Filmmaker, former Nevada City mayor, passionate social justice crusader, and DANK member, Reinette Senum, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her documentary about becoming the first woman to solo across Alaska.
I've seen her one-woman show can tell you this is more than an adventure tale: reincarnation, cellular memory, family karma, American military history, and just plain "NO WAY!!!" moments all play a role. And, there is Diamond, Reinette's Huskie companion and savoir.
Take a look and consider making a pledge. Even $1 would be greatly appreciated.
If you can't wait for the documentary and want to be totally inspired, today, at this moment, watch Reinette's TED Talk, "Community as Common Destiny."Seriously. It might change your mind about everything.Forever.
Theo van Doesburg, De Stijl founder, wife, Nelly, Dog, Dada, and Dancer, Kamares, 1925
Looking back at our DANK Experiment this summer I had some thoughts on how to start your own artists collective...
1.) Be Organic. Meet weekly for coffee. Share interstes. Do a project together. Let everyone participate, the whole town. See who shows up. Do another project. See who shows up again. Exchange long email threads not on Facebook (this will feel very intimate). Then, after a year or so, form your collective with the people who are still meeting for coffee.
2.)Include both genders. I'm not going to lie, stuff will come up when men and women work together. But, your collective won't defined by gender (women only) or lack of diversity (men only). Also, testosterone is soooo handy...Is that sexist?
Dadaists (husband and wife) Dorothea Tanning and Max Ernst by Lee Miller, 1946
3.)Put it in writing. A group of artists will have lots of ideas, probably too many. Writing a manifesto, a mission statement, and/or a press release, makes you focus your goals, be able to explain them to others, and, most importantly, enables others to write about you. Jack Kerouac may have coined the phrase "Beat Generation" in 1948, but John Clellen Holmes introduced it to the world in this New York Times Magazine article in 1952.
4.) Pick a good name. Avoid the too dry (Critical Art Ensemble), the spelled weird (gelitin), or the impossible to remember (0100101110101101.ORG). We love DANK because it popped out of Joe Meade's mouth as a description of a space in town and we couldn't stop using it as a noun, adjective, pun, and acronym for Do Art Now Kids. It was organic (see #1) And it resonates with Nevada City's cannabis culture. But, having your name mean something else creates issues too. If you Google DANK you'll see more images of DANK weed than DANK art.
5.)Passion beats consensus. If someone feels super strongly about covering all the windows with maps, and has the maps, and is willing to pull an all-nighter, alone, to do it, he wins. If someone feels super strongly about how gross the bathroom is, and is willing to clean it, make it cool, and open to the public, she wins. Step out of passion's way and allow for individual awesomeness.
Diverted, (Work in Progress) by Nancy Nelson with Joe Meade's Maps by Moira McLaughlin, 2014
6.) Know the difference between "community context" and gossip. "Community context" means sharing information, e.g. what printer, merchant, or artist is a swindler, racist, or maniac: crucial things to know. But avoid conversational gossip, especially about each other. No one wants to feel like s/he is the topic of conversation the minute s/he leaves the room.
8.) Take lots of photos. Hopefully one of you is a photographer and all of you play around with photo apps, social media, and hashtags. Your photos don't have to be professional, but they should be interesting. You're artists goddammit. Make yourselves look good. Also label your jpegs. For example the photo below is DANK-Joe-Meade-Celine-Adrianna-Negrete-by-Moira-McLaughlin-2014.jpg. Seach engines will love you and your biographers will thank you.
9.) Track your finances, but keep financial pressure out of it. We are fortunate to have a rigorous CFO. Roseanne Burke loves to make spreadsheets and reconcile the books to the penny. You might not be so lucky, but at least talk about money and get a clear understanding of the costs and who's willing to "buy in." Balance between conscientiousness and fluidity. New expenses will arise and you don't want budget meetings to devolve into "who ordered just an appetizer and who only drank water." Also, avoid overhead or you can easily find yourself raising rent money and not making art.
DANK is an artists collective in Nevada City, California. It was founded in 2013 by ten artists interested in post-Great Recession social issues, the rural ideal, and an anti-urban aesthetic grounded in the legacy of the California Gold Rush.
The name DANK comes from the wet wood smell that permeates Nevada City, a town situated on the banks of Deer Creek. It’s also a nod to one of the area’s premier exports, cannabis. And it’s an acronym; Do Art Now Kids.