Moving Mountains: Distributed Leadership and Cyberformance

Moving Mountains: Distributed Leadership and Cyberformance

Karen Keifer-Boyd (The Pennsylvania State University, USA), Wanda B. Knight (The Pennsylvania State University, USA), Aaron Knochel (State University of New York at New Paltz, USA), Christine Liao (University of North Carolina Wilmington, USA), Mary Elizabeth Meier (Mercyhurst University, USA), Ryan Patton (Virginia Commonwealth University, USA), Ryan Shin (University of Arizona, USA) and Robert W. Sweeny (Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5150-0.ch007
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Abstract

Moving Mountains is a collaborative venture by eight art educators who explore the notion of distributed leadership to transcend boundaries of proximity, ideation, and artistic production. Their distributed leadership, enacted through both human and non-human performers, involved sharing knowledge and skills to create a cyberformance and machinima. They completed these projects from conceptualization to artistic production without a designated leader and without hierarchical constraints. In this chapter, the authors view distributed leadership in Moving Mountains collaborations through actor-network theory, crowdsourcing, and transformative potential. Moving Mountains collaborators continue to create video art, written work, curriculum, and virtual world performances, through distributed leadership, in order to challenge oppression and transgress borders.
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Collaboration And Distributive Leadership

The process of eight art educators collaborating was quite complex. Part of the challenge of developing our collaborative media projects was coordinating meeting times for eight people from seven different universities and two different time zones. Additionally, we had varying technological and performance experience and expertise. Nevertheless, part of the opportunity was the diversity in our ways of thinking, personal experiences, and backgrounds that informed the structure and content of the efforts. We contributed to conversations both synchronously and asynchronously. Additionally, we conducted much of the preparation for the performance and film at a distance, through email, and computer applications including Skype, Google Hangout, Google Docs, Livestream, Upstage, and Second Life (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.

Authors collaborating through Google Hangout

We explored the notion of distributed leadership as a form of collaboration to push the boundaries of proximity, ideation, and production processes. Though distributed leadership is a form of collaboration, not all collaborations use a distributed leadership model. Collaborations bring together the skills of several people, often with fixed roles and jobs.

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