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This Is Why We Meet

This Is Why We Meet is an investigation, showcase and celebration of collaborative working practice within the arts. Curated by Pat And Trevor, they select four students from each college within the University of the Arts, London. The students will then become part of a collaborative team who work together intensively for a one week period prior to installation and exhibited within the Wieden+Kennedy windows on Hanbury Street, East London.

We caught up with curators Pat And Trevor to find out more about the project.

Pat And Trevor, can you tell us a bit more about This Is Why We Meet.

We have always enjoyed working with other people because Jimmy gets bored listening to Joe and Joe gets bored listening to Jimmy. (Jim Dine says sometimes you get bored working on your own – collaboration is a social act, as much as anything).

Laura Vent (curator of the W+K London Window) met us in Peckham earlier in the year and asked us to make something for the window. At the time, we had just finished running a gallery and just started working as associate lecturers at LCC. Our main aim from both of these projects was to get people to work together and see where they could get to. This Is Why We Meet is an attempt to figure a few things out, we wanted to work with people who are interesting and productive – so we sent an open brief to all UAL students.

The project is about collaboration, how much involvement do Pat And Trevor have each week?

We are the facilitators of this experiment. In terms of how we do this best, it is difficult to say. Initially, everything was very structured. We would spend an hour with the students, then leave them, then come back. But we are learning to adapt our way of working with them in response to our position within the project. Who was it who said never repeat anything? Through working with the obstacles and understanding the possibilities the spaces and structures allow we are in a position to give them new advice.

I think essentially the project is a collaboration and is about collaboration. We have learned and still are learning a great deal about each person, about the space. This was always the experiment and we are still very excited about where it is taking us.

Tell us more about Camberwell’s POP-ME-UP, the current window exhibit.

This from the Camberwell group: “POP-ME-UP allowed the audience to own a part of this space that we’ve been given – and in effect, the window, once full – will be a really good document of everyone who got involved with the project. It’s also a chance for us Camberwell artists and designers to function in an entirely different mindset – as ruthless businessmen – albeit with a twist. We are the machines!”

Who have you got this week and what can we expect?

Here’s what LLC are saying (they are keeping it very vague on purpose). The work is called Get A Life. It is an investigation into people communicating in unusual scenarios.

You’re working 7 days a week for 6 weeks, how you are you coping?

Currently we are sweating (butter) through the (baked) beanbags in the gallery, yesterday we were shitting ourselves about a lost laptop and tomorrow we are having a drink on the roof. We are just doing it.

Each group work from Monday to Sunday with the opening each Monday night, 6–9pm (on the pavement). Check out the blog for all the details and documentation of previous weeks.