Future Conditional: Projections for Future Local in 2019

“We should find people who are creating algorithms for data-visualizations based on local civic issues. Then we would experiment with projection mapping and live broadcasting community dialogue.”

The second convening of this emerging event series brought together old friends and new for a classic evening of holiday cheer, juxtaposed by our collective idiosyncrasies. For this gathering, we set up a projector and introduced a live digital media element to the conversation. It was all fairly improvised and resulted in guests taking turns performing live google searches as we went around the circle introducing ourselves and our most recent creative enterprises, with no real aim or clear moderation of the dialogue, other than to get to know each other better.

We came to the realization that the group was an eclectic mix of minds involved with community organizing and social entrepreneurship through the arts. Individuals in the group were involved with various strategic projects, such as brokering film shoots locations with real-estate managers, designing urban landscape architecture for environmental preservation, and finding space to fabricate puppets and other elements of set/interior design. We represented various neighborhoods in the vicinity; the South Bronx, Hunts Point, Gowanus, and Sunset Park. We discovered a mutual connection to grassroots and local initiatives in the islands of Hawaii, which revealed that several of us had recently had written works by Sarah Vowell on our nightstands.

For those interested, you may find the abridged Google Search of the evening’s conversation here.

After debriefing a bit, we began to define our vision for a coalition-building strategy in 2019, focusing on connecting artists and entrepreneurs working on civic issues in the tri-state area. We will research artist collectives and cooperatives around the world, which have had a measurable impact and clear social missions, and organize field trips to explore hidden cultural gems in the periphery of Manhattan. We are working on designing an interactive, data-driven audio-visualization of our conversations, with the objective of bringing transparency back to the world of social media, where people can see and shape the meta-conversation of public discourse, with the intention of countering disinformation.

The early gatherings will be focused on organically connecting our collective social networks, who are interested in investing in a local coalition of cultural entrepreneurs. We are using the crowdfunding platform, withfriends.co, to invite participants in the initiative, to shape its sustainable growth.

That said, the next gathering will be on March 1, 2019. You can sign up for updates at this link.

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