Here’s a quick preview of the art projects that have been awarded Ephemerisle grants so far:
Exercise Ball Platform by Kipp McMichael and Trea Grillo
A triangular-shaped floating platform buoyed by 12 x 65cm exercise balls. One side of the triangle will be docked to the main festival platform.
Lotus Tree Light Project by Anja Ulfeldt
Inspired by the geometry of nature, the lotus tree lights would grow up from the water of the Delta and illuminate the night with a soft white glow. During the day they would be bright white geometrix forms floating on the lagoon. Modular Sea Serpent by Dav Yaginuma
A sea serpent on simple platform that fits one driver. powered by electric motor. The ‘engine’ component consists of a head and one hump. Additional humps are attached by rope and pulled behind. Each hump can accomodate one rider.
I am skeptical that allocating funds toward Art is really the best use of the limited funds available.
I have been trying to organize a page showing what people think are the best ways to advance seasteading and “Art” was not something I have seen people pushing.
Vince: I really wouldnt know if its the best way of advancing seasteading. I can see the arguments for. In general, seasteading is a long term project, and having an active, physically connected community seems important to me in crossing the gap between the now and then.
Vince, I’d say the above efforts may (or may not) have a positive impact (depending on cost) if they boost the community’s morale.
Another point, don’t let topical disagreements like this turn you off TSI. In my experience, people like us have a tendency to be uncompromising and unbending over minor issues, in the process undermining the broader vision we all share.
I think art adds tremendously to the quality of life, but I tend to agree with Vince that art doesn’t directly advance the cause of seasteading. I also think that seasteading community can be advanced without an art festival. Some questions:
1. How much funding is being allocated to art grants, and could those funds be better spent, for example funding the engineering intern instead?
2. Might it not be better to fund art after a succesful seastead has proven its economic viability?
Again, I think art for the sake of art is highly desirable, but generally it’s something that’s developed after “excess” funds become available due to a successful economy, etc. I also think there’s a tremendous amount of artistry in succesful, creative, new engineering solutions.
I disagree, despite 2000+ “accounts” on http://www.seasteading.org the hardcore group is still very small I think. Impressive designs at a festival, even without a lot of practical seasteading application, could still make for great PR. I’m dreading seeing TSI go the way of the Millenial project/Living universe foundation and other such groups, and showing all the cool stuff seasteaders can do would be a good way to get others excited about it. Besides, only two of those six projects looked like they were mostly “pure” art. The others are usable equipment with practical applications (platforms, swings, drivable platforms).
I understand that some people (Wayne, for example) do not see Ephemerisle as being important enough to seasteading to be worth a significant amount of our time and money. James & I have discussed this extensively, and we agree that Ephemerisle is a major part of our strategy for achieving seasteading, as I have posted.
Obviously funding floating art with no strategic context would be stupid. But given that this festival is a major part of our strategy, spending some of the budget ($2700 so far) subsidizing cool art seems very reasonable. We think that art is important to making Ephemerisle a fun festival which can continue to grow even as it moves out to more difficult conditions. Also note that Ephemerisle is a major PR opportunity, there will be multiple reporters and documentarists there. Art and pretty things make for good PR, which drives awareness of TSI & Ephemerisle, and future attendance.
I knew a seasoned developer who was at a startup. He said that management there had gotten focused on publicity and demos instead of customers and a quality product and that the startup would therefore fail. He left the company and he was right that it did fail.
[quote]Obviously funding floating art with no strategic context would be stupid. But given that this festival is a major part of our strategy, spending some of the budget ($2700 so far) subsidizing cool art seems very reasonable.[/quote]
Wasn’t the budget for the engineering intern $4,000? I’d recommend that the $2,700 would be much better spent on that if we actually want seasteading to happen.