In May 2012 I held the ‘Creative Tapas Experiment’ at La Lobera just outside Arenas. This was a two day event, where a group of people (some local, some from as far away as Oregon) met to co-create whatever they could in the space of a day.
It was extraordinary. To explain it is impossible. You had to be there but at 10pm on the Saturday night we experienced an extraordinary array of creations – a soundscape at the bottom of an empty swimming pool, three films (including a stop frame animation), a dance/movement piece accompanied by flute, human sculpture, a wish granting totem pole fashioned out of old tyres, a puppet show summarising the whole weekend and more.
The main idea was to have a thoroughly good time and we certainly achieved that but we also learned a huge amount. I am still digesting the experience but amongst other things that caught my imagination were ideas like:
- the bravery it takes to accept an invitation
- the power of doing something before you are ready
- how many different styles there are to collaborate, not just working in a group
- how much energy the human dynamics of a group require
- how hard it is to give up control
- how much food matters
- the power of role, of character and of dressing up (I ended up in top hat and tails and that turned out to be incredibly powerful)
- how leaders need to sense and serve the group
- leadership can be divided into three discrete activities – setting strategic intent, clarifying the constraints (and insisting on them) and creating the conditions where people can do the work themselves. Of the three that last one is the most important and the most neglected, I suspect.
Quite the most wonderful combination of people came. We had the precisely the people we needed to have.
We have yet to update the wiki, but no doubt in time we will use it to help us reflect on the experience. Here.