Artsy: What are the benefits of collaborating versus working independently? What are the frustrations?
Vavara & Mar: Every collaboration is a unique experience in our point of view. Collaborating with one person might be enjoyable and with another super complicated and stressful. Speaking about our collaboration and experience, the benefits are a collective mind, discovery of new disciplines and audiences, and more energy and motivation. We are so used to working as a duo that we don’t experience any frustration working together.
Artsy: Who does what?
V&M: We divide the work in order to be efficient and not annoy each other. Somehow it happens naturally—we never fight for tasks. We fight about the outcomes sometimes, but not the roles. Mar would do software code and graphic design usually. Varvara would do hardware, 3D modeling, sound, and knitting parts. Wood work and digital fabrication we do together, helping each other, or just one of us if the other does not have time.
Artsy: Do you think design lends itself well to collaboration?
V&M: Not necessarily. Design is a creative field that is much more open to collaboration than art. Traditionally art means an individualistic approach. At the same time, the artists working with new mediums, like technology, are very used to working in collectives or teams. We are looking at design through a comparison with art because we relate with these fields the most.
Artsy: What do you bring to your collaboration? What does your partner bring?
V&M: We are quite similar and at the same time different. Similar because we share interests in the digital age, innovation, art, and technology, but we have quite different personalities.
We both bring creativity, curiosity, knowledge, and an eagerness to learn and get things done. Mar brings a logical mind, problem solving abilities, programming skills, and a designer mind. Varvara contributes with organizing abilities, electronic skills, and a hands-on approach. What is most important to us is the ability to make our ideas complete when we work together.