In the early 1970s, a group of enterprising musicians approached the owner of a scruffy bluegrass bar in NYC’s Bowery district to ask if their band, Television, could play a gig. The owner agreed, and later recounted that the band was terrible, their friends refused to pay the $1 cover charge, and — even worse — didn’t buy any drinks. Out of sheer persistence, the band convinced the bar owner to give them another chance. This time they would bring along their friends who had another band called The Ramones. What eventually emerged was one of the most collaborative and influential music scenes in rock-and-roll history. The legendary CBGB club was an incubator for a generation of punk rock artists. These artists used this venue to share ideas, perfect their craft, and develop thier artistic enterprises. The outcome of this scene arguably changed the rock-and-roll landscape globally.
Why am I talking about punk rock in a post about ClockworkShops?
What I find most interesting about the CBGB story is the collaboration. Musicians (especially punkrockers) have a reputation for narcissism and selfishness. The fact that this group supported one another in an effort to advance larger artistic goals is inspirational. They used this club, and each other, to test, build upon, and share their ideas.
Again, why am I talking about punk rock in this post about ClockworkShops?
In the spirit of collaboration and sharing, we are launching a series of workshops at Clockwork. We’re calling them ClockworkShops. The concept is to open our office after hours to explore and share our interest and expertise with the broader community. Our first session is on social media. Future sessions we’ve discussed include bicycle repair and safety, sewing, astronomy, you name it. More important than the topics themselves is the idea that we want to invite our peers to contribute. Chank Diesel, an alphabetician, fontrographer, artist, and good friend of Clockwork recently conducted a Font Making workshop here. Next week, the Geek Girls Guide is hosting an event with eyebobs. Later this year, we will hold a ClockworkShop where participants will develop an iPad application.
We hope you will participate: send us your ideas, come to a workshop. Heck, host a workshop! And stay tuned for future listings.