Manifesto for Tender Collaborative Work
2016, PRESS PRESS X TEMPORARY ART REVIEW | Role: Author & Editor
During a recent weekend Open Hours at Press Press, we gathered to talk about the latest issue of Scroll, an all intern produced annual publication by The Contemporary in Baltimore.This year’s issue is called A Tender Thing and is co-authored by Iris Lee, Jenna Porter and Shan Wallace. A Tender Thing is comprised of five vignettes taking various literary and visual forms that explore the ways arts practices (here framed as practices of self-care) exist as forms of resistance and survival. Similarly to the practices highlighted in this publication, the project itself is born out of a necessity for sisterhood, acceptance, and tenderness between the authors during the past year in which this publication was produced. During our talk, we explored the ways the authors used tenderness as a strategy to build in space for empathy and support throughout their collaborative process. Throughout our conversation, we wrote down values as they came up to propose our Manifesto for Tender Collaborative Work which flows through the following text. We hope this manifesto and conversation can build on, or inspire, some tender strategies for life and work. Read on.
MANIFESTO FOR TENDER COLLABORATIVE WORK:
•EMBRACE AND SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER FULLY. YOU ARE AT YOUR BEST WHEN YOU FEEL ACCEPTED.
•DON’T COMPARTMENTALIZE. BE YOUR FULL SELF AND BRING THAT INTO YOUR WORK.
•MOLD THE STRUCTURE OF YOUR WORK AROUND THE PEOPLE THAT ARE A PART OF IT.
•BE TENDER TO YOUR COLLABORATOR’S IDENTITIES, EXPERIENCES, AND DAILY CHALLENGES.
•KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON IN YOUR COLLABORATOR’S LIVES. DON’T ASSUME YOUR PROJECT IS THEIR FIRST PRIORITY AT ALL TIMES.
•UNIVERSAL LOVE. PICK UP THE EXTRA SLACK WHEN NEEDED.
•THE PRODUCT IS NEVER MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE PROCESS OR THE RELATIONSHIP.
•EMBRACE DIFFERENCE! WE ARE DIFFERENT, LET’S ADDRESS OUR DIFFERENCES DIRECTLY.
•PAID TIME. CREATIVE FREEDOM. FEMME-CENTRIC SPACE.
•TRUST THE PROCESS AND TRUST THE PEOPLE. MAKE SPACE FOR EACH OTHER’S QUIRKS.
•KNOW AND EMBRACE YOUR OWN SUBJECTIVITY. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BEING OBJECTIVE.
•NO HIERARCHY. NO ONE SHOULD HAVE MORE CONTROL THAN SOMEONE ELSE.
•LET GO OF CONTROL. TRY STEPPING INTO A SUPPORTIVE ROLE.
•LET YOURSELF BE VULNERABLE.