Friday, May 3, 2013

Mike Nesmith on Timerider and Crowdsourcing

His post today (again posting because he tends to delete):

Looks like Christian and Circe (My son and his S.O.) did well on their Kickstarter campaign.

I am really happy for them. They are gong to make an Album, do a Video and maybe go on tour. 

I like the whole idea of crowdsourcing. 

At the end of June I will be in NYC for a fundraiser for The New Inquiry magazine. Rachel Rosenfelt (Publisher) has some ideas about funding for the magazine that goes around the accepted routes. She wants the magazine to raise enough money to operate without having to compromise any of its editorial freedom -- which boils down to "no advertising"

I think its a great idea and we are backing her and hers. I'm not sure how they will do. RR is smart and so is her team so I think she will come up with the right plan. I'm going to go to the fundraiser and see what I can learn and how I can help.

I use to race off-road during the eighties. It was an expensive and a very steep learning curve. I got beat a lot. I got depressed about it.

Off-roading became a lesson in workarounds for me.

I began to wonder if I might do better and go quicker even if I had to take a harder and more difficult unexplored track. There were plenty of options -- race rules required only that we get from point A to point B as fast as possible -- staying on the ground.

My team found all sorts of available tracks but usually they were harder and seemed slower. The problems they raised looked too hard to solve and they weren't much fun while you were racing on them.

Race days were all dust plumes from the trails of the cars and trucks racing along the desert. Usually the higher the plume the faster the car.

From time to time we would see a distant plume of dust starting to rise somewhere along a track so far away in territory so rough that no one had bothered to take it even though it was perfectly legal. After a while the plume would vanish -- a car broken or lost in the desert.

We started to focus on those tracks -- taking those same distant and awful trails -- content to go slow and work hard finding our own way -- spending hours preparing for races by building pit stops in the middle of nowhere and plotting our course by dead reckoning instead of following the wandering or pre-graded trails other cars were taking.

That's when we started to win. We won a lot. Other cars started following us.

The name of the race team was Timerider. Same as a movie I made.

Crowd sourcing is one of those rules based workarounds. It enables artists especially. We spend a lot of time begging at the door of wealthy Americans -- Corporate and otherwise -- and we end up having to sell out most of the time in order to produce at least some part of an creative idea.

Its a drag and its one of the awful things about innovation and living in the margins -- outside the commercial think of big business.

Crowd sourcing is a real alternative to that. I think Alex Cox (writer director Repo Man)may be raising some cash for his next movie -- and I see some other film makers going down the same road. Wealthy film makers -- not just poor ones.

The web has all these great new unexplored alternatives for economy and politics and the arts -- legal side roads around the traffic choked avenues of traditional commerce.

Expect to see me out there from time to time. Come join me if you see me. Have a cup of coffee by a campfire in the middle of nowhere. Like Marfa.

And keep your eyes on Christian and Circe. They make good records and good videos and they have just started creating a nice plume of dust way off the usual roads.

And just to put in my two cents, Circe's link is
The Kickstarter bit is

As of today, they have met & exceeded their $3500 goal (you need to meet it, otherwise you don't get any of the money).
They have 137 Backers (you can donate as little as $1).
$8,398 is pledged, only 3 days in, the link will be active for the next 27 days.

Her site is well established and updated regularly, she's active on Social Media and cuts a striking figure in person.  And her stuff seems kinda good too . . . (maybe that helps)

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