Thursday, June 13, 2024

Outside the Vacuum


“Every collaboration helps you grow.” -Brian Eno

There is no such thing as success in a vacuum. Whether in art or life in general, we rely on each other to thrive. Humans are a species rooted in community and, while there are degrees of variation when it comes to our individual social natures, it is absolutely true that we do better together than we ever could on our own. From the moment we are born, we instinctively seek community and partnership. The tiniest infant will engage another person because our human instinct tells us there is strength and safety in the pack. For artists, collaboration can often lead to new horizons and undiscovered avenues within their body of work.

Katie Parry is currently working on a collaborative project. Ultimately she envisions an online format for the piece that is something of an alternative to the traditional advice column. Visitors will be able to explore a map in which they’ll find suggestions from artists, writers, poets, and others for literature or other art forms that might inform their particular circumstances. The project explores metaphor and ways of thinking as potential solutions rather than traditional advice. Much of Parry’s work is influenced by light. Parry also teaches art and creates collaborative animation.

Viet Le spoke from Amsterdam where he is based for Documenta. Presently he is working on a book, a companion trilogy of films, and the catalog for a show he recently curated. Representation and identity within global art markets feature heavily in his work. Le splits his time between California, Europe, and Southeast Asia. For part of the year, he teaches at California College of the Arts. Much of Le’s work is based on trauma. His book explores the trauma of Vietnam and other wars in the broader context of history and rapid modernization. Le seeks to open up the conversations surrounding trauma and show the general public why things like past wars are relevant to their own lives. Grants are a major piece of funding for all of Le’s work. He discusses the process involved for an artist actively seeking grants as well as the benefit of using one’s network.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket

Reach outward as much as possible. Seek community and collaboration in the knowledge that it will open up new worlds you may have never encountered on your own.

Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Katie Parry spoke about Plainwater: Essays and Poetry by Anne Carson. User Lee Mothes is enjoying The Silent History by Eli Horowitz, et al.

Opportunities / Open Calls

Residency 108 invites artists to apply for an autumn residency in upstate New York situated on 108 pastoral acres. The residency runs from October 21-November 18 during which time artists will reside in a restored farmhouse with access to a workspace. The residency is free of charge, but artists must supply their own materials. Deadline is August 1.



Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.

More Resources – For Artists Only – (2 essays from last week)

A Quick Guide to Grammar and Style — Read more here

Nonprofit Spotlight: Artists Space — Read more here

Popular Writings –

Non-profit spaces to know –

London, UK Non-Profit Spaces – read about some of the best.

Los Angeles, CA Non-Profit Spaces- read about some of the best.

New York City Non-Profit Spaces – read about some of the best.

Self Illumination –

Conquering Fear – read about methods and Pema Chodron.

The Trap of Self-Esteem and How to Break Free- read more here.

F*ck the Art World, F*ck Consumerism! – read more here.



  1. “Art condenses the experience we all have as human beings, and, by forming it, makes it significant. We all have an in-built need for harmony and the structures that create harmony. Basically, art is an affirmation of life. (Trevor Bell)” I also remeber octavio Paz saying it was a way of trnscending death, a living legacy that outlives it’s creator.


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