Become a Movement Like Uncollective
November 26, 2017
'Strength in numbers' is a particularly relevant term in relation to this week's spotlight. Instead of a single young creative, we're interviewing a whole bunch of them - in the form of a collective, or an Uncollective, if you will.
Two of their mind-bending films are shown below - but they don't stop there, Uncollective aren't just filmmakers - they do a bit of everything, including releasing records and running events.
They describe themselves and the mind-bending work they do beautifully in the following interview, so we won't say too much. But this devotion to collaborative experimentation, exploring the bounds of their varied chosen mediums, is an inspirational approach for anybody looking to flex their creative muscles. The idea of creating a collective, a movement, is something that goes back a long way in annals of art, music and film. So if you have a skill, some collaborators and a shared will to create, then why not join together? You could be unstoppable.
Visit their website as well - weareuncollective.weebly.com
Could you give us a rundown of what Uncollective is?
So we're a rag tag bunch of creatives from all different backgrounds - visual artists, film makers, photographers, poets, musicians and more. We have an emphasis on collaboration and events as well as community/charity work - We're constantly reacting against the pressure we felt from Art School and creative cliques to be hip, sensible and business-like. It comes from quite a punk ethos.
As a collective, how would you sum up your style and approach?
Nomadic, Sporadic, Pragmatic, Organic, Romantic, Dramatic, Ecstatic, Occasionally Aquatic. Some non-rhyming adjectives include: Collaborative, Instantaneous and Improvised. We come at things with a lot of energy and not always a totally watertight plan, but so far that's worked in our favour. We try to consider the point of any creative work - We think it's to involve people and entertain an audience. It's where the name comes from - We want to do everything in a way that people don't expect (or sometimes want.)
What are your influences?
Collectively, we look at this vast history of counterculture - from Dada and the Situationists (early 20th century) through punk, 80s sci-fi, 90s rave culture and into more contemporary influences like the Young British Artists. The benefit of a collective is that we can all learn from each other. Our video artist Oran brings an interest in psychedelia and electronic music to the table, and then we have a London connection through poet/artist Aimée who's shown us amazing stuff like Brainchild Festival and the Steez gang.
What response have you had from your work so far?
We were really cocooned in Falmouth (where most of us studied), which was great for encouragement and confidence. But since then, we've had some of the most valuable responses in terms of looking at what we do and working towards a future. This ranges from visitors to our show at Newlyn Art Gallery ("Absolute nonsense - what has art become?") to shout outs from Marc Riley (BBC Radio 6). The best response we can have is seeing people totally immersed and enjoying what we've made - Langaland Festival is my favourite example of this. 500 people coming together in a field to live and breathe the work of over 50 artists.
What are your creative plans for the future?
So we're working towards our 3rd annual festival (www.langaland.org.uk), which will probably take the bulk of our efforts for next year. We've also applied to run an event for Plymouth Culture's Mayflower 400 programme, so fingers crossed for that. At the moment the only limit is financial - we've got creativity and ingenuity coming out of our eyeballs, so as soon as a sack of cash falls from the sky we'll be good to go. We like to be ambitious - future shows at Tate Modern, Wembley Arena, under the sea, on the moon. Who knows?
Finally, do you have any pieces of wisdom to pass on to other young creatives out there?
When we were interviewed by this festival a few years ago, they asked a similar question and we said (slightly flippantly): "Do everything - just do it". We said it again on BBC Introducing (hoping to prompt a lengthy legal battle with Nike, but we're yet to hear from them). I think this still rings true, although we're trying to plan things a bit better. Politically and socially things seem pretty rocky at the moment, so as a young creative what do you have to lose? Put those ideas into action - spend a bit of time doing the necessary admin to put the madness out into the ether. Apply to everything you can find, go to shows, talk to other artists. We all work day jobs and as tiring as it can be, when you pull of a successful project with a team you love, it's worth it.