As an artist and maker, I find the interaction with other people the most rewarding, interesting and inspiring part of making. This has developed slowly. While making A Bivariate Map, I found the conversations that happened during the making and viewing of the work were some of the best things about the whole experience. The relationships that took place, however briefly, were important. This was explored further during my year long residency as part of the AA2A programme at UCA Canterbury. The resulting Medium Memory installation and project invited visitors to contribute a personal memory to the work, with each generously contributed memory becoming an integral part of the whole work. The work itself was constructed and made with care, but the full essence of it would be incomplete without a relational contribution from visitors. I love this definition from the Tate:
A set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space
He saw artists as facilitators rather than makers and regarded art as information exchanged between the artist and the viewers. The artist, in this sense, gives audiences access to power and the means to change the world.”
For now, the plan for the #tinybookcollaboration is this: Every month or so, I will be sending out 20 tiny books, anywhere in the world by request on Instagram @hopefitzgerald_art. Just send a Direct Message to take part. The intention is that the Tiny Book Collaboration will continue over many years.
It is an exercise in trust – I will send them out and they will return. It is an exercise in optimism – I will be here for many years to come to continue the project. It is an exercise in patience, and the slow flow of days – I wait for the post, and it arrives unannounced. It is an exercise in curiosity – what will a slow accumulation of small contributions look like collected in one place. I imagine it will be a beautiful thing – but I must wait and see. It is an exercise in perseverence – and the belief that small things can amount to something greater than the sum of its parts – over time.
Ultimately, the tiny books will live in my dear father-in-law’s old briefcase, which has been shuffled around our house for years since his retirement. The briefcase is a work in progress right now. Imagine opening it, full of all these tiny unknowns. Thrilling!
📙How does the tinybookcollaboration work?📙
✨A tiny book will be posted to you, anywhere in the world.
✨Full it up with whatever you like – poetry, collage, drawing, shopping list, grievances, gratitudes, short stories, etc etc etc. Y’know, stuff that goes in books.
✨Send it back to be part of the collection and a very long term project.
Copyright and Moral rights always stays with the artist. For me the important thing about the Tiny Book Collaboration is its collective nature, so any one contribution carries less meaning as an individual contribution than as a small part of a whole collection. It is about the content to some extent, but it is also about other things – optimism, trust, connection, generosity. Copyright stays with the artist and will always be attributed when shared or used in any way. The work as a collection is mine and contributors sharing their work agree to the terms of the Creative Commons license below.
Work contributed to the Tiny Book Collaboration is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Thanks for reading! 📙📙