Target Studio for Creative Collaboration is a platform that supports ambitious collaborations between artists and researchers at the University of Minnesota, making university resources available to the Twin Cities’ artists, and the creative powers of artists available to academic researchers.

Artists and academic researchers are often interested in similar subjects and address similar problems in their work – but, by and large, they do it separately. The divide between sectors, institutions, and disciplines make substantial collaborations extremely challenging. Enormous potential remains unrealized, essential knowledge is not developed, crucial human needs remain unaddressed.

Collaboration is learning how to learn: how to combine creative powers of people working with disparate practices to close epistemological divides and to catalyze new, open, non-disciplinary approaches to learning. We embrace the heterogeneity of all practices and diversity of all practitioners, meaningful collaborations are impossible if we do not radically diversify our approaches to human knowledge.

Collaboration is, first of all, a relationship: a delicate balance between careful listening and pursuing one’s own goals; between staying within conventions and being free; between developing a common language and safeguarding your own.

Collaboration is also a performance: it necessitates a constant awareness of not being alone; simultaneous embracing of public exposure and personal vulnerability; creative improvisation and response to developing circumstances.

Collaboration is an uncertain, ambiguous engagement with knowledge in which we expose ourselves to unknown practices with the hope to develop new insights into our own.

If you are an artist of any trade or a scholar of any discipline, if you are curious about ways artistic and academic practices can be integrated – talk to Boris Oicherman, the Cindy and Jay Ihlenfeld Curator for Creative Collaboration, during his office hours. Or drop him a line.