The Creative Tapas Experiment
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 about 50 people (some local, some from as far away as Oregon) met to co-create whatever they could in the space of a day. I described it as ‘an inquiry into leadership and creativity masquerading as a party, or vice versa’. It was a powerful experience. At 10pm on the Saturday night, barely 24 hours after the group first met we experienced an amazing 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.
We had a great time – the memories will be lifelong – but we also learned a huge amount. Some of the things that struck me were:
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
In 2016, we ran the Creative Tapas Experience. A different venue and almost entirely different people with similar results. There was a wild and fascinating variety of creations including a number of films, one of which, 'The Making of Making' gives you a really good sense of the event.