Monday, May 14, 2012

It's All Happening

A while back I published a thought experiment called The Autonym.  It resulted in at least one person un-friending me on Facebook (good riddance) so I figured I must be onto something.

As it turns out -- as it always turns out -- a similar thing actually exists, in my own backyard.  It's called LAVA, the Los Angeles Visionaries Association:
ABOUT LAVA:  LAVA's creative partners come together in a spirit of collaboration and mutual support, of good will and trust. The shape of this organization and its programming are still evolving, but in addition to the monthly calendar and weekly emailed announcement list, community blog and shared publicity campaigns, we envision the creation of committees to oversee various types of programming (lectures, tours, screenings, music, performance, poetry, etc.), and opportunities for cross-pollination that will provide all of us with new audiences and unexpected new paths for our work. It would be helpful to start any discussion of what this entity is by making it clear that it does not exist.
Emphasis theirs.  They take part of their inspiration from the United Lodge of Theosophy, and I have to say, from my own experience, this is pretty brilliant:
They recite a declaration (short and simple) at each meeting which does two things: to affirm that the ULT does not exist, and to ensure that the simplicity, openess,  authenticity and focus of the group is made clear each time. This reminder makes it easier to respond to individuals who, a year or two into their work at the ULT, begin to make noises that they think the ULT should really be something else. So -- the ULT does not exist.
How does this compare to The Autonym?  Here's a snippet of what I wrote back in November of 2010:
We, the undersigned, agree to work together in creating works of art inspired by passion, under the banner of “The Autonym.”

Our participation in this association is entirely voluntary and at will. We owe no allegiance to The Autonym. We are not members of The Autonym. Rather, we align ourselves with each other, as individual artists and with mutual respect.
The Autonym has no bylaws, no logo, and no fixed location in space.
No such thing as an original thought, or brilliant minds think alike?

Anyway, their calendar is full of some really neat sounding tours, seminars, and rooftop screenings.  Not a whole lot of theatre, though.  Maybe someone should get on that.

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