On Trying to be Collective

Andrew Hewitt, Mel Jordan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In this article we ask in what way can the notion of care, collectivizing and the collective become a primary part of contemporary art practice? And further, what types of art practices address these central tenets of democracy? We do this by reflecting on the political potential of care and its importance as a tool for achieving an equal society. Uniting the action of care and collectivity, we conclude that together these two undertakings represent a political force of commoning within the public sphere. Utilizing the writing of Beech, Hutchinson and Timberlake, who argue for collectivism over collaboration as a way towards societal change, we reflect upon the political implications for art when artists work collectively. We consider the practices and function of other art collectives examining their key purpose for acting collectively. We employ our previous practice as the Freee Art Collective, as well as our more recent work as the Partisan Social Club to consider in what ways our practice can be deemed collective.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)63-84
    Number of pages22
    JournalArt & the Public Sphere
    Issue number1&2
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Article first published online in April 2021. Journal issue date has been backdated.


    • Care
    • Collectivising
    • Art Collectives
    • Democracy
    • Political Art Practice
    • Partisan Social Club
    • Freee Art Collective


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