*Long Post – Be Warned.
For the record, I’m probably going to regret writing this post since a couple of ‘collective’ member just might collectively lynch me.
The Illustration Collective was conceived in the post-graduation glow of good-will, hope and cock-eyed optimism. We dreamed of inspiring one another, working together on projects, dreamed of endless exhibitions and commissions.
What a fucking load of shit.
Allow me to explain… (Part I – The Website Kerfuffle)
The first thing the collective are united in voting for is a group website. Two volunteers within the collective opted to build and launch it. This so far, is all peaches. Possibly due to the fact that both volunteers work full-time and were/are both highly technophobic, the website seems to take forever to be completed.
Later one of the frustrated volunteers sends out an threatening email saying the site will never get hosted until all the collective members pay for whatever it is that need paying. In a random irate moment much later, I question the glacial rate at which this website is being developed considering the ransom had been duly forked up.
The same volunteer, a girl disguised as a big burly man, promptly sends me a very stroppy message saying something along the lines of “…saw your email… and thanks a lot, yeah? cheers!” (seriously, what a girl)
*sigh * So this is what it feels like to be in a ‘Collective’.
True, irate emails are always foolish, but its been 3 fricking months developing a simple Flash website. It’s not that hard. Really it isn’t.
A few weeks later, Urh sends out a vaguely despotic ‘memo’ before his missus commanded him off to the barren wilderness of Luxembourg to breed other tiny Slovenians. It stated that in the future if the majority agreed to an idea, however dim, ill-conceived or desperate the idea might be, the entire collective must ‘join forces‘ (a lovely euphemism for payment)
Martyn and a few others agree whole heartedly with Urh’s memo. Martyn says that as a group we need to be ‘streamlined’ and ‘organized’ and spewed out other such corporate mumbo-jumbo hogwash. What seemed to have started out as a way to collaborate and perhaps inspire each other seems to be evolving into a vaguely sinister organization with a lot of in-house politics.
The reason for Urh’s email was this… (Part II – The Great Poster Debacle & The Despotic Memo)
Martyn, Uhr and somebody else decided that the best thing we can do now with our scarce earnings is invest it in some advertising poster on the tube that claimed to be at an amazing cut-throat rate. (£700 split by 10 people)
I, financially straightened, opted out at once. (It was also a fucking stupid idea for various reasons, one being that the website the poster aimed to promote wasn’t even fully functional yet). In an ironic way, after all those harsh, honest critiques in class, we were now all pussy-footing around the two web volunteers like they were made of glass.
“Oh he’ll feel bad you guys, they worked really hard, I don’t know why its not working even Ray doesn’t know, they worked really hard guys. We can’t say anything”
So after 5 or so months of faffing we can’t even gently and sensitively ask: What the fuck have you been doing?? Why volunteer if you haven’t a fucking clue and still type with one finger? Who volunteered the most technically inept people to set up a web page? Oh yes thats very ‘streamlined’.
So it’s one poster, advertising nothing in particular, no website to send people to and nothing to offer as of yet. All for 700 quid.
But of course, you cant say anything in case feelings are hurt (god forbid). I can’t really object to the poster forceful way or argue about it because I’d be offending supporters and perhaps being obnoxious (and lets face it, I am).
Martyn’s argument for the poster was that its just something to do, we’ll sort things out this way, its a good method to organise ourselves blah de blah de blah. I argued its a rather pricey way just to relieve boredom nor fair to coerce the minority into a corner.
I hate politics, its being back in those stupid school cliques, making insane decisions about totally lame things. Anyway my (very sensible) arguments are swept aside and so the poster goes ahead as planned.
That was when Uhr sent out his organizational corporate memo.
I am obviously not the only one who opted out. Others were equally sensible to the serious flaws in the plan. While I don’t object (care) to other people (fools) proceeding with a daft idea, being forced into it myself is not for me.
Uhr doesn’t feel this should be allowed.
The part of his ‘memo’ I particularly found amusing was when it said even if I didn’t have the money now, when I do I can send it to The Collective’s joint bank account, because if the poster advertised the collective website which I was part of, that wasn’t even working yet, then the whole collective would ‘benefit’ (my ass)from the poster.
Yes a majority vote is probably reasonable, the government works like that. But really, one government is quite enough. Being forced to do what the idiot majority does in daily life is bad enough. I quite resent the idea of being forced into a decision I don’t support in my private life as well.
So I ended up quiting. It was way too frustrating. A lot of school flashbacks…
So the poster went ahead as planned…..(Part III – The Poster Disaster & Irate Emails)
It was a completely and total disaster of course.
The place that offered this cut rate poster claims they want an underground art gallery but basically advertises his own site & business with your money and artwork. No one else is allowed to put up email address or their website. Great.
The poster also didn’t adhere to advertising standards and had to be edited heavily. Remove the blood, remove the man having a shit, remove all penises.
The station eventually picked to display the poster was on the worst line possible. The Waterloo and City line. What do wanker-bankers care about art or design anyway?
Tiphane then saw the poster and was horrified (Uhr convinced her that it was a good idea *gufaw* and she trusted him without even attending our meetings). The poster was a collage, so that meant that not everyones work got priority.
She then fired off an really angry email saying she was only recruited to get money and the poster was a total rip off, and she was quitting and wanted her money back.
I saw the poster. to be honest I think it is totally unfair to pay more than 70 pounds to appear like that on the poster.
I want to have my money back and leave the group, sorry it is rude.
but it is ride as well to convince people to join the group because you need people who pay.
Ooooo this is an interesting start to the day, I thought.
Martyn then got very cross saying no one was forced to do anything. (…although strictly speaking taking Uhr’s despotic memo into account this is not quite truthful).I backed Martyn up that she didn’t have to do it, as myself and others hadn’t, and had she attended meetings she have known what was going on a lot better. No need to have a strop etc. (This was a highly unproductive work morning)
Uhr then called Tiphane to explain it all and smooth things over, so a while later she wrote in saying
firstly i apologize for my previous message, i don’t put any manners because i am not fluent like everybody.
secondly I speak with uhr who explain me why it was like that etc in a diplomatic way. now i understand
thirdly janine you are really nice, i really appreciate you, it is the fact that I didn’t really understand why there are a lot of drawings
of you and not of georgina or emma…
but now i understand the poster should be coherent it is for promoting the collective.
so apologizes for my email i am overwrought i just learn that my mum is ill.
so sorry and i still stay in the collective
see you everyone
I respond with
No i’m not nice at all please don’t appreciate me.
It makes me very nervous.
And Martyn concurred with,
No, don’t appreciate Janine under any circumstances. She has ruined my life. Glad you are staying with us and hope your mum gets well soon.
*whew* I’m definitely not getting involved until the ‘collective’ leaders drop this idiotic majority rule.