I have a mild form of depression. It’s not medication-worthy, but it’s there. A few times a month I get sidetracked in a cycle of self-doubt and apathy. It’s frustrating—like delays on the road of destiny—but I deal with it. Despite success in my career, community, art, etc., I sometimes can’t find that spark of inspiration to move me through a day. This month it didn’t happen. Why? I engaged in a series of creative projects that took up most of my free time, but this is nothing new: I’ve always pursued creative projects that interest me. The difference in June was that I had a space to showcase these works-in-progress and collaborate with like-minded people. Instead of soldering electronics alone in my workshop, I was in a room with a steady flow of people. While testing my BigPOV project, I was approached with “What’s that?”s and “Whoa cool!”s. I spoke about my plans for digital civic art to a room of 50 people. I helped install a slide. I collaborated on an open-source project. The difference was [ freespace ]: an experiment in “civic hacking” held in a 14000-square-foot warehouse. Since it started on June 1st, [ freespace ] hosted just about every event you can think of: dance classes, salons, yoga, paella cooks, gardening parties, classical music concerts, clothing “swap-n-sews”…the list goes on. It houses art projects of every conceivable flavor, from spray-painted murals to kinetic sculptures. But really, it’s just a space: a space for people to come together, to be creative, to do something that interests them. Apparently, a space like this is what I need to feel constantly engaged and invigorated with artistic expression. The crazy part is, [ freespace ] is just getting started. I’m writing this on the 24th day of its existence. There’s so much more in store for this space—so many more lives it can touch. But here’s the rub: the $1 lease that enabled this crazy experiment ends in less than a week. The building then returns to the market with a $25000-a-month price tag, and it will probably fall back into disrepair until something big changes in the neighborhood. But [ freespace ] can continue. An Indiegogo campaign, ending this Friday, seeks to raise the funds to pay for a second month and see what’s possible. I urge you to consider supporting this priceless space for civic engagement and creativity.
Oh, and while you’re at it, you should come to my LASER BOOGIE party at the space tonight!