The term “collaboration” has taken its place among the most thrown around words in the creative industry over the last half-decade. Primarily contributed to by the rise of audio-visual content platforms like Instagram, Youtube, Vimeo, and the ushering in of a swarm of new-gen creatives/artists, the idea of collaboration is still hazy for most.
With artists and creatives across all genres trying to innovate, push boundaries and produce new work, all while still being true to their craft, the collective ability of more than one artist working on an idea is one, which if harnessed in its truest sense, can yield some of the most distinct and relevant work. If there’s one thing we know for sure, it is that the “process” itself is the collaboration.
The team at ARC.HV, ‘a collective of like-minded dreamers united to experiment and learn from methods of making’, has continually challenged the idea of and methodology to effective collaboration between interdisciplinary artists. In their newest project in the lockdown due to Covid-19, Virtual Gods, they’ve covered some new ground while exploring the concept of 3D virtual worlds created through a collaborative process, taking elemental inspiration from some of the most recognizable names/entities in architecture, urban planning, and spatial design- Zaha Hadid, Tadao Ando, SANAA, Carlo Scarpa, Roberto Burle Marx to name a few.
For those familiar with ARC.HV’s work, Virtual Gods presents itself as sort of a culminative implementation of their learnings from past projects investigating & experimenting with collaboration. Following 2 collaborative methods in succession, Exchange and Fusion are very representative of the core symphony of what actual collaboration entails. Their process is depicted below :
ARC.HVs presentation of this exhibit is also stellar. Utilizing bold fonts, interactive rendered gifs, solid colored backgrounds, and clear diagrammatic representations of the iterative sub-processes involved, they’ve been able to communicate their methodical yet abstract approach towards creating these fantastic 3D virtual worlds. The personalization of the process by every group paired in this project is yet another unique flavor- from comic book styled diagrams to gamified ones, its nothing short of a visual treat for the viewer. For those with an inclination towards detail, the documentation of each stage in this project lends a deep dive into the very elemental aspects of geometric, architectural/spatial design, research, discovery, and creative/artistic interpretation.
Virtual Gods and the rest of ARC.HV’s projects can (and perhaps should) be seen as deep exploratory pursuits into the very essence of creative collaboration, enabling one to learn and potentially even map out the process of learning and unlearning, with research forward innovation copiously sprinkled over the journey of discovery and understanding. It is projects like these that really challenge our knowledge in the present and almost force us to reimagine, reconsider and reproduce work/ideas that in turn enable our own abilities to expand within the creative realm. Don’t scratch your head any further and head over the website and explore the realm of virtual worlds created by these virtual gods in an attempt to study and investigate new methodologies and the possibilities they yield!
Artworks by ARC.HV.
Text by Rahul Manral.