We Feed Each Other
How do creative communities support each other?
In communities of practice, how do individuals support each other? We Feed Each Other is an exploration of this question organized around the Parable Of The Long Spoons, a story that presents a vision of “heaven” and “hell” distinguished only by cooperation. In heaven, the parable goes, we feed each other.
With this principle as inspiration, and the parable as form, we created a guidebook for a shared meal that also functions as peer-to-peer interview project and collective visioning exercise. Participants are guided through a series of questions, interviewing peers about their experiences working within their communities of practice. Together, participant pairs turn their stories into new parables. Works Progress and our collaborators at Husbands screen printing studio collect these parables, posting them online and choosing select examples to turn into special edition art prints. These prints are returned to the community as an illustrated reminder of their own cooperation.
As artists and organizers, we all make decisions about how we support the people around us - in our work, in our communities and in our daily lives. What kinds of nourishment do you need? Do our communities of practice provide that nourishment, or do they encourage competition, disconnection and individual gratification? What stories are we telling to illustrate the worlds we’re building together?
This project was launched in 2013 at Hand-in-Glove New Orleans. Hand-in-Glove is an itinerant conference for independent visual arts organizers working at the crossroads of creative administration and studio practice. We Feed Each Other will return in 2014 as a series of itinerant community dinners across the Twin Cities, organized in collaboration with Husbands.