Grant Kester’s The One and the Many: Agency and Identity in Collaborative Art (Duke University Press, 2011) examines a body of collaborative and collective art practice that has emerged over the past decade, such as Park Fiction (Germany), Ala Plastica (Argentina), Sergio de la Torre & Vicky Funari (U.S.), Huit Facettes Interaction (Senegal), Ultra Red (U.S.), NICA (Myanmar), Lea & Pekka Kantonen (Finland), and Navjot Altaf (India).For this project, Grant Kester maps the broader context within which individual collaborative projects operate. In so doing he explores the effects of various modes of patronage (NGOs, foundations, arts funders, social service agencies, development corporations, universities, etc.), the differing political discourses and institutional protocols that frame each project (the logics of urban renewal, activism, social work, rural development, or environmental science), and the specific physical and spatial conditions of their sites.

Grant Kester is an art historian and critic whose research focuses on socially engaged art practice, the visual culture of American reform movements, and aesthetic theory. He received a PhD from the visual and cultural studies program at the University of Rochester. Kester is currently professor of art history in the visual arts department at the University of California, San Diego. His books include Art, Activism and Oppositionality: Essays from Afterimage (Duke University Press, 1998), Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art (University of California Press, 2004), and The One and The Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context(Duke University Press, 2011). He is currently completing, in collaboration with Bill Kelley, an anthology of writings by art collectives working in Latin America.