I am beginning something, which I hope will evolve into a monthly networking event for creatives, and is starting up in early October: The Scratch Symposium.
These will begin as very small events, with no more than 15 persons in attendance, whereupon each person is to prepare a presentation (of any form) that runs between two and ten minutes, and incorporates that month’s theme. The first theme is Language. My aim is to have somewhere between 40% and 60% spoken word (short lectures, particularly, a la TED), and the remaining portion a mixture of dance, music, circus-arts, etc. I hope and suspect that presentations will be both excellent, and really weird, given who I know.
[Portrait of some such contemporary artists taken at the Devil’s Ball:]
Apart from the 15 or so presenters themselves there will be no audience, creators are the viewers and vice-versa. None of the pieces are expected to have come from more than two weeks labor, and so all of them will be rough-cut; this is a playing field for fresh ideas. Using these gatherings I hope to superficially impose deadlines on creative works that would otherwise get dusty and perhaps never come out to play. Creative deadlines without the stress of a client, grade or paying audience, inspired by the high caliber of others’ works alone.
The size of the crowd has been somewhat arbitrarily decided, so, after the first one I will talk with all who were there about whether or not to grow or shrink the size of the thing. Once there is a concrete number, I will take all names interested in joining these events, add them to a list, and then cycle through invitations – such that once the number of “participants” exceeds 15, there will still only be 15 per event, which will also make it a better mixer I think, because there will be an element of rotation that draws from a longer list of names. If there were 40 interested persons, say, the order-to-invite would shift by 5 each month, and end up shifting further than that inevitably because as someone can’t attend, another name down the list is invited; so there would be both a sense of community built over time, and plenty of fresh faces. If there is interest, we may film and publish some of the acts at the Scratch Symposium, to build momentum for it, but control over the release of the talks/performances will be entirely in the hands of the artist.
By nature of knowing so many accomplished creative persons, I am very excited about the potential for these to launch great works.
[Only peripherally related, snapshot of Kat opening a trap door in her artwork:]