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inspiration making sharing

Art Space Tokyo: Shared Making

Art Space Tokyo is an intimate guide to the Tokyo art world by Ashley Rawlings and Craig Mod and a very beautiful book describing the buildings and neighbourhoods of 12 distinctive Tokyo galleries. There are maps for each of the areas, illustrations of the galleries by Nobumasa Takahashi  (the cover is a composite map of Tokyo by Craig Mod) alongside interviews and essays.


Inside pages from Art Space Tokyo

In the Preface to Art Space Tokyo Ashley and Craig write:

“We believe that art is not just an end goal, but a process involving all manner of people. Aside from the artists themselves, the art world is made up of collectors, curators, architects, businessmen, npo organizations and the patrons — those of us who gain pleasure from simply viewing and interacting with art — all taking part in some way to foster the creation and consumption process.”

Although here they were referring to the people who work in and with galleries and art they also applied this philosophy to the creation of Art Space Tokyo. Originally printed in 2008 the book was sold out by Spring 2009. In 2010 Ashley and Craig decided that they would like to update and reprint the book as well as create a free web edition for the iPad extending the original concept with videos of the spaces and interviews with local characters, sound-recordings that reveal the ambience of the neighbourhoods and rich interactive maps.


Illustration for GA Gallery, Yoyogi / Harajuku

In the spirit of shared making, it was at this point that they turned to Kickstarter as a way to raise the money necessary to achieve their goal. Kickstarter allows people to advertise their project and ask for contributions towards realising it. Requested contributions for any project range from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars – with your reward increasing alongside your contribution. For example, a pledge of $25 Art Space Tokyo would have got you a PDF of the book plus access to all project updates. At the other end of the scale for a pledge of $2500 you would have received all of the rewards of the other pledge amounts (e.g. copy of the book, original artwork) plus a 1-day tour of the art spaces of Tokyo with Craig Mod.

Is this shared making? Well, yes, I think it is.. As they write in the preface art – or making – is a process not just a product and through Kickstarter Ashley and Craig were offering the opportunity to become part of this process. And I hope the benefits were mutual – they got to reprint the book, contributors got a tangible reward (and presumably a warm fuzzy feeling from helping out two artists).

p.s. If you were thinking of contributing you’re too late… Ashley and Craig wanted $15,000. By 1 May when the pledges closed they had 265 backers and had raised $23,790!

Categories
inspiration sharing

3 Ways to Share

I came across these three ways to share via Russell Davis who attributes them to Clay Shirky.

Sharing Goods – the hardest to do, because if you give a physical good you no longer have it, you’re deprived of it.

Sharing Services – like giving helping someone across the road – you don’t lose out on physical stuff but it’s an inconvenience.

Sharing Information – like giving someone directions – you don’t lose stuff, it doesn’t take much time, no inconvenience.

Also interesting are Russell’s further thoughts on this where he discusses the relative value of mixtapes vs playlists and how the tangibility of mixtapes actually increases their value.

I find this an incredibly useful way to think about sharing in relation to bookleteer. Give away a printed eBook or StoryCube and you lose that object – but the person you give it to feels valued as a result of that exchange. Email someone an eBook or StoryCube and you don’t lose anything except the time it takes to write the email – but the value may be diluted as a result. Sometimes you won’t have a choice about which way you distribute your eBooks (see A Little Something About Me for one example of why this might be) but when you do the question to ask might be – how do you want the recipient of your eBook to feel..?