Rachelle Viader Knowles
A translocal approach to dialogue-based art

Project 3 - #3CityLink 2014 - 2016: Coventry University student feedback comments

Question 1:
How did this creative exchange enrich your art practice?

It didn’t until the project ended however; it did force me to collaborate with another student in the gallery phase

I learnt new skills especially communication skills

It was good to look into building in different countries

It gave me new perspectives of working in groups and collaboration with others

Nothing in particular, I am satisfied with outcomes and experience I would prefer to have had it as an option as it was hard to work it with the studio practice module

I don’t believe it did as it was a barrier to what I explore in my artwork

It got me thinking about how lives and approaches to art can be so different in other countries – my ideas stretched beyond myself and the way I live

Learnt more about different countries

It let me understand different people’s opinions and values around the idea of nature in their city / country in comparison to here in Coventry / England

Thinking about how others art students interpret one subject through many different ideas / media

I really enjoyed working on the #3CityLink, as this project helped me to open up myself in totally new surroundings, as it was just the beginning of the first year of my art degree. I was able to work not only with local students, but also with international students. I really enjoyed sharing ideas through social media and creating a digital exhibition. 2 weeks in the gallery was also an awesome experience

Develop an understanding of a wider world in relation to art

The exchange enriched my art practice because I was able to see the city through different eyes and cultures

Learnt new skills

It helped me to gather further information on their way of working

Personally I didn’t find the experience very enriching, but perhaps I should have involved myself more

It pushed me out of my comfort zone

It didn’t really, but when I moved into my own personal work I had extra ideas from it

This creative exchange enhanced my ideas for my new project, however the project itself made me struggle with ideas

It helped me improve my art skills and gain ideas

It didn’t really until after the project was over, Ideas for my personal artwork came later

I came to realise how easily, quickly and inexpensively I can communicate with artists from completely different cultures to my own. This will leave options much more open and varied for my future practice whatever that may be.

It didn’t. I felt really restricted with what I could and could not do.

Got the desire to know and explore Coventry better; got inspired by the works and ideas of the students from the other countries; found out about new artists; tried new techniques

It didn’t

Gained new ideas and communication skills

It enabled me to understand different art practices

It made me give closer examination to my own surroundings and city; interesting challenges to try and approach other students requests from Armenia, Canada; started changing my practice to ideas first, method second; over the year I became more experimental

It helped me to consider other cultures and ideas and how they would respond to the #3CityLink project

Used social media in my practice; engaged in conversation with others; used social media I my work since

It allowed me to experience working in a group /collaboratively

Try to get as much information as you can because you will definitely need them

Gave me opportunity to interact with students from another country; gave me some insight into how they work

I never did a project as such with interactions from people around the world so it was quite exciting and fascinating

I enjoyed seeing how different upbringings and places had different ideas

Allowed me to experience different cultures and places and practices

Question 2:
What was most challenging about communicating and collaborating with students across the 3 sites?
(apart from language barriers)

Working collaboratively, and for it to be a first year, non-graded or where grades don’t matter, needed to have a longer time period in the gallery, [also] don’t tell students to think of an idea to start their year with and then give them a brief!!

The differences in social opinions within the 3 locations

It was challenging to incorporate the others cities in my work as I like to explore derelict buildings so I couldn’t explore the other cities myself so had to rely on anything others would send

Obviously each city was different, creating different ideas

Time difference

Being able to relate to their ideas., also not having Facebook

Social media; distance; time; only 2 hours of live phase; language; different spaces; group organisation; part of the module – prefer to have it as an option

Many people did not respond to our requests, which really slowed down the process of work being made

Shared interaction didn’t exist; students form other uni’s were only contacted through staff; response was limited

Different ideas made it hard to come to a conclusion

Internet problems; access to Facebook; time differences

Wasn’t sure of what to ask or how to as I’m not the most confident person and I was a bit confused with the ways of communication e.g. Twitter

Timing and time differences was a struggle, also we all use different web sites and methods of recording and displaying ideas

It was hard sharing visions of work without being able to show them

Language issues aside I didn’t know any of the people abroad and that was hard

Well if you asked something from the other groups and they did not respond you could not move forward with your own work

I don’t think I fully understand the other cultures without visiting the countries’

It was quite a different experience and that in itself made it interesting at least a different way of hearing and interacting with student’s from other countries, but doing the same course, though that’s just it

Bad communication in terms of internet connection, not a very convenient way of communicating over long distance especially with language barriers

Cultural differences and time differences

I totally did not understand what is was about

They [students] did not always answer your questions

Didn’t know enough about the other two cities (e.g. background, history, culture..)

Very limited Skype time

Time differences an issue

The difference in opinions and beliefs

Technical issues / signal on Skype and also the tasks asked of us from other cities

All the different ideas and beliefs!!!

Connecting through Skype wasn’t great; time differences; I didn’t actually see my students

Web-camera conferences via Skype was fun; Twitter made it even easier; was difficult however to keep in touch with different students via internet

The technology didn’t work well as it was hard both to hear and see them even though we answered their questions and sent them images, most of us found they didn’t do the same for us; they were quite selfish

The distance, and not seeing them in person; would have been better if we went to really see the countries

The technology was not always reliable – connection errors; numbers of Coventry contributors far outweighed the Canadian and Armenian students – their posts were often droned(?) on social media; Collaboration was not easy with no physical contact and the inability to physically work together

Technology – lecturers not knowing how to use the technology and other students not responding to questions online

Getting Skype to work!! Getting the courage to speak up in front of a group we couldn’t meet face to face

Time zones; making sure the Skype connection worked for everyone; trying to help several people with their projects as well as our own

I think the most challenging thing was to investigate similarities and differences in 3 different cities, as my project focused on the personal side of understanding a place

The students didn’t really reply to any of our requests; the communication seemed very one-sided from us

Language gap; reluctance of students to really engage with the project; responses to requests were not always helpful; some students really struggled with the theme

It felt weird having to be working with students on a project on Skype; it was good but the new experience was distracting

They did not respond to us and as post too long it changed my ideas. Communication was too staff-lead

Question 3:
If you were doing this all over again, what would you do differently?

Work on my own ideas and interests –not create work around a narrow theme that doesn’t interest me

I wouldn’t do painting, I’d do a big different other project; maybe a video or sculpture

I would stay until the very end

I’d do more research; I wish I had more time to do more experimentation

I would organise everything better and have more of a structured project. e.g. have all students working on a particular subject

I would be more comfortable being more familiar with my peers and surroundings than I was one month into the course – collaborations would be a more appealing prospect; I would be more inclined to use the social media aspect to collect broader or more precise ideas – better quality of work guaranteed!

Improve the communication; talk to other students from the other countries; post more photos of my work; be better organised

Get more involved in communicating between Coventry students and the other countries

Better organisation skills and communication between peers in my group; also better research

I would change my organisation skills and communication skills

Better organisation skills; start Skype session earlier

I would like to work independently from the beginning instead of working in groups as we had to in 1st Year

Not keep asking them questions as they didn’t reply; analyse a more focused idea around the concept of #3CityLink

I would like to be able to choose my own group

I would my own topic and different group

Try to visit the places to broaden my understanding of the city

Next time I would involve myself more. I spent a lot of time avoiding meeting new people, and that was a loss

Find a more interesting subject; analyse, come up with more options from which the students could choose from

I would do plenty more research to help me, however people couldn’t explore their ideas they thought of over the summer – so felt rushed to think of new ideas..

Research until you cannot research any more !!

Use different ways to express my work

More research, pay more attention to the work

I wouldn’t of gotten myself fully interested in one single topic, but get ideas flowing before jumping straight in; also try and interact more

Research, pay more attention to the work

I would not rely on the other groups for stuff I needed for my work

Communicate more with the other cities

Try to develop a better idea of what I could have produced; focused myself more on Coventry

I would demand a better structure; smaller groups, one-to one collaboration; clearer points of connection; what worked well was set sessions; Need to rely on my own work and not response of others

Be more prepared; it was very confusing from the beginning what we were asked to do

I would try and get more involved with sharing my work with the other students from the other places to gather ideas

I would like to communicate more with the different students from the other cities and maybe include them more in my final piece

Involve myself more in the communications with students across the 3 cities, to gain more inspiration

Made the project more structured

I would interact more wit the others and manage my time differently in order to create decent work

Take into consideration more how our lives are different in order to understand more about each city

I would choose my own cities as this would help me engage more

I would look more into the other cultures

Communicate more, be more aware

I would have tried not to rely on the other students communication as much. I would also try to push my work quantity further

I would participate more in the social media aspect and use the opportunity to approach students online and make potential friends from other cultures. This could make for a really interesting experience.

Question 4:
What tips and advice would you give to other students participating in a similar project in the future?

If the project were to run again it should be optional; it shouldn’t be marked and it should be experimental

Don’t take it too seriously and be open-minded; see it as a game; don’t let it get you down

Have fun, don’t panic, no one knew what was going on!

See it as a fun project; so don’t take it too seriously!

Don’t do it - 5 responses say this including one which added worst project ever!

Don’t ask others for work which you need for your own work

Do not let the ideas of the 3City project and having to exploit / use them to create work; could be more abstract; more obvious; create what you want

Get loads of research done before the live phase as most people found it difficult to start as they didn’t connect with their own city let alone the other cities

Just do you own work as you can link it together at the end, we are all similar so connected already

Get involved with everything, even if it seems boring

Don’t be afraid to make contact with the overseas students; throw yourself into it

I would consider the culture of the other two countrie and work towards representing those cultures in my work rather than focusing on Coventry
Approach ideas MUCH sooner (summer) don’t get tied to location. Make more requests of other cities to inform your own work

Think outside the box as it was a very difficult project to get engaged in

Think about your own work and relate to other cities

Do more research on the other 2 cities, be active, don’t be shy

Really get into everything that you can about the project

Make the most of it and try and get more involved and look into deeper ideas

Don’t be afraid to interact with others. Experiment and think outside the box; let yourself get inspired

Get involved; push more

Try and get inspired; find an interest; Ask, ask, ask, over and over again, until you are clear on what you need to do

Work, investigate, get involved / take a part as this project is really beneficial but only if you are taking part – do your best

Be open to new ideas

Try to communicate frequently, discuss ideas with other students and use this to further practice / work / make artefacts

Don’t gloss over the idea of translocal communication – it is the unexpressed * point * of the project; Embrace the cultural differences offered freely by collaborators abroad – anything strange is an opportunity to learn and broaden one’s horizons

Chose something (anything really) and if you like it stick with it

Make sure you communicate with students form the other countries because it can be a big influence on your work!; research is very important before any practices work!

Join in as much as possible – communicate and engage with other people’s projects

Engage as much as possible with it, even if you don’t think it particularly relates to your own practice. Find as aspect you find interesting and run with it.

Try and engage fully with the project even if it wasn’t what you wanted to base your work on. Instead try and be as creative as you can with the subject. If you can’t be creative with anything you are not creative enough

Engage with the project, start with your own strengths / interests and then relate to city and culture; Make requests! Put yourself in a position to be inspired by the unexpected! Fulfil requests. Make a list from the Skype call and tackle all of them! – as it may inform your work


It helped me think about and expand how information can be broadcasted and presented over a long distance