On Trying to be Collective

Andy 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 achiev- ing 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
Early online date1 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • care collectivizing art collectives democracy political art practice Partisan Social Club Freee Art Collective


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