Some of the resources used to rehearse and make this performance include: the work to manage this exhibition space, the materials of this exhibition and the space itself, plus the time that the space of the gallery is open and time between exhibitions.
Artist Emma Hedditch initiated Cooperative Performance as an outgrowth of her research into the history of cooperative organizations: groups of people who join together to meet their shared economic, social, and cultural needs by establishing jointly-owned, democratically-controlled enterprises. Unlike corporate business models, which distribute proﬁts between a limited number of shareholders, cooperatives emphasize fairness, equity, and responsibility by extending these privileges to all participants.
Through a series of ongoing discussions, rehearsals in the Wallach Art Gallery, and a public performance, Hedditch and her collaborators explore how the principles of cooperative organization might emerge from the group exhibition Finesse. Many different resources enter into the situation: artists’ time, material, and activities; the institution’s economic and spatial resources; the labor of the curator and the gallery staff. How would the production, work, and consumption of an exhibition be reorganized if they were cooperatized? Resources might be reconceptualized as ‘investments.’ Each investor would be a member of the cooperative and have a ‘share’ in the surplus outcome.