Content and form︎︎︎
I do not hold that the mere presence of content, of subject matter, the intention to say something, will magically guarantee the emergence of such content into successful form. Not at all! Form is not just the intention of content; it’s the embodiment of content:

  • Form is based, first, upon a supposition, a theme.  
  • Form is, second, a marshaling of materials, the inert matter in which the theme is to be cast.
  • Form is, third, a setting of boundaries, of limits, the whole extent of idea, but no more, an outer shape of idea.
  • Form is, next, the relating of inner shapes to outer limits, the initial establishing of harmonies.  
  • Form is further, the abolishing of excessive content, of content that falls outside the true limits of the theme.  
  • Form is thus a discipline, an ordering, according to the needs of content.

Form: The shape and structure of something as distinguished from its material (from dictionary) 


  • Whatever crosses the mind may be fit content for art, in the right hands.
  • Content may be and often is trivial. But I do not think that any person may pronounce either upon the weight or triviality of an idea before its execution into a work of art. It’s only after its execution that we may note that it was fruitful or greatness or variety of interest.

︎︎︎from The Shape of Content by Ben Shahn

Welcome to mapping collaboration, a toolbox for workshopping and creating across disciplines...

In spite of a long history of interdisciplinary creation, from our earliest recorded arts to our present moment, artistic pedagogy has created divisions between disciplines. This has left artists in a "post-Babel" condition where we don't share the same language and definitions. It’s also encouraged artists to develop practices for devising, creating and composing work that are distinct to their disciplines.

The inspiration for this project came from faculty and students at Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts where BFA, MFA and PhD programs in Dance, Theatre Production and Design, Visual Art, Film, and Music and Sound all work together in studio settings and playfully experiment with processes of art-making.

We wanted to create a database of projects, assignments and theory that we collect inside the studio and from research happening in other places. We are curious about how we collaborate and how structures reoccur, translate and deviate from one discipline to another.

Composition is central to these processes and offers a base for our approaches and experiments. We are excited about what our students are doing and inspired by the new languages in contemporary art and performance we continue to see develop.

︎︎︎select a category above to build assignments, learn more about how artists process ideas across disciplines and to create a collaborative process of your own

︎︎︎these tools are collected and used in workshops and classes; some are resources from artists; some are quotes about art-making and how bodies think and listen; others are ideas to expand and disrupt your own training and processes.  

︎︎︎Each idea is intentially short- and not meant to be executed as written, but to be adapted to your own practice and specific project/context. Some may be taken in parts or combined with others to spark new ways of training and making together.

︎︎︎submit your own ideas and tools so we can keep building this site!