This project has shifted in scope and plan several times, first when we were preparing to pitch it to the people that were providing our funding and second as we were preparing to launch the project. In this article we will look at how we ended up where we are now and why. This project has not concluded so none of these details are necessarily fixed and things may still change.
We won’t be examining our budget breakdowns in this article as we want to devote an article to that alone. These two things do go hand in hand though, particularly when looking for funding! Keep an eye out for that article soon. We will also do a separate article with more information about how we approached artists with the concept.
Scroll to the bottom for a look at our full (but now out of date) proposal document.
The original concept
The entire idea for this project began with an episode of the excellent Interdependence Podcast, hosted by musicians Holly Herdnon and Matt Dryhurst. This particular episode they were speaking to the digital minister of Taiwan, Audrey Tang about radical transparency in the Taiwanese government. There were some really inspiring ideas about how you can build trust and community by putting effort into making decisions and conversations transparent.
The theme and ideas of transparency seemed to touch on lots of conversations in the Glasgow and wider clubbing community that we thought were important and interesting such as:
- Knowledge sharing events (eg workshops, panels)
- Conversations around accountability in clubbing
- Decentralisation/Web 3 ideas
- Horizontal ownership structures
- Drug safety discussions
The initial title for the project was Radical Transparency and I developed this logo (stealing the font inspiration from the Fabric Logo). This original plan was to have a day event and night party which featured workshops and panels on the above topics, with a zine that could also be purchased.At this point we pitched this idea to the team at Numbers and got our first formal feedback on the project. This helped us to realise several things.
While we had a good budget we weren’t sure if we had enough to cover something of that scope or the time to organise something of that scale. We also wanted to make sure that the event would be a resource that could be useful not only to people that were able to attend on the day.
Additionally, the name was setting us up for failure before we began by potentially promising too much. You can attempt to be radical but asserting that you are is a high bar to clear. We thought about trying to go with simply Transparency but there was already a club event under that name.
We decided to streamline the project and found inspiration from the cover of the Aphex Twin album Syro, which features a spreadsheet style breakdown of the costs involved in producing and promoting the album. We both liked the idea of an event that reflexively documented itself while it was happening and that would allow people to explore it while it was taking place.
After trying out several names (blue prints, greenhouse, insides out and other much worse names) we settled with guts. We liked it as it was a nice (and slightly gross) way to conjure an image of internal organs. It was more organic than machine parts and implied several organs working together to produce an event. We got excited by the idea of an anthropomorphised club night and drew some sketches to send to an artist.
We streamlined the event and decided to focus on a club night event and document it via a website that was built to last. We also made a list of criteria for the venue and artists and began drawing up lists of names that would fit these.
Read the full event proposal document below. Since this was made, due to issues with venue availability we had to shift the planned event times and locations we had in mind and look to book more local artists as opposed to out of town names. Its not a perfect or final document but hopefully will come in handy if you ever need to make your own!