Oct 1 2018
(Scroll down for the English translation.)
Atención a todos los apasionados de la risografía en México y el mundo: del 22 de octubre al 15 de diciembre, Kickstarter estará destacando proyectos de artistas mexicanos que trabajan con riso.
Algo así como una mezcla entre la serigrafía y las fotocopias, la risografía es una técnica de impresión que se realiza con una máquina llamada duplicadora. Es relativamente barata y simple de elaborar, y utiliza tintas respetuosas del medio ambiente. Los acabados en riso son perfectamente imperfectos y ricos en color, y las posibilidades casi infinitas pues se puede imprimir desde zines y libros, hasta pósters y tarjetas de presentación. Esta técnica va de la mano con el espíritu DIY al alentar la libertad de imprenta y expresión, y fomentar la experimentación.
En México, encontramos impresiones en risografía para uso comercial por todos lados, quizás por su bajo costo y capacidad de hacer tirajes altos. Pero existe también una comunidad vibrante de impresores que han adoptado este proceso para uso artístico. (Por ejemplo, nos encanta el trabajo de los artistas detrás de Can Can Press, La Duplicadora, Aazufre, y Gato Negro Ediciones.)
Con Esto es Riso, el equipo de Kickstarter México quiere celebrar a estos creativos y llevar a nuestra comunidad global el arte de la risografía mexicana. Con esto en mente, nos emociona colaborar con #DealerMX y Macolen, y juntos darles un espacio a los impresores en riso mexicanos para hacer sus ideas realidad y amplificar su trabajo.
#DealerMX es un proyecto que impulsa propuestas creativas y abre líneas de comunicación entre ilustradores, artistas y proyectos editoriales para reunirlas en un espacio común. Además de ser una feria con espacio de venta, es un punto de encuentro, inspiración y convivencia entre creadores y el público en general. Los proyectos exitosos que participen en Esto es Riso podrán ser elegibles para ser parte del primer #PabellónDealer, una exhibición curada por el equipo de #DealerMX que tendrá lugar durante la Semana del Arte en febrero 2019 en la Ciudad de México.
Macolen es una imprenta ubicada en la Ciudad de México. En Macolen son profesionales de la impresión en risografía y estarán apoyando a los creadores de Esto es Riso con el expertise y los recursos para imprimir sus proyectos.
Estén o no familiarizados con la impresión en risografía, los alentamos a explorar este proceso creativo y apreciar su acabado singular. Si eres un creador mexicano con una idea en mente, te invitamos a publicar un proyecto de risografía con nosotros del 22 de octubre al 15 de diciembre.
Si tienes preguntas puedes escribirnos a firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introducing This Is Riso: A Celebration of Mexican Risograph Art
Calling all fans of Risograph printing in Mexico and the world: from October 22 through December 15, Kickstarter will be highlighting projects by Mexican Risograph artists—and we’d love to see your work.
Risograph printing is done with a machine called duplicator, a mix between a copy machine and a silk-screen printer. The resulting prints are almost perfectly imperfect and rich in color, and the possibilities are endless—Riso can be used to create anything from zines to books to posters to business cards. Environmentally friendly, relatively cheap, and easy-to-learn, Risograph printing has a long tradition with the DIY community.
In Mexico, Riso is widespread in commercial use, likely due to its low cost and high print run capacity. But there is also a vibrant community of printers who have adopted this process for artistic purposes. (We love the work of Can Can Press, La Duplicadora, Aazufre, and Gato Negro Ediciones, for example.)
With This Is Riso, the Kickstarter Mexico team wants to celebrate this community and bring the art of Mexican Risograph printing to our global community. And with this in mind, we are excited to collaborate with #DealerMX and Macolen to create a space for Mexican Risograph artists to bring their ideas to life and amplify their work.
#DealerMX is a project that supports creative ideas and the collaboration between illustrators, artists, and publishers, and gathers them in a common space. It is a commercial art fair that allows artists to showcase their work while also encouraging the interaction between creators and the general public. Successfully funded projects participating in This Is Riso will be eligible to participate in the first #PabellónDealer, an exhibit curated by the team behind #DealerMX which will take place during Art Week in February 2019 in Mexico City.
Macolen is a Mexico City-based print shop and studio. The team at Macolen are experts in Risograph printing, and they will be supporting This Is Riso creators with the expertise and resources needed to print their projects.
Whether or not you are familiar with Risograph printing, we encourage you to explore this creative process and marvel at its unique possibilities. If you are a Mexican creator with an idea in mind, we invite you to launch a Riso project on Kickstarter between October 22 and December 15. Throughout that time we will promote This Is Riso projects in newsletters and on social media, and will be sharing resources for Mexico-based Risograph artists.
If you have questions, please write to us at email@example.com.
Sep 17 2018
Artists on Kickstarter are launching projects that push beyond their own categories, working in disciplines like Design and Technology to develop products that bring communities closer together. Here on the Arts team, we’ve asked ourselves how to best elevate these cross-category projects—and what resources artists need to build their first product.
Today, we’re excited to announce the beginning of a new initiative called Designed by Artists, a celebration of Kickstarter projects by artists building community-centered products. From conceptual dating apps to hardware for new media art, these projects create thoughtful, useful products that enrich the lives of the people who use them—and we’re here to help you to make one too.
Join the initiative.
Similar to initiatives like Kickstarter Commissions and our Design and Technology team’s Request for Projects, Designed by Artists is an invitation for you to launch a project. This time, we’re looking to highlight artist-designed products that take their bold ideas outside the patron, gallery, and institutional models—and put them in the hands of the community they serve.
Here are some previously funded projects that fit the spirit of Designed by Artists to get you inspired:
- Flint Water: Artist Pope.L produced 900 water bottles in conjunction with an exhibition to raise awareness and funds for the Flint Water Crisis.
- Dulltech: A group of new media artists led by Constant Dullaart built an easy-to-use loop and synch video player for their peers.
- NeoLucida: Artists and professors Pablo Garcia and Golan Levin designed a portable camera lucida for students, artists, architects, and “anyone who loves to draw from life.”
- Little Sun: Artist Olafur Eliasson collaborated with engineer Frederik Ottesen to create this solar-powered phone charger to provide wider access to sustainable energy.
- Ways of Being: Members of the arts collective BFAMFAPhD designed a website, card game, and book for teachers to foster collaboration, contemplation, and analysis.
- Personals: Graphic designer Kelly Rakowski created a text-based dating and community app for the LBTQIA+ community.
Already have a project in the works? We’re here to help! Send a quick paragraph about you and the project to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Designed by Artists is live October 15 through November 15 by featuring live projects in newsletters, social media, and more. We’ll also be sharing lasting resources for artists looking to build their first products—including information on how to scale your work, identify manufacturers, activate your community, and more—so stay tuned.
Sep 11 2018
Kickstarter is a well-established home for 3D printing. Over 200 campaigns focused on bringing new 3D printers to life have been funded here. Innovative industry-leading companies like Formlabs got their start on Kickstarter. Hundreds of other creators have launched filaments, fixtures, print heads, and other projects that support this dynamic ecosystem.
To ensure that this community continues to thrive on Kickstarter, we’ve been working with our friends at Autodesk to address a challenge that our creators and backers face: lack of a common standard to assess the performance of FDM 3D printers. (Fused Deposition Modeling is the standard layer-by-layer process that you’ve probably seen even if you’ve only encountered a few 3D printers.) Today, we’re happy to announce that with generous help from Autodesk, we’re releasing a new open-source printing test for Kickstarter creators.
Kickstarter already requires that 3D printer creators demonstrate the current functionality of their devices through videos of prints in progress and photos of finished prints. However, creators often showcase different types of prints, from geometric vases and abstract art to more common tests like the 3D Benchy. This makes it hard to compare the performance of various machines.
Autodesk research scientist Andreas Bastian has developed a test procedure designed to help creators better calibrate their machines and showcase their printers’ capabilities to backers on Kickstarter. He developed a single, consolidated STL file that tests a printer’s dimensional accuracy, resolution, and alignment. For example, poor execution of the “bridging” feature shown below will lead to a saggy and stringy print. A well-calibrated printer will make the horizontal feature with fewer of those issues.
Participating creators can download the file and instructions here on GitHub, print tests, and share the images and videos on their project pages. Backers can also use the file to talk objectively about the quality of machines they receive.
As Braydon Moreno of Robo explains, with the new procedure “customers know exactly what to expect with the product. This also holds manufacturers accountable for the quality of the machines they are producing and gives them a benchmark to strive for… Other torture tests cover a variety of things, but this print seemed all-encompassing.”
We believe this test procedure will support greater transparency in our community. We started with FDM printers because they’re the most common model on Kickstarter. Our goal over time is to expand this calibration test to other printing technologies like stereolithography. Though this test is optional for creators to share on their project pages, electing to do so opens a frank conversation about quality. And backers of any 3D printer project can share images of their own tests by posting them with the hashtag #FDMtest.
Sep 7 2018
Every fall, the performance world experiences its own back-to-school moment as artists prepare to premiere and tour their works. Starting this September, dozens of Kickstarter-funded shows will be hitting stages across the country.
In New York City alone, 16 Kickstarter-funded productions will premiere in the coming months. The creators of these works represent some of the most exciting voices in performance today, and each is helping to forge a new vision of how performance can tell important stories and engage audiences.
Here are a few of the performances I’m especially looking forward to:
Presented by The Joyce
Ballet has found a refreshing new voice in choreographer/filmmaker Pontus Lidberg. His Kickstarter campaign in May 2018 raised funds for his forthcoming feature-length dance film, Written on Water, but audiences will get a chance to see the performance at the heart of the film live on stage this fall.
Presented by Danspace Project
An intimate history of the Jewish Borscht Belt intertwines with a dramatic romance between a showgirl and Sacha Yanow’s own grandmother in Cherie Dre. Yanow’s background in dance, theater, and comedy will be on full display in this world premiere, which is directed, choreographed, and designed by an all-female, non-binary, and genderqueer team of lauded artists.
Presented by BAM
Puppetry meets butoh and flex to examine the earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear meltdown that ravaged the Fukushima region of Japan in 2011. This highly anticipated premiere from Phantom Limb Company brings together artists from across the globe, including Dai Matsuoka of the legendary butoh dance troupe Sankai Juku and flex master Klassic Carella.
November 13–December 9
Presented by The Movement Theatre Company at A.R.T./New York
Playwright Aleshea Harris floored audiences this spring with her award-winning, sold-out run of Is God Is at Soho Rep. Her new work, produced by The Movement Theatre Company, uses her searing and poetic language to honor those lost to racialized violence and celebrate the strength, beauty, and resilience of Black people throughout history.
Mark your calendars
More Kickstarter-funded performances premiering in NYC this fall:
Sept. 5–9: Ugly by Raja Feather Kelly (The Bushwick Starr)
Sept. 11: The Table of Silence Project by Buglisi Dance Theatre (Live streamed from Lincoln Center)
Sept. 13–29: Soundstage by Rob Roth (HERE)
Sept. 27–Oct. 13: Rated Black: An American Requiem by Kareem Lucas (Next Door at NYTW)
Oct. 5: On the Floor by The Dance Cartel (Public Arts)
Oct. 10–Nov. 3: The Things That Were There by David Greenspan (The Bushwick Starr)
Oct. 15–21: The Muse Project by Jocelyn Kuritsky (The Flea Theater)
Oct. 18–Nov. 18: Inside the Wild Heart by Group.BR (Aich Studios)
Oct. 20: The For C.J. Initiative by Davalois Fearon Dance (RestorationART)
Oct. 23–25: Siren by Pontus Lidberg Dance (The Joyce)
Oct. 24–27: Everywhere All the Time by Seán Curran Company (BAM)
Oct. 25–27: Cherie Dre by Sacha Yanow (Danspace Project)
Oct. 31–Nov. 3: I Hunger for You by Kimberly Bartosik / daela (BAM)
Nov. 7–10: Falling Out by Phantom Limb Company (BAM)
Nov. 13–Dec. 8: What to Send Up When It Goes Down by Aleshea Harris (The Movement Theatre Company at A.R.T./New York)
Nov. 28–Dec. 1: The White Album by Lars Jan / Early Morning Opera (BAM)
To date, more than 9,000 projects in our Dance and Theater categories have been funded with the help of over 540,000 backers, in support of everything from experimental performance spaces to new works from a legendary dance company to a Tony-nominated Broadway musical. Explore our Dance and Theater categories now to help bring more new works of performance to life.
Aug 31 2018
Today, I’m thrilled to share an exciting milestone: over 2 million people have pledged more than $100 million to creative projects within Kickstarter's Art category. That support has helped bring more than 12,800 works to life—from paintings and performance art to sculpture, installations, and conceptual works.
Some interesting themes arise from looking at these works. Here are a few that stand out:
Art as Social Practice
Artists and organizations are coming to Kickstarter to support and build communities around socially engaged practices. Social practice art engages in aesthetic and physical dialogue to support communities or issues and catalyze social change.
These projects can be challenging to fund through traditional avenues like galleries, grants, or museum funding. But artists are finding support through Kickstarter. Pope.L and What Pipeline’s Flint Water project to sell limited-edition bottled water sourced in Flint, MI, supported a crisis relief fund and elevated community discussions through programming. Lauren Halsey’s Crenshaw District Hieroglyph Project will create a community-constructed center featuring ephemera and carvings that illustrate the history of South Central, L.A. And Swoon’s Braddock Tiles project helped restore a local building and transform it into a ceramics workshop to reinvigorate North Braddock, PA, through the arts.
Breaking Down Political Barriers
This year we worked with For Freedoms, an apolitical artist-run organization founded by Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman, to fund the largest creative collaboration in U.S. history. Through their 50 State Initiative, For Freedoms will mount an artist-designed billboard in every U.S. state and territory; the project is aimed at addressing fundamental questions about the link between culture and politics.
Increasingly, artists are using Kickstarter to break down barriers and encourage dialogue about political issues. Last year, Forward Union brought together a coalition of artists, arts organizations, NGOs, nonprofits, and political action groups to create a social action fair, open to the public, aimed at fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and offering solutions to many current social and political issues.
Championing Artists Working in Less Commercial Areas
Traditional funding systems in the arts are often hidden behind closed doors to which just a few individuals hold the keys. Kickstarter has become a more democratic path, opening doors for all kinds of ideas, including those by artists working in less commercial areas.
Amplifier’s We The People campaign, for example, placed artist-designed posters in full-page newspaper ads during the Women’s March in January 2017; it became the most-funded project in the Art category. And in 2016, Tania Bruguera raised support for the Institute of Artivism in Cuba, a space that brings artists and civic leaders together to further civic literacy through art.
None of this would have been possible without the support of the Kickstarter community. Together, you’re helping to create a more vibrant and enriched society. We look forward to seeing what you bring to life next.
Aug 29 2018
Today, we’re excited to team up with one of the world's leading film, games, and television schools, the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in the UK, to launch NFTS Platform!, a new initiative to support the next generation of filmmakers.
As part of NFTS Platform!, students will launch Kickstarter campaigns for ambitious short film projects outside of the school curriculum. They will receive mentorship from the Kickstarter Film team, learning fundraising and community-building skills that will help them tell important and timely stories and find dedicated audiences eager to support their projects. In addition to the funds raised through the Kickstarter campaigns, NFTS will make a financial contribution to each project.
The initiative is a response to the challenges of funding independent films, and recognizes the important role that community funding can play in the success of short film projects.
“Independently raising budget for a project gifts creative independence to filmmakers, as well as the opportunity to grow their own audience from film to film,” says Elise McCave, Kickstarter’s Director of Narrative Film. “We’re excited to see how these early-career directors take advantage of the opportunity and benefit from this diversification of funding options beyond the limited available public funds.”
“The partnership is an excellent opportunity for our students and recent graduates to create work that might not otherwise get made,” adds Jon Wardle, director of NFTS. “The Platform! will enable teams of students to collaborate that might not otherwise work together, and it will also help students learn about the crowdfunding process, which is an important and often empowering funding option in addition to public funding.”
The first three NFTS Platform! projects are now live, and they represent a breadth of genres, subjects, and styles:
- End-O, directed by Alice Seabright, is a comedy-drama that aims to raise awareness of endometriosis.
- Pigeons, a political allegory directed by Nick Cinelli, will merge live action with cutting-edge animation techniques.
- Dark Is Her Shadow, written and directed by Molly Manning-Walker, will explore the emotional impact of sexual assault.
Twice a year, a panel chaired by Wardle will select six to 10 new NFTS Platform! projects to launch on Kickstarter. Visit kickstarter.com/NFTS to find new projects launched as part of the initiative.
Aug 23 2018
This summer, Kickstarter spent three months shining a spotlight on poets and their work as part of our first-ever Summer of Poetry. We believe that poetry is an important way for people to connect with each other, to share emotions and nuanced ideas, and to look toward the future with hope.
Here, we look back at highlights from our summer-long celebration.
30+ dazzling works of literature found audiences.
This summer, dozens of poets, publications, and artists launched poetry (and poetry-related) projects with the help of the Kickstarter community, raising over $450,000. More than 13,877 people backed a Summer of Poetry project—and 206 of those generous poetry lovers backed three or more of them.
From art films spoken in poetic verse to a series of translated poetry chapbooks from across Asia, these projects spark conversations about what poetry is, what it can be, and who gets to write and publish it.
Thanks to the Kickstarter community…
Copper Canyon Press will publish Ursula K. LeGuin’s final book of poetry and a new edition of her out-of-print 1975 chapbook, Wild Angels.
- Saul Williams will make a poetic film telling the story of a Burundian hacker collective.
- The ancient Greek work, The Orphic Hymns, will be published in a new translation.
Ai’s Killing Floor will be republished for a new generation of readers.
- And poetry will appear on marquees around Pennsylvania.
Poets shared their work on Kickstarter Live.
Throughout the summer, poets and publishers treated our community to live poetry readings and discussions on Kickstarter Live.
You can watch them here:
Uncanny Magazine Poetry Extravaganza
Aftermath Anthology Poets
- Tomás Q. Morin and Natalie Diaz read Ai’s groundbreaking poetry
For the rest, visit the original Summer of Poetry blog post.
We held a reading at Kickstarter HQ.
In July, we hosted poets in our library, where they shared their work and poems that inspired them. Below, you can listen to audio excerpts from the event:
Andrew Nichols is a data nerd with a love of linguistics. He writes poems in Catalan and English with a focus on transliterary dialogue—how separate texts can combine to find new meaning. He writes under the pen name “El Guiri,” a term used in Spain today for tourists especially from the Anglosphere. El Guiri has published poems in two editions of the Catalan Anthology, Nanorelatos Magicos (Magical Microstories). He is currently working on Kickstarting a book of poetry.
With an MFA in poetry and a masters degree in interaction design, Fran Wilde genre-hops between poetry, programming, and speculative fiction. Fran's poetry and fiction has appeared in Who Will Speak For America, Uncanny Magazine, The Marlboro Review, Poetry Baltimore, Tor.com, and Nature Magazine. She has been a finalist for multiple Hugo and Nebula awards, and won the Andre Norton Award in 2015. She recently completed Clock Star Rose Spine, a new poetry collection.
“Theft” (first appeared in Who Will Speak for America, July 2018)
“You Are Two Point Three Meters from Your Destination” (first appeared in Uncanny Magazine, March 2015)
Though the Summer of Poetry is now drawing to a close, we invite you to continue celebrating poetry with us on Kickstarter and out in the world.
Aug 21 2018
At the end of July, Michelle Vance backed her first Kickstarter project. When she did, she became the 15 millionth member of a community that's brought nearly 150,000 projects to life.
“It was just a couple of years ago that I saw the lead singer of Moda Spira, Latifah Alattas, perform live. I found myself drawn to her music and storytelling,” Vance told us. “I heard about her new album project in an email update from her friends at Humble Beast Records. There were only three days left in the campaign, so once I read the description of her project and saw how close it was from the goal, I wanted to support it. I wanted to hear more storytelling from Latifah. She is a rare gem in the world of musical artists, and I hope to hear her creative works for years, even decades, to come.”
Like the 14,999,999 backers before her, Vance is helping to bring new creative work—work that might not fit into traditional commercial models—into the world. Just this year, Kickstarter’s backer community has supported a soaring mechanical sculpture in France, a book about autism from the Sesame Street Yellow Feather Fund, a slew of local journalism initiatives around the U.S., and much more.
Small Communities, Big Impact
Viral successes like Exploding Kittens attract crowds (219,382 backers, to be exact, the most for a single project so far), but most projects are brought to life by small groups of people who care—typically fewer than 75. Many people, like Vance, first visit Kickstarter to fund a single project they care about. But many find themselves returning: 32 percent of backers have supported more than one project.
We call anyone who’s pledged at least $10 to 25 or more projects in the past year a “superbacker”—and we give them a nifty profile badge to prove it. Over 45,000 people have become superbackers, including Kickstarter software engineer Tieg Zaharia, who has backed nearly 5,000 projects. (He falls just a little short of our most-super superbacker, who’s supported 5,686.)
“I’m a Kickstarter multiverse believer,” Zaharia says. “There are several reasons I back projects: showing support for a friend or a creative person I look up to; the early adopter appeal; helping to bring something you want to exist into the world; rooting for the underdog (by supporting creative residencies, new and experimental product ideas, authors who are self-publishing, etc.); and getting a glimpse into the process of making something.”
Backers Are Creators
Many backers are also creators. Artist Hank Willis Thomas has been supporting projects on Kickstarter since we launched in 2009. (The first project he backed was a multidisciplinary art project disguised as an employment agency.) He’s supported 64 more since then, including a massive art installation in Marfa, Texas, a collection of pioneering films from African-American filmmakers, and an art institute in Cuba. This year, he launched his own ambitious campaign, aiming to put an artist-designed political billboard in every U.S. state and territory. The For Freedoms 50 State Initiative raised $172,264 from 2,221 backers; artworks will start going up around the country in September.
“Innovators all need help, and [they] love to help one another,” Willis Thomas told us. “It is astounding to consider the magnitude of the impact of our collective work manifested through this platform.”
To all of the creators, backers, and superbackers who have collectively helped to bring that creative work to life—thank you!
All stats as of August 21.