Oftentimes the biggest breakthroughs for a creator comes from getting back to the basics. Throughout this fourth and final week of the first cohort of Forefront’s W3CR, the group experienced and reflected on the joy and creativity that comes from remembering why you are working on something in the first place.
Monday’s Open Studio began with Allie sharing her experiences going into the community and doing a little “guerilla” of her own. She packed 20 play kits, with each kit containing a snippet about Play Library and ways to reach her. Allie had the opportunity to chat with parents and children alike about the Play Library, Forefront, web3, and more. All 20 play kits were snapped up by community members, and she even received a handful of email inquiries about Play Library! Getting out into the community and getting facetime with folks who could engage with the playkits, both as parents and children, was a major source of inspiration and “back to the basics” mentality for Allie.
Throughout the week, Allie also took us into her workspace full of items that she has collected over the years to add to her playkits. She spoke about her thought process around adding safe vs. interesting items into the kits, making sure not to overanalyze the unlikely scenarios with items that aren’t inherently dangerous. Finally, she reflected a bit more on her experience in the W3CR, her learnings, and some of her journal excerpts from throughout the residency. In the excerpts, she re-emphasized the importance of gifting to her project’s philosophy and explored ways to bring the IRL back to focus.
Next on Open Studio, Entes described his decision to shift his project in a new direction, getting “back to the basics” around why he was doing this work in the first place in order to develop a coherent vision and throughline for the residency. The W3CR team worked with Entes, studying his original application video and interviews, and landed on a core provocation: how can Entes roll out the Caras Latinas project as a guerrilla intervention that merges the metaverse/web3 with the physical world?
“Throughout my 24 year career, I have painted these characters [the Caras Latinas]; they are people that I see all the time. I think that to unite this NFT project with the street, it is important to add the guerrilla essence of graffiti. I’m talking about making murals of these faces, posters, scavenger hunts, wheatpaste, stencils that go viral – but not only on the internet, but in the physical world as well. A project that encompasses both the internet and the streets.” – Entes
This reflection and newfound clarity allowed Entes to lay out a strong gameplan for the remainder of his residency, including in an hour-long session where he dives into the roots of “guerilla” and his work.
Finally, the “back to the basics” theme was embodied in Alex’s incredibly raw and unfiltered livestream, where she was working out the kinks of her song alongside the Forefront community. The audience was able to watch in awe as Alex iterated through various tweaks to the song, visibly and audibly frustrated at times. Slowly, we see a smile on her face. Then a gasp as she hones in on her ideal sound. Finally, while replaying the work she had just done, she jumped with excitement, a moment of pure joy that we were all lucky enough to experience with her.
Alex described this moment (7 years in the making) as everything she’s been wanting in her artistry. The experience Alex gave the community, and the feedback she received, is yet another reminder of why this work is so important. Going back to the basics, through all of the tough times, and basking in the joy of pure artistic expression.
While two of our three residents will extend their residency one more week into Cohort 2, we’re honored and excited to have been able to jam with these talented folks and be a small part of their process. We couldn’t be more excited about what’s to come in the next cohort!