Collaboration

Among the most powerful abilities humans have exists the teamwork, community, and collaboration. When people come to work together, they both produce a sufficient result and in the process of that result, experience the wonders of teamwork, developing their collaborative and individual skills and often building fantastic bonds.

While individuals are certainly able to function to their best ability through their own endeavor and hard work, there are limitations present in the ability of a single person. Teamwork is beneficial in terms of its efficiency and also in the subsequent removal of stress when one can rely on another. There are several complications that may arise in an individual’s attempt to complete daily work, especially in the attempt to manage all of their course load in an often-stressful environment like a college campus. Collaboration is an answer.

Steve Prince, an artist and educator from New Orleans, Louisiana, is an advocate for the power of collaborative work throughout a community. Prince is well aware of the power in a community, as observed in his efforts with the SUNY Geneseo Urban Garden Project that he facilitated in the Geneseo Kinetic Art Gallery or the Jazz improvisation/art exchange event that happened at the end of that week between him and Herb Smith and his Freedom Trio. Steve Prince is an excellent model of someone who was able take advantage of collaboration and community, ultimately developing his own art and then continuing to support and help the community develop.

One particular moment in the semester that personally revealed to me the advantages of collaboration and community was collaborative blog post for the INTD: 288 Steve Prince course; I worked alongside several of my classmates in order to discuss sustainability within Steve Prince’s art. During this period, I was able to voice my opinions and receive constructive feedback and support to better the construction of my opinion. I was also able to listen to the opinions of my classmates, which expanded my own thoughts on Prince’s recycling of techniques in art and use of implementation—hopefully I was also able to help my classmates structure their opinions in the best way possible.

Beyond the benefits associated with group work, there is sometimes a more negative connotation associated with group work: there is the fear that group work would create more stress and create more risk instead of alleviating stress. Fortunately, with the facilitation of our professor and TAs, as well as our own process, we were able to communicate properly and effectively, leaving little room for negativity. The process was not perfect, but it was not supposed to be; from my own perspective, we did all that was necessary in order to produce a blog post—in that process, we built and grew off each other, and also alleviate some stress from our course load. At the end of it, I came to appreciate the process. The event removed any excess stress, helping me accomplish the blog post count goal and also maintaining good and meaningful writing.

Community and collaboration of fantastic tools in order to build ourselves, connect our community, and advance our community. I had the fortune of watching Steve Prince display that, and the wonderful opportunity to live the experience myself through the collaborative blog post.

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