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Rene Daalder
Los Angeles, US
Immortal since Jan 18, 2007
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    From Wildcat
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    The course will be loosely inspired by the movie (and the book) The Man who Fell to Earth in which David Bowie plays an extraterrestrial visitor...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    From rene's personal cargo

    By Invite Only
    I very much appreciated the recent discussion Should SpaceCollective be open?, which is a conversation Folkert, Josh and I are having on an ongoing basis, invariably coming to the conclusion that the Invite Only model works. Besides SpaceCollective, it has also been working well for the Cargo project even though it is based on a subscription model, and we will once again use it for our upcoming film/video art platform Instant Cinema.

    Most internet initiatives are geared towards attracting as many users as possible, which is our ambition as well, but at the same time we want to set the bar on our projects as high as possible simply because we like to be personally engaged with the communities we help to create.





    In fact, our way of starting these projects has been to put a lot of our own content on the site before showing it to anyone (check out the early posts in the Time Capsules of Megan, Folkert and myself, or the Future of Everything movies on the home page as well as the SpaceCollective Gallery).

    Initially, we provided SpaceCollective with an underlying narrative that was inspired by the Time Capsules on board of the Voyager space probes. By becoming a member you acquired the status of being “immortal,” and your content was supposed to be your “Cargo” for the ages. At one point we even played with the idea to launch all the content from the site into space. Ultimately these ideas would feed into many aspects of the site, as well as the soon to be completed Sci-Fi documentary “The Terrestrials” about 6 students at UC Santa Cruz digitizing the archive of Timothy Leary to grant him his wish of a “permanent home in cyberspace.”

    In addition to our own curation of the site, we continued to establish a niche for ourselves by inviting some of our friends teaching at major universities to conduct SpaceCollective-related courses. Soon after, the floodgates to the outside world were spontaneously opening up.

    Here’s how I put it in an early post:

    While students at UCLA in Los Angeles and Vienna’s School for the Applied Arts were in the early process of beta testing the site (see Projects), scores of aspiring members from the outside somehow found our unpublicized URL and were applying for membership to our yet to be launched invite only community. Without any publicity or public beta, an instant network of forward thinkers from all over the world had spontaneously sprung into existence.

    As it turns out many of the most important contributors to SC found us when the site was still password-controlled. A teenage whiz kid named dmitri, was one of them, as were the prodigiously forward thinking Wildcat, Spaceweaver and Rourke, who have since acquired the status of Fellow Founding Fathers of this precocious think tank.

    Other significant early pioneers who continue to contribute are Meika, Xarene, Michael Rule and Sjef, eventually joined by a 2nd and 3rd generation, which includes several of the much appreciated writers who commented on the thread that prompted this post.

    In the ‘60s Timothy Leary (who posthumously became an honorary SC member) and Aldous Huxley were deeply involved in the cause of advocating mind expansion through psychedelics. During long conversations they defined possible strategies to accomplish their goal. Huxley believed that turning on great poets, artists and other influential minds would start a long-lasting trickle down effect, whereas Leary would eventually find himself playing the role of the great populist promoter and was forever burdened by the backlash that was the corrosive side-effect of his mass-oriented approach. Much as I love Leary and his infatuation with popular culture, in the end, he may have had more luck with the artists that he and Alan Ginsberg turned on according to Huxley’s elitist model. Among them were the painter Willem de Kooning, Jack Kerouac, Thelonious Monk and many other figures that are highly influential to this day. Both approaches are valid, but only one keeps cutting through the clutter with timeless clarity, and the same can ultimately be said of the frequent glimpses of the future that are offered by the select few who are posting here, unimpeded by the unwieldy noise of the masses.

    SpaceCollective is created with this meritocratic mentality in mind as we were fully expecting to help create something of much longer lasting value than your average social network. Long before it was proven to us that the high caliber of discourse conducted here was even possible outside of an institutional context we went to great lengths to come up with as many ways as possible to navigate and preserve the extensive amount of sophisticated content we hoped for.

    Besides Search, the usual Tags and RSS feeds, we instigated curated “Projects”, members’ individual “Time Capsules”, featuring their posts as well as their personal “Favorites”. There are “Synapses” that refer to related content, and below the top bar of the home page there are multiple ways to revisit the archive based on “Recent Activity,” “Most Popular” Posts, “Newest First,” “Most Active,” and “Yours” which allows you to display a different overview of your own work. In your Time Capsule you can access recent posts by “Affiliates”, or view “Recent Images”, and so on. In other words, there are more ways to interact with the content here than any of us would typically need on a regular basis.

    Although these functionalities may not always be obvious, it appears that at least some of these different ways of browsing the content are paying off when new members join and peruse the vast archive, reviving posts from the distant past, which without exception seem surprisingly current and draw comments as if they were written yesterday.

    Now remember that when you signed up we made the commitment to keep your cargo alive and indeed granted you the status of being immortal, just like the inhabitants of that mythical place nom the puppet evokes when he sums up the consensus that for the time being SC should remain as it is today, because, according to him:

    “this might be the Shangri-La of the internet...”

    Tue, Dec 14, 2010  Permanent link

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    Wildcat     Wed, Dec 15, 2010  Permanent link
    Hello Rene,

    It has been my intention to respond to the post concerning the openness at large of Space Collective and yet seeing your response here I have deleted my own, since you have made most of my points redundant.
    Nevertheless I would like to point two issues which are I believe salient to the matter, the first being that though I see Space Collective and its projects, primarily the Polytopia, as networked oriented, the site itself I see more as an incubator or better yet as a proto green house or conservatory where seedlings are nurtured until mature enough to sustain a full fledged ‘wilderness survival’ situation.
    The second concerns the audience effect as reflected in the old philosophical schools of thought (and lately resuscitated) where the rationality and clarity of discourse was directly proportional to the correlation of speaker vs. audience- simply put it meant that the quality of discourse is directly proportional to the relational context relevancy of speaker and audience, the higher the correlation the higher the quality.
    Given these aspects, I see the current model, by invitation only, as highly effective and fertile.
    One more little thing, which is often forgotten, is the small written addendum to the invitation procedure, namely that each invited person will forever be a descendent of the person inviting, to my eyes, a lineage induced futuristic principle of critical relevance.
    As you know I see Space Collective as the seed mind habitat from which a global future game changer for human civilization such as the Polytopia will emerge, and to this day my mind in this respect remains unchanged.

    Allow me to use this opportunity to thank you, Folkert and Josh for the origination of this space, without which much of our current work would not have been possible in its form, function and aesthetic appeal.
         Wed, Dec 15, 2010  Permanent link
    I would like to extend my thanks as well! I muchly appreciate all the hard work put into such a great thing!
    rene     Fri, Dec 17, 2010  Permanent link
    Wildcat - thanks for the reminder of the line of descent that can trace many of us back to our ancestors on this site.

    For me the most attractive challenge of SpaceCollective has always been to create a web project that conveys an implied sense of space with its own sci-fi logic. I kind of look at SC as a space colony operating at a remove from the stasis of current society, while reporting back to our terrestrial ancestry via the infosphere.

    dmitri - it's been great to witness your “coming of age” along with SC.
    Environmentalalex     Fri, Feb 8, 2013  Permanent link
    How do we add images and ideas to the Gallery? Also, I know our thoughts and everything we publish on here is kept - but all of the great ideas kept in videos who's links become corrupt or who's user is deleted don't help! How do we also keep the video footage? Do we summarize - make our own copy? What is your idea?
    rene     Tue, Feb 12, 2013  Permanent link
    That's a good question. Unfortunately YouTube and Vimeo changed their policy one year ago and stopped supporting older video links. The only way I can think of to retrieve these would be manually. We consider the Gallery (as well as the videos on the home page) as historical time capsules harking back to the early days of SpaceCollective. Thanks for your contributions. We really appreciate the continuity of members like yourself who've been with us for all this time. And it's always great to see some older posts popping up again. Too bad about the lost videos!
    CoCreatr     Sat, Mar 2, 2013  Permanent link
    Thank you, all who helped building and maintaining The Spacecollective. I enjoy many of its aspects for learning and sharing, the clean design, lineage and by invitation only.
    rene     Thu, Mar 7, 2013  Permanent link
    Thank you for your consistent contributions!
     
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