Collective Reference
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Share what you know, and celebrate all you don't.

Marley Lopez

 
KEYWORDS

Prototyping, Social Impact, Team building, User Experience, Marketing

Project

My project is based on the premise that our social lives need social spaces, and our social norms need disruption. It hopes to facilitate the expansion from support networks to social networks and re-examine what meaningful social engagement means. We need forums that expose new ideas, incentivize learning, and break our habits. Collective Reference promises to be a space to share what you know, and celebrate all you don't.

Collective Reference uses fluxus art practices to communicate what we want to see in the world. Fluxus was an art movement in the 60's rooted in the belief that there is no separation between art and life. It became a forum of experimentation, do-it-yourself antics, and artistic co-creation.
These happenings create a community of informed and open-minded people willing to try new things in a world that constantly asks us to adapt.

 

challenge 
 

According to Vacant New York, there are 70 vacant storefronts in the east village. I saw the surplus of vacant storefronts as an opportunity for social infrastructure. I imagined that a destination pop-up would draw my audience and spark community engagement -- and that the unused space would be free. After six weeks, finding a landlord proved impossible, and I knew it was time to pivot. If I wanted to host an event, I needed to make a change.
I had previously volunteered at the City Reliquary and knew they were always looking for events to bring new people to the museum. Instead of activating a vacant space to create a community, I could host my event at a space that already has a small but loyal membership and introduce new people to the museum. This would help me first create a following and marketing materials before approaching landlords.

 
Outcome
 

I moved forward with my proof-of-concept event at the City Reliquary on December 4th. The museum gave us the space for free and assigned two volunteers for the evening -- one to check vaccine cards and the other to bartend. In total, there were 40 guests, most of whom were strangers. I was informed by the Events Coordinator that it was the largest, and most profitable, event hosted by the Reliquary all year.
Event 001 opened with the Torrance Test to remind participants we all come to different conclusions, and that interpretation can be an expression of art. The main activity was a conversation guide given to all attendees called their Reference Card. The only rule was that each prompt must be answered with someone new. The entire evening was a success and four more events are scheduled in partnership with the City Reliquary for January.