MuseumCamp 2015

Group photo
Campers outside the MAH in Santa Cruz, CA. August 2015

MuesumCamp this year was amazing! Kudos to Nina Simon, Beck Trench and the team of organizers for crafting such a well-thought-out experience enabling 100+ of us to work through ideas of space and community.

I experienced Camp as a giant, time-and-space-constrained act of collaborative creation, the result of which will be a deck of “space making” exercise cards. But the deck is just a byproduct; the real accomplishment was the format of the event itself. It was an awe-inspiring feat of facilitation, scattering talks and workshops in between bursts of team collaboration, bonding opportunities and alone time.

The theme was “space”, in all the ways that can be interpreted. Emphasis was on making space for others, and claiming space for oneself and one’s community. The attendees came from such diverse backgrounds that I was able to have both conversations premised on commonalities (“I know, right?”) and difference (“I’ve never thought about that before”).

For me, there were two moments that really stood out. One was learning of the experience of a group of Filipino youth in SF, striving for life, liberty and punk rock in the face of societal alienation, peer violence and gentrification. It opened my mind to communities that might exist in my own neighborhood. The other was an impromptu opportunity to rehearse the seminal Fluxus happening Kicking a Guitar Around the Block, which drew a spontaneous audience murmuring, “oh they’re making art!”

After camp, I stayed on in Santa Cruz for a few days with MAH staff and nights with the community at the top of Mystery Spot Rd. Being among those beautiful people was an energizing experience, and I love them deeply.

Posted August 2015

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