Wednesday, June 9, 2010

OurGoods: 6 days: a Museum Talk, a Craft Fair, Internet Week Salon, and a big Meeting

In the past week, I've spent way more time talking about OurGoods than developing the website or bartering with people. I was asked to talk about at The Walker Arts Center, The Renegade Craft Fair, and The Feast on Good Salon for Internet Week. I used laser pointers for a collective drawing and talked about the power of becoming available at The Walker, bartered with people for a Work Dress at Renegade Craft Fair, and told a story about my path from public art projects to OurGoods at Feast Salon.

Thursday: (Minneapolis) The Walker is running a summer long program about The Commons, so I talked about OurGoods as a tool to enrich our cultural commons. I had people make a drawing together with laser pointers to simulate coordinated action. I focused on the potential for diverse connection across disciplines on OurGoods, where barter partners see themselves in relationship to a larger ecology of creative production. They have a video of the whole night online, and you can see me at the 54 minute mark.

Saturday and Sunday: (McCarren Park, Brooklyn) At Renegade Craft Fair, we shared a booth with Burdastyle, a website that offers downloadable sewing patterns. Every other booth at the fair was selling objects, so most people were surprised that we offered sewing tutorials and Work Dresses for barter. It was hard to get people in shopping mode to slow down and sew! I think Trade School is a nice real-time engagement because everyone who shows up wants to be there, but it was nice to meet some DIY crafters at Renegade.

Monday: (SoHo) The Feast on Good conference is all about social innovation, but The Feast Salon I spoke at focused on internet start-ups like FourSquare and Catchafire. I decided to trace my interest in OurGoods back to public projects I did like making public seating and subway swings, engaging the tech world in projects that act as excuses for interaction and conversation in public space. I think this approach was the most moving because it's a personal story with physical objects- it's not too abstract.

Tuesday: (South Brooklyn) We had a 4 hour brunch meeting/eating about re-opening Trade School! Rich, Louise, and I are really lucky because Saul Melman is joining us to help organize Trade School for the fall. If we don't get enough Kickstarter money, we're thinking of looking for sponsors so we can pay for insurance, some materials, and 10-30% of our labor. We'd love to get small sums from local businesses, but we're also going to approach Home Depot and Whole Foods. I'll let you know what works!

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