Feb 23

Dale Dougherty

Dale Dougherty

The Shipyard Returns

Last May, I wrote about the City of Berkeley closing down The Shipyard. A communal workspace for artists and alternative techies, The Shipyard was organized by Jim Mason; it was built as stacks of shipping containers. After the shutdown notice came, members of The Shipyard dispersed to other locations in the East Bay.

Now, after months and months of negotiations with the city, and various changes to the site, Jim has announced the re-opening The Shipyard on March 1st. He's calling it "The Shipyard, Version 2.0" with a "creative diy power hacking agenda." Jim re-envisions the Shipyard as a center for art and energy." He asks: "What, in short, would power look like if it was art?"

welding shipyard

In an email to Shipyard supporters, Jim writes:

I am interested in what happens when the arena of exploration for creative work and play is not "art" in its traditional forms, but rather the broad and loosely defined particulars of power generation and conversion. What if the point of interacting with energy machinery and processes is not solely for maximum efficiency and minimum price, but rather to contend other needs and desires, as well as other systems of valuation.

Jim welcomes input and ideas as he begins to shape "this little industrial shangri-la." If you're reading this on Saturday, stop by The Shipyard for a BBQ at 2pm.

Photograph courtesy of Jess Hobbs.

tags: diy, energy, make  | comments: 2   | Sphere It

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Comments: 2

  matthew Sporleder [02.25.08 10:57 AM]

Hacker spaces are awesome. City-funded hacker spaces are doubly awesome.

  Thomas Lord [02.27.08 07:36 PM]

When I first saw this radar post I wished for something clever and respectful to say, consistent with my admonishment of some shipyard past behavior. Eventually, it occurred to me:

The "slack" formerly enjoyed by the shipyard is a fading commodity in urban life. There's a diminishing small amount of "under the radar" left. The alameda county recycling folks found this out, too.

The implications is that these... um... scraping by in a game of limbo .... orgs, these days, are the last generation of their kind. Future generations won't be able to bootstrap with that much slack.

Perhaps that gives a special burden to the "owners" of things like these orgs.. their brushes with the law are an important warning sign about what future generations will face.

Artist colonies like the shipyard and the recycling center reproduce by emulation. Kids that pass through go off and start their own, somewhere else. So, the obligation *now* for our contemporary generation, is to prepare those kids for a tougher regulatory environment.


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