative methods, and to announce that we will be working with Spaceworks at the New York Public Library to provide trainings throughout the year.

Here is an upcoming workshop you can attend:

Saturday, September 30, 5:00PM

How can we support ourselves and each other? This workshop looks at the ways in which we meet our needs for wellbeing in order to dream, practice, and work on any project. Support extends beyond the life of our projects, often shaping the ways in which we navigate the contradictions of living and working on independent projects. Join us for a “brain massage” and mutual connection.

3-5pm at Spaceworks @ Williamsburgh Library, 240 Division Ave, Fl 2 Brooklyn, NY RSVP

If democracy is an endless conversation, then The Study Center for Group Work aims to cultivate behaviors that allow groups to work together. To get in touch with us, or suggest a collaborative method, please email us at [email protected]. To join the mailing list, please enter your email here.

In cooperation,

Caroline Woolard and Or Zubalsky

The Study Center for Group Work

An online library of collaborative methods


View the online archive on @studycollaboration instagram account.

Header image: Caroline Woolard, Water Clock (Eye Amulet), porcelain and water, 8″ x 2″ x 2″, photo by Levi Mandel, 2017.