Collective creation is the name given to the assembly, staging, or show that does not have a singular author, but rather refers to a group of creators that produce a body of work in collaboration.  (In sum: “a work produced by a group or theater collective.”) As a theatrical theory, it is applicable to a type of methodology since the 1960’s as a systematic work inherent in the process of drama and to blow apart the tyranny of the autor, director, and the text. Bertolt Brecht defined it as “common knowledge.”

Collective creation was legitimized politically through stagings of groups such as Living Theater (1947), or experiences such as Teatro Campesino chicano (1965), developed in the processes of the democratization of German theater (1970), and followed the didactic methodology proposed by Enrique Buenaventura.


According to wikipedia


Wikipedia is a free, multilingual encyclopedia edited in a collaborative way.  It is administered by the Wikimedia Foundation, a nonprofit that is financed by donations.  It has more that 50 million articles in 300 languages that has been put together by volunteers all over the world, and amounts to more than 2 billion publications and allows each person the ability to join the project and to edit unless the found page is protected against vandalism in order to avoid problems and/or disagreements.




-One of the references for writing collectively is the notion of the exquisite corps ( a technique employed by members of the surrealist movement such as André Breton, Paul Eluard y Tristán Tzara).  This vanguard movement had, among other things, experimented with the following:



  • Anonymous collective texts in the absence of an Author


  • Absurd/playful texts, book organizations, animating various creative 
  • dynamics
  • Spontaneous writing, being in the present
  • Automatic writing in order to liberate the subconscious




-One of the many contemporary reference of an exquisite corps that we hope to compile and come to know includes Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Mysterious Object at Noon.


-Other collective writing projects could also include fire stories without an author, that has multiple narrators from oral traditions that speak about past events from mythology to history, combining poetry and reality, mixing Gods and humans;  that is to say, moving fluidly between genres. This feature is typical of ancient Occidental and Eastern storytelling as well as those of indigenous cultures. There are versions of these stories where narrators and these types of texts are fundamental to a complete kind of cosmogony or collective.  This also implies the body and what it relates in ritual or theatrical performances that involve a listener. In this sense, a text of fire is not only made by a collective, but creates a community.


-Finally, the following text by Giorgio Agamben in relation to the power present in text of fire as well as the movement in the creation of literature with a common voice.  At the end of his book about Jewish mysticism, Scholem tells the follow story that was transmitted to him by Yosef Agnón:


“When Baal Shem, the founder of Hasidism, needed to resolve a difficult challenge, he would go to a determined spot in the woods, light a fire, pray, and reflect on that which he wanted to realize.  When, a generation after Maguid de Mezritch found himself in front of the same obstacle, he went to the same spot and said, ‘We do not yet know how to light the fire, but we can pray.’ and all occurred according to his wishes.  A generation later, Rabi Moshe Leib of Sasov found himself in the same situation, went to the forest and said, ‘We do not yet know how to light the fire, we don’t know how to pray, but we can find the place in the woods, and this must be sufficient.’ And, in effect, it was sufficient.  But when time lapsed into another generation, and Rabi Israel of Rischin had to confront the same challenge, always in his castle, sitting in his golden throne and said, ‘We do not yet know how to light the fire, we are not capable of prayer and neither do we know the place in the woods: but in spite of all this, we can tell stories.’ And once again, it was sufficient.”


¿How can we characterize 

collective creation today?

Can Serrat invites participants to consider the following disruptive points to assist in our own collective creation:


  • To put the creator outside of their comfort zone: to lose control over the text to let go of and play with the role of the lone author–which in this case may be an obstacle–in order to arrive at new way of working and to expand the possibilities of the voice(s)


  • Move from the singular voice to the collective voice.  To put oneself in a space of conscious dialectics between the self and the non-self.


  • The work produced is not private property, it is a collective space: to learn how to be in collective is a challenge of the contemporary.


  • Expanded writing: include other formats such as the body, the 3rd dimension, reading out loud, the notion of communal space, the voice of others. 


  • Inhabiting the writing: it is a space constructed by many.


  • The possibility to speak about themes, characters and frameworks?  What writings would emerge and what publication format would correspond?


  • Exploring references regarding collective creation experiments that would feed this experience.


  • Reflections on language:  how to connect language in a multicultural space?


¿In Can Serrat ?

In January 2020 we are proposing for the first time at Can Serrat, a space for creative community, a gathering between various people who do not know each other, to generate content collectively.


¿Where in Can Serrat? 

Studio II will be the space dedicated to this project which will be ongoing throughout the month, including when we are not meeting as a group. 



The first iteration will be January 7-31, 2020.  It remains to be discussed if we will continue the project on a virtual platform and this question will be resolved once we are all together. 



A group of participants as a base have already been selected through an open call.  Apart from this, it is also open to those interested in participating. 


Questions to stimulate thought, action, dialog in this space?

Does this space have a name?

Does this space have rules or guidelines?

In what year are we?

Where are we?

Who inhabits this space?

What is happening here?

What forms of life existe here?

Are there structures?

What language is spoken?

Is it a non-space?

Is is a space of transition/movement? (non-space)

Is is a white cube?

Is it another dimension?


¿Possible guidelines? 

  • There is no author/there is a plurality
  • There is no gender
  • Diversity of languages
  • Recycling
  • Listening


¿Documenting and publishing format?

  • sound recording of each session
  • photography
  • any documentation on any support available


¿Wrap Up?

A paper edition as an archive of generated content, an ongoing investigation and reflexion on collective creation.



Can Serrat residency (Spain)

Cajon de Sastre publishing house (Colombia) __

g_b residency (Colombia) __