The Look of the New: Vitality, Community and Creative Expression
As multimedia tools and production skills become a pervasive and ubiquitous means of cultural expression, some community arts projects have embraced the creative possibilities of using digital media.
This paper will explore the search for content in small-scale community based projects. It will demonstrate new ways of thinking about collaboration between community groups and professional multimedia artists. It will feature three case studies that demonstrate how new production models and innovative content possibilities can be realised using multimedia technology in collaborations between professional multimedia artists, two forward thinking arts organisations and children and teenagers as the "community" content developers.
The paper will put forward an alternative to the "old" thinking that posits community arts as being primarily about the process and community development and low grade outcomes. Instead, it will demonstrate "new" thinking where there is an equal weighting on both the process of multimedia production and the quality of the completed artworks.
In two of these short digital video case studies that will be screened, children, (many of whom are refugees) are the content collaborators with professional artists. The video artworks that were the project outcomes, satisfied the creative intentions of the artists as well as the child collaborators. In the other project, Inner Selves, Outer Images the content developers were artists and teenagers with intellectual disabilities and the project outcome was a gallery based installation.
The paper will explore some approaches to content development and practical production processes used in these "next generation" multimedia projects. It will suggest some ways of working that come after the death of the "new" in new media. It will suggest that there is vibrancy to be found in new community based collaborative models of production where many would not expect to find it!
Keywords: Collaboration, Creative producer, Community, New models of production, Children, Contemporary arts practice, Community arts
Senior Lecturer and Research Associate at the Institute for Community Engagement and Policy Alternatives, School of Communication Culture and Languages
His most recent film The Match was a collaboration with Indian co -Director Hansa Thapliyal and filmed in Bombay.
Ms Susan McCauley
Senior Lecturer, School of Communication, Culture and Languages,