As Yet Unnamed

Yesterday I did a fun little video thingy with my friend and conspirator Shayla Maddox (@shaylamaddox) in order to introduce a project we’re working on together, something we are currently calling ‘As Yet Unnamed’.

As Yet Unnamed is a collaboration between Shayla Maddox (the artist) and Sabre Tooth Panda (the zoologically improbable LTD company which takes corporeal form in me, Aran Rees). All we really know about this project is that the end result will be some form of art show in London. But for now this is perhaps the least interesting bit; the really interesting bit is how we intend to create this art show.

No Wrong Answers, the blog, the podcast and the pub quiz (a sort of holy trinity of creativity, No Wrong Answers be thy name), exists for the express purpose of opening up and normalising creativity. We begin with the premise that creativity is as natural as breathing, eating and sleeping but that, due to various cultural and intellectual catastrophes that have befallen the modern world, many people have self limiting beliefs and unhelpful misconceptions about what exactly it means to be creative. The only way to change this is a full frontal attack on the ivory towers of creativity, be they mystical or academic.

As Yet Unnamed is part of that mission. We will carry out the creative process of conceptualising, designing and building a new type of art show in as open a way as possible to let people see how the sausage is made.

We will blog about it, vlog about it, podcast about it, broadcast stuff on Periscope, share stuff on Patreon, tweet, gram, tumble, chat, snap, crackle and pop and basically communicate the crap out of this. And then, at the end of it all, we will put on a show. In London. With art in it.

And so we begin. Shayla will be editing together and sharing our vlog shortly. Then we can begin the process of deciding what exactly this whole thing is going to be about. And here I will posit a useful starting point:

What is an art show for?

If we begin with the assumption that the point of this show is to simply sell Shayla’s art, then we might conclude that the optimal solution has already been reached; fill a fancy room with free booze and waitresses in cocktail dresses in order to inebriate and flit with rich men who want to appear cultured so they’ll try to show off how rich and cultured they are in order to impress and possibly sleep with the aforementioned waitresses in cocktail dresses.

But perhaps this art show isn’t just about that? What else can an art show be for? This is the first question we need to answer. Until we know what this art show is for, why it exists, then none of the rest of the creative process can take place.

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Goofing off

Playfullness is an important part of the creative process. Sometimes silly ideas lead to great ideas. So on that basis I want to share a fairly silly idea that popped into my head whilst writing the somewhat satirical take down of the traditional art show above.

If we assume, for a moment, that our target audience is, in fact, rich men who want to look both rich and cultured in order to have sex with attractive women (such men, I hear, are fairly common in some places), then the idea of combining an art show with a dating event might be interesting if morally questionable.

The basic premise is this – we invite rich single men and attractive single women looking for rich single men (I believe these women also exist if you know where to look for them), and get them all nice and drunk on free booze whilst they walk around appreciating art and flirting like bonobos on an off day. We allow strictly no mobile phones or any kind of pen and paper – we don’t want anyone exchanging numbers just yet.

At the end of the evening the rich single men are invited to bid on their preferred artworks whilst the attractive single women look on. This allows the rich single men to show off how rich and cultured they are in order to ultimately impress the attractive single women enough that they may be up for a quick bonk/long term relationship.

The rich single men are reunited with the attractive single women only after the auction is over. At this point we give back the mobile phones and hand out directions to the local STI clinic, just in case.

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