This article offers a geographical investigation into the production of a collaborative art project called Tribe (2013). Adopting a site-based approach, it contemplates Tribe as emerging from a collection of processual and contingent relations beyond its collaborative form. This draws the understanding of its production away from just the artist and collaborating youth group, towards the situated relations that unfolded through the artwork’s spatio-temporal specificity. It does so by empirically tracing the gradual emergence of exhibition features through the workshops held by the artist with collaborators. In doing so, the article argues for a delineation between ‘collaboration’ and ‘co-production’, where co-production is the emergence of localised relations and collaboration is understood as the acknowledgement of a selection of this co-production. Such an approach advances geographical thinking by moving the understanding of collaborative artistic production away from a practice sovereign to the artist and chosen others, towards something which is supported by a broader, specific collection of co-productive relations. The article concludes by suggesting how this site-based approach could be applied to geographical research into other forms of art production.