As part of my research into collaborative and participatory projects, I’ve been looking at existing projects and how they have been created in terms of participatory and collaborative ideals. Despite knowing I won’t be collaborating in such as similar way, it is nonetheless, important to continue to look at existing work and gain further understanding of options and outcomes.
One project I have come across is found on ‘The Photographer Within’ website and has an article about the project entitled ’37º North’. The project was undertaken by two photographers who have never met before and are both based in different countries. Laura Beth Davidson and Jayne Cho are the two photographers collaborating on this project. Laura is based in the USA and Jayne is based in South Korea.
Each photographer captures photos of her everyday world and surroundings, and they bring the shots together with a little post-processing to create composite photographs. The resulting images are a clash and melding of two lives and their surroundings on opposite sides of the globe.
The project is collaborative in its nature because it incorporates two people working together in order to create one image or one final project. Both women have an input into the final outcome of the project and both get to use their own creativity to impact upon what it is we as an audience see. The images are composite images so they consist of two separate images joined together in post-processing.
The idea of the project was to show that despite living many miles apart in different countries, there are still so many similarities in their daily lives. The fact the two women have never met means their communication is all purely done online or over the phone, but the results they get from the understanding of each others style of photography has produced some amazing and fantastic collaborative work. The items produced are not the work of one sole artist, but have instead become the product of two people, deeming the entire project equally the ownership of both photographers.
Below is an example of two photographs from each photographer that shows how they combined the images together to create the final composite.
In terms of a collaborative project, it is something different to what I have seen before. The fact that both collaborators haven’t ever met each other yet are able to produce a stunningly unique and interesting project together is fantastic and shows that collaboration can be achieved without the need to meet, which is quite an interesting point. I also really like the fact that the project is split across two continents as it gives an insight into two different lives in one image.
I’ve been intrigued by the way in which the work becomes the work of two people and how they have collaborated together to get to the stage they are at.
“Jayne and Laura Beth have concluded that one of the main reasons their images match so well is that their photography styles are quite similar. They enjoy photographing similar genres, and they tend to use complementary compositional techniques. They have also learned to study each other’s pictures and take into consideration scale, colours, and other key elements that link the pictures and provide a consistency across the two.” – TPW
The collaborative project has worked so well for them because both women were able to feedback to each other and work together to see what worked and what didn’t. They were also able to go out and look for things to shoot that were very similar because they had the chance to see the other’s work and discuss what would work and what wouldn’t. The main thing for me I feel in regards to collaborative photography is the fact that all involved parties should be able to have a say or contribute to the final product in some way, and I think this has been very successful in the outcome of this project incorporating both women’s lives. In terms of a collaborative project, I would say it is highly successful and has so much potential in terms of a large scale project for them. It has been interesting to see different ways of collaborating with someone in regards to understanding how it can be undertaken and what you actually have to do in order to consider what goes into a final collaborative piece and I think it’ll help me in terms of my own project work because I can see and understand what it collaborative and what is participatory more as well as look at existing examples to build upon techniques used, such as communication or ways to work together.