Collisions, Co-opting and Collaboration: Reflections on the workings of an interdisciplinary collaborative project—inConversation

Dr Lyndall Adams, Dr Renée Newman
2015 Conference

This paper will analyse the collaborative processes amongst some of the 14 groups of creative higher degree by research candidates (from the School of Communications and Arts and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts), arts practitioners and researchers from different art forms and discipline backgrounds exhibited at Edith Cowan University’s Spectrum Project Space.

Collaboration in the creative context is broadly understood as a group or team working together to develop a concept. Whist the working methods of each team of researchers differed appropriate to the relationship between the participants, themes for analysis include; collisions, co-opting and collaboration. A critical lens regarding the structures and motivations of these very themes will be applied to gain an understanding of how they shape the practices of individual researchers and the artefacts they created.

Collaboration is not a neat process, often the complex processes and vying voices of the participants bump up against each other in order to create a shared vocabulary across disciplinary specific boundaries. In this case the teams were asked to create non-traditional practice-led artefacts for a curated exhibition title inConversation. The intent of this curation was to inform broader discussion regarding the challenges of interdisciplinary collaboration and ways to engage researchers and artists to explore their discipline boundaries and connectivity.

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About the author

Lyndall Adams is a contemporary artist and Senior Research Fellow in the School of Arts and Humanities and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University. Lyndall is an arts practice-led researcher drawing influences from the interface between post-structuralist and new materialist feminist thinking. Her arts-practice articulates the female body; the lived body that is determined and specific though paradoxically in a state of flux, defined and redefined by changing practices and discourses. Lyndall has participated in solo, collaborative and group exhibitions within Australia and internationally.


Renée Newman has been a performer, writer, and director for over ten years. In 2011 she completed a PhD that was a theoretical and creative analysis of media-induced moral panics considered as forms of social performance. She has worked in theatre and film locally, nationally and internationally as a performer, writer and director. She is currently a research supervisor and lecturer for WAAPA at ECU in Western Australia and her research interests include where the arts meets social enquiry, arts interventions in the built environment and performance praxis/research nexus.