About the Revolve:R Project

Revolve:R was initiated in 2011 by us – Sam Treadaway and Ricarda Vidal – as a multidisciplinary and international collaboration. The project explores the transmission of ideas through collaborative forms of communication ranging from the physical and tactile (such as the sharing of original artworks via the postal service) to the digital and intangible (which includes a parallel interplay online). Besides visual artworks, Revolve:R includes poetry, film, soundscapes and music. The complete work of each Revolve:R edition is presented as a limited-edition bookwork. 

The most recent edition, Revolve:R, edition three is the result of our two-year-long collaboration, between 2016 and 2018, in which artists, poets, and musicians from around the world (UK, USA, Africa and Continental Europe) created artworks in reply and response to one another. During this time many of the artworks it features have physically travelled many thousands of miles before coming together within this bookwork publication. 

Edition three is a continuation of editions one and two (Arrow Bookworks, 2013 and 2015) which explored concepts relating to chaos theory, chance and synchronicity with the first artwork-page of Revolve:R, edition three (page 217) referencing the final artwork sequence from Revolve:R, edition two (ending on page 216). Throughout the evolution of this third edition we have continued the development of the initial ideas and working processes that formed the basis and structure of the original Revolve:R project and have further reflected upon the nature of our collaboration. In doing so our awareness and consideration of certain parallels and connections between the artworks has developed our insight into the act of co-creation and the phenomenon of collective consciousness. 

Each Revolve:R edition is formed of six rounds, or Revolves (effectively forming six chapters within the bookwork publications), which follow the same pattern whereby a single 2D two-sided artwork of 21cm² is sent, by post, to a number of invited artists with the request that they respond with an artwork of their own by a specific date. Thus the initial artwork sets in motion a multitude of alternative creative responses reflecting the recipients’ various ways of reading, interpreting and responding. 

The next Revolve then commences with a new artwork, created by way of reply to all the responses received from the first Revolve. Artists are invited to respond to the visual imagery of each Revolve as though replying to a written letter and to create their artworks using any medium or technique – so long as the work is produced on a 2D sheet of material measuring 21cm². Recipients can utilise either one or both sides of their sheet, which is why some pages within the editions are left blank (which we like to think of as natural pauses or breathing spaces within each bookwork). 

Once each round of visual exchange of edition three had concluded, copies of the complete set of artworks were then shared with an invited poet with the request to write a poem in response. Each of these six poems was then forwarded to another poet (and three of the six to two poets) who wrote poems in reply. Simultaneously, the initial artwork and first poem of each Revolve was sent to an artist film-maker, and copies of the complete set of artworks were also shared with a sound artist or musician, who were each invited to produce a short film, soundscape or song, in reply. The six films, soundscapes and songs are included with edition three on a DVD-ROM, located on the inside back cover, as well as being accessible online via the project website. During each edition visual artworks are numbered and catalogued in the order in which they are sent (the initial artwork of each Revolve) or arrive (the recipients’ artworks). This process determines the page sequence of all editions. The poetry, short films, soundscapes and songs, are likewise catalogued sequentially following the visual artworks to which they refer. While the films are represented by a single still within the bookwork the soundscapes and songs have no corresponding artwork page, so negating the visual realm which is nevertheless their origin. Within the edition’s indexes in the final pages of the bookwork, which attribute each work to the contributing artist, soundscapes and songs are simply listed as S:1 – S:6, after the poetry and film stills.

In editions one and two, Sam and Ricarda created the initial artworks that mark the beginning of each Revolve together while also sharing the curatorial organisation of the project. However, for the present edition their working partnership was reconfigured. Revolve:R, edition three was curated and produced by Sam Treadaway, who also created the first artworks of each Revolve – remixing, editing and synthesising the collected artwork material – thus transmitting elements of the previous Revolve to the group as well as opening up new conversations within the next. In contrast Ricarda’s input takes the form of a translative intersemiotic expression of the diverse visual artworks of the project. These artworks, which appear directly before the poetry pages, can be read as her summary or conclusion to each Revolve. Following a chance meeting in 2017 the resulting edition three bookwork is a collaborative publication by Arrow Bookworks and Intellect Books, with whom it has been a great pleasure to work. 

Revolve:R is intended as a vehicle for new and responsive artistic expression, dialogue and interaction. As a multidisciplinary site and source for experimentation, exchange and creative development, the project actively supports the practice of all contributors’ through the publication, sale (see ‘Collect the Artworks’ page, with indexes) and exhibition of their work. With a strong and original focus on contemporary collaborative practice, Revolve:R aims to facilitate and develop communications between artistic disciplines, and between national and international arts communities, thus initiating working relationships and friendships which transcend linguistic and geographic boundaries now and in the future.

Revolve:R, edition three (Arrow Bookworks & Intellect Books, Bristol, UK / Chicago, USA, 2018)

Works by: Portia Winters, Alastair Whitton, Emmanuelle Waeckerle, Sipke Visser, Ricarda Vidal, Sam Treadaway, The Travelling Band, Shireen Taylor, Rebecca Tantony, Kate Street, Glen Stoker, Alexander Stevenson, Emmanuel Spinelli, Daniel Smedley, Seán Slemon, David Shillinglaw, Solveig Settemsdal, Laura Santamaria, Natasha Rosling, Juneau Projects, Pietro Reviglio, Alexandros Pissourios, Heather McClelland, Julie McCalden, Chris McCabe, Harry Man, Anna Mace, Sharon Kivland, Will Kendrick, Hayden Kays, Tom Jenks, Peter Hoiß, Debora Hirsch, Katrin Hanusch, Georgie Grace, Steven J Fowler, Stephanie Douet, Amy Dickson, Holly Corfield Carr, Anna Cady, Sophie Bullock, The Bookshop Band, Kelly Best, Emilie Atkinson, Tabatha Andrews, Maria Anastassiou.

Revolve:R, edition two (Arrow Bookworks, 2015)

Works by: Alastair Whitton, Ricarda Vidal, Linnea Vedder, Sam Treadaway, Clare Thornton, Kate Street, Daniel Smedley, David Shillinglaw, Solveig Settemsdal, Laura Santamaria, Matt Rowe, James Rigler, Pietro Reviglio, Bernd Reichert, Rammatik, One Five West, Juneau Projects, Julie McCalden, John Matthias, Domingo Martinez, Anna Mace, Sharon Kivland, Hayden Kays, Peter Hoiß, Alice Hendy, Verena Hägler, Patrick Galway, Steven J Fowler, Stephanie Douet, Todd DiCiurcio, Emma Cocker, Anna Cady, Richard Broomhall, Oscar Bandtlow, Maria Anastassiou, Diana Ali.

Revolve:R, edition one (Arrow Bookworks, 2013)

Works by: Ricarda Vidal, Linnea Vedder, Sam Treadaway, Clare Thornton, Emily Speed, Matt Rowe, Bernd Reichert, Domingo Martinez, Leila Peacock, Antun Maračić, Alice Hendy, Verena Hägler, Patrick Galway, Todd DiCiurcio, Emma Cocker, Oscar Bandtlow, Diana Ali.