CoFA faculty members Kate Hampel (School of Art + Design) and Dr. Christi Camper Moore (School of Dance) agree that interdisciplinary opportunities are incredibly valuable and encourage their students to draw inspiration from unexpected sources, and to see their own work from an entirely new perspective.
Students in the Fall 2021 Art + Design Special Topics course, Fiber: Collaborative Cloth, recently enjoyed an interdisciplinary collaboration with students in the first-year Modern Dance class. Collaborative Cloth students learned the process of ropemaking and used traditional and non-traditional materials to explore how tension and material history combine to create new dynamic objects. Students considered the potential for interaction and performance with their ropes before passing them to the dancers.
The dancers were asked to select a rope and initially interact with the object through discussion and improvisation. Dancers considered the look, texture, and/or the maker’s "intention" of the rope and how this might be embodied through movement. Exploring the relationship(s) between the physical object and the physical body, dancers created compositional studies that communicated this connection or understanding. Musician Michael Lachman also provided improvised scores for each of the compositional studies.
"There's a proximity that one can have as a maker of objects that is really refreshing to let go of, by letting another creative practitioner from a different field bring their own expertise to the work and activate it through movement," says Hampel.
Camper Moore added, “There is limitless possibility to be inspired by the work of others. When we communicate to students that their art, while deeply personal, is also about building community and partnerships, they expand the possibilities for their own creative practice.”
The College of Fine Arts has a great community of collaborative artists who are makers and performers, and readily build on each other's experience.