Students create online platform for art collaboration

Kate Dannenmaier

According to Red Throat House, you are dying. The good news is they can help.

Red Throat House is a weekly online publication that launched in April and serves as a platform for artists to collaborate and mix mediums. 

“The nature of this project is to be very social,” co-founder Ben Clancy said. “We’re really just interested in seeing what happens when we put artists together and give them as much freedom as we possibly can.”

Clancy, a communications graduate student at Texas State University, wrote the website’s slogan, “You are dying. We can help.” He said it is meant to provoke a feeling of ambiguity, and could be interpreted as both saving artists from death or helping artists along with the process of dying. That slightly morbid outlook has become a theme on the website. 

“I thought that symbolized the way that I conceptualize a lot of artistic practice,” Clancy said. “Something that helps us either feel as if we are alive in certain moments or as something that helps us contextualize or understand death.”

Clancy and philosophy senior Amyn Kassam were first inspired to create Red Throat House after collaborating on an e-book that combined Clancy’s poems with Kassam’s photography. With the e-book, Clancy said he felt his work would become more accessible to potential readers who are more likely to be drawn in by pictures than by writing.

“We’re really interested in whether [collaboration] creates tension between the two media or whether they compliment each other nicely,” Clancy said. “We’re really interested in the idea that by having people mix genres of media, it presses the boundaries of both of those things.” 

Kassam said when they finished the book, Clancy had the idea of creating an online place for other people to collaborate the way they had.

“We don’t like the idea that artists are solitary creatures, who write in their bedrooms and drink coffee and are lonely,” Clancy said. “When Amyn and I were initially working together on that poem book, we felt a certain energy that neither of us had ever felt when we were working alone before, and we wanted to bring that to other people.”

Kassam and Clancy often ask their artist friends to contribute to the website, but they also receive submissions from people who have discovered Red Throat House on their own.

“People will submit individual poems to us or individual stories or just ideas, and we will pair them with other artists with the intention of having them produce something more integrative,” Clancy said.

Kassam’s friend Daniel Regueira, a photojournalism senior, was given a poem and asked to take a picture to go along with it for Red Throat House. Regueira said that after working to figure out the perfect photo to pair with the poem, his appreciation for poetry deepened.

“Obviously, when you’re exposed to something, you have a little bit more of an appreciation for it,” Regueira said. “I was not only exposed to it, but I had to digest it and come up with something based on it. When you do that, it totally helps you understand the medium.”