Syz Salon #
I’m re-naming this to Syz Salon. After all, I think the type of conversational event like I’m thinking is very much in line with the old tradition of french salons. Certainly, what I’m doing is much more in line with the old tradition of french salons than the prescriptivist events I’ve seen around San Francisco.
Alright, I’m thinking about doing a new event format that’s just “Conversations about X thing”.
I’ve wanted to do conversation based events before, but i really focused on making them serious and earnest, whereas, instead, I should have just made them be about hanging out and having a good time.
Anyways, here are the pros:
- Particularly inclusive. You basically only need to be able to conversate and people can be encouraged to talk to new people.
- Sounds viscerally fun, especially if it’s going to involve people you know and are excited about talking to.
- Allows people to pull in their social circles a lot more aggressively.
- We can evaluate and build up interest in various things including art related things.
- The general form implies general conversation topics, but there’s no reason we shouldn’t include topics in more specialized domains. Why not have a music talk, or a game talk, or an art talk?
- Easy to run. Someone basically just needs to be there. If someone is going to be there, they can just host a topic that they would be excited about where they know other people that are also going to be excited about it. I think it’s very reasonable to say something like “Anyone can run a Syz Talk. Just pick a topic that you know at least 3 other friends are going to be interested in, make the event and host the talk! At the very least, it’s an excuse for you and your friends to hang out”
- Having simple topics allow for the flexibility in providing for extension but without it being an obligation.
- Music focused events can have festify in the background where people can queue up music they like
- People might share works they made in a particular genre.
- People can set up things for others to interact with, like a booklet to fill out or something.
- Events could involve small or informal lessons about simple basic things like music theory, using ableton, etc.
- Events involving something that takes some intro or time to consume
Ok, what are the logistics?
I think, for now, we should have it just be one off events. I don’t think any day of the week or any pattern is going to be particularly reliable so far. In general, I like the idea of having a few per month led by different people. Ones that are similar topics can be spaced out per month, like music related session or art related sessions.
Topics should follow some simple criteria. They should be narrow enough that people are likely to get really excited about it, but wide enough that a decent number of people will be interested and can talk about it for a while. “Art” isn’t a great topic because there’s already so many events that are just generically about art. Van Gough might be a good one, because so many people know about him, but he might also be too popular to be special. Peter Morbacher might also be great
I think it’d be nice to have a format where almost anyone that’s excited about any topic would be able to run one whenever they’re free. Maybe a quick instructional guide that outlines some simple steps.
It would be nice to have some simple design elements. Honestly, given that this is so sparse and so straightforward, those design elements can just be a dumb template.
Finally, what’s a short list of Syz talks that you’d personally be interested in hosting?
- video game music
- hyper pop
- future bass
- porter robinson/madeon
- music making
- prog metal
- queerness in music
- artsy video games
- being an artist in capitalism
- video game art
- game design
- music theory
- public transit
- city planning
- generative art
- art + tech
- community organizing
- art promotion
- is anime art
- social media
- AI art generation
- story tropes
- modern art