Monday, June 22, 2015

"New Strategies for Creative Engagement" Blog Salon: April Gee

Our final day of our blog salon features a rally cry for Silicon Valley by April Gee, musician and founder of Petite Galleria, a Japantown boutique that curates one-of-a-kind gifts. 

I was at SV Creates' recent "tweetable" grant program, Product(dot)Relevance that was meant to engage "techies" with the arts in San Jose, and I got to observe some of the finalists today. ( I didn't make the cut)

I just want to say this...Do we not realize that Tech workers are quite creative and knowledgeable? Do we not realize that many of them are accomplished artists who enjoy working on projects in their off time...just because this is what they do. Observe that in the past few years they have gone to Burning Man and returned with sparkles in their eyes after being part of a creative collaboration where they applied their skills towards a community! San Jose should think of the tech workers as potential artists not a passive audience - but some of the most creative and capable people in our city. They should be invited to collaborate with traditional and street artists of all mediums here, and we should take efforts to make it easy for them to do so. These "cube dwellers" are not blank faced nerds and we should not treat them as a passive audience.

Silicon Valley has an opportunity on our hands. San Jose is a teenager of a city, and not all of the dots have been connected in our community. It should be the city of the future that we always dreamed of. We should have solar trees, and kinetic sculptures, a bike freeway, and things I cannot even imagine yet. We have the intelligence, the creativity, the resources and, in fact, the space to do things right.

Let's think about what's possible, and make it happen! Why? because this is where it can ALL happen! This is where it can all begin. Tesla motors is right here, Apple is right here, Geez louise..everything is happening HERE, so why does this city look the way that it does? People drive by and say "Blah"...and the most exciting artists here hide in secret pockets! ART and TECHNOLOGY need to become BFF's. Know what I'm saying?! Utopia starts here with us, right now. Like the crazed Shia Labeouf video gone viral..."DOO ITTT! DOOOO IT!"

So, on that note, I hope the grant money goes to something that makes a real difference..not just funding business as usual. What does Silicon Valley need?

Silicon Valley needs more support for empowering independent artists to drive art/tech collaboration.

AND THEN,

Silicon Valley needs more art/tech collaboration to drive citywide innovation!

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