INTERVIEW WITH CHARLIE LEVINE
Under what conditions is collaboration not possible?
Hannah Arendt recalled her friend and novelist Mary McCarthy in this way: ‘It’s not that we think so much alike, but that we do this ‘thinking business’ for and with each other’. Shortly before dying, Arendt realized that she was not going to be able to finish editing her last book, The Life of the Mind. She asked McCarthy to finish it for her. How does “thinking alike” and “thinking together” feed collaboration?
Thinking alike and together, for me, feed massively into the collaborative process. Within Sluice Ben, Karl and I all come from very different background with very different experiences and most of the time it’s about thinking together. We have a shared goal and we work collaboratively to achieve it by using our individual skills and promoting our individual knowledge and experience as well as challenging each other – it’s not always a simple and appeasing journey.
When we look at a forest, the first thing we see are the trees, individually striving to reach the light. What we don’t see is the massive mychorrhizal network underneath our feet. While fungal networks cannot produce their own food, they are nonetheless responsible for distributing resources and information throughout the forest: they are the mediators that help the other plants to work together. What and/or who mediates collaboration, and what are its effects on the process?
For Exchange Rates this is quite an easy one to answer, the galleries that have been partnered and will be exhibiting are the trees, the network beneath their feet are made up of the Sluice team, Karl mostly with me and Ben and then state side we linked with Stephanie Theodore (Theodore:Art) and Paul D’Agostino (Centotto). Without this ‘fungal’ team the above the surface display wouldn’t be seen.
How does that which is left unsaid permeate the nature of collaboration and how that collaboration works?
I don’t know, I’m pretty talkative and don’t tend to leave things unsaid…