Conversations / Revolv Collective & FORM

Revolv Collective x FORM

Revolv are a creative collective working with British universities and art institutions to form a dialogue on collaboration resulting in the discovery of new experimental forms of creating and teaching photography. Here, we chat about what motives them and why collaboration matters.

F: Where did the idea for Revolv stem from?

R: Revolv started out of a conversation and an urge for collaboration, later on followed by the discovery of the many impacts of collective thinking and working. The foundations of our organisation lay within the idea that there is no such thing as the artist as a solitary genius, but rather innovation devises from the collective.

After completing our degrees, we as every other graduate, fell into the abyss of disorientation, loneliness and regress. Thus starting a platform which not only allows us to develop further, but also to support others happened as a natural instinct.

F: What is the defining thread that brings your collective together?

R: Working with British universities and art institutions, we form a dialogue on collaboration resulting in the recognition of new experimental forms of creating and teaching photography. 

Obliterating the authorship through collective making takes shape in lectures, workshops and exhibitions. Revolving through the Internet as a primary ground, allows us to create inclusive opportunities for emerging artists, whilst constructing public programmes in different cities across England and Bulgaria. 

F: Did you have any ground rules at the beginning?

R: We started with the sole idea of providing free or affordable opportunities and exposure for emerging artists. Which has stayed within the collective and have flourished into larger ideas such as teaching people and giving something in return. We have always been fans of the DIY culture, materials and spaces - as time passed we began to explore these notions more and more in order to break the white gallery walls, industry preconceptions and focus more on the collective experiences we form.

F: Revolv has an awesome website that brings writing and photography together - how important is that?

R: Back in history writing wasn’t for the artists, it was solely for the critics. But can they really invest themselves in the work as much as the creators? 

Things have flipped sides and now every piece of work comes accompanied by words. We believe that by investigating photography projects, books and events through writing we can make contemporary art more accessible as well as raise important points which could sometimes be hidden in the artist’s work. Thus our articles are extremely important as they allow more layers to open up and new voices to overlap.

F: What hurdles have you had to deal with?

R: As we are only two artists running the collective together the hurdles have been quite a few! But after all, we count on failure to learn, otherwise there is no progress. We always come up with ambitious and enormous projects and we guess the hardest part is always finding the fine line and balance between a full-time job, unpaid full-time artist career, making our own work and simultaneously supporting other people.

F: What is the collective’s proudest moment to date?


R: The creation of networks of artists, also inspiring people, working collaboratively and experimenting, as well as teaching and discovering simultaneously new processes, whilst provoking conversations.

F: Would you like to see more artists working collectively?

R: Yes of course, our manifesto lays within the idea of collective working and collaboration. We will be extremely pleased to see it happening more often!

F: Do you have any exciting new projects coming up?

Yes actually quite a lot! First of all we were invited by London College of Communication to deliver a workshop on zine making and collaboration in the beginning of March. Also we are currently preparing a public programme taking place on the first weekend of April (6th-7th) at Seen Fifteen, Peckham including an exhibition, open call, talk by Tom Lovelace and a crit. Alongside we are working on our first publication which will be formed through an open call for photographers and writers. Moreover we are seeking spaces to host bi-monthly crits for emerging artists and we are hopefully showing some work at the NIGHT festival and delivering a workshop in Bulgaria in the Autumn.

Revolv is run by the photographers Lina Ivanova & Krasimira Butseva, supported by the web & app developer Ivan Lebanov.

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