Stockholm Blivande House & Edgeryders Nordic


#1

Introducing Blivande

Summary:
At the retreat I mentioned that we would be opening a new house for participatory culture and art in Stockholm in 2019, and that I would be looking to bring this venture together with Edgeryders. Well, it’s happening, and it will be called Det Blivande Huset – meaning “the Becoming House” or “the House of Becoming”.
In this post I explain what it is, and at the end I explain how it’s a location for Edgeryders and also ask for some money for it.






How Blivande came to be(come)

This house will be run by a company started by me and three friends of mine. This idea to start a company came about as the contract for the Node, a quite radical community space that I’m on the board of and started the foundation for, will run out early 2019 as the building it’s in is coming down. However, the Node being an idealistic non-profit project, could not bear the costs of renting a space large enough to continue as before. Our old contract was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that came about from some very fortunate circumstances. Our choice was between either going much smaller at the next Node, making the Node more professional, or to create a holding shell around it with in which multiple entities could use the space.

We also knew that even with a low rent, the Node project has always been reliant on a small group of people putting in extreme amounts of unpaid work, and that this would not be sustainable in the long run. This has been especially true for my friend Hampus Lindblad, who founded the Node and has worked countless unpaid hours for it, sometimes paying for it out of his own pocket for us to make ends meet. It’s been somewhat of a personal mission of mine for the last few years to figure out how to pay him some nominal sum per month before he burns through his savings completely.

Building a company which could actually run a large space with enough of a surplus to pay some people part time for servicing and maintaining the house would build resilience. That’s the route we opted for with Blivande, and though we won’t be able to pay anyone in the first year, it should be possible in the second year as we build liquidity and start taking in more events, seminars and conferences to the space. Working for Blivande probably won’t pay me anything in 2019, but neither does the Borderland or the Node. My work for Blivande is to lay out a strategy to make sure we can make ends meet for the first three years.

What will happen at Blivande

In the presentation, we go through in some detail what will happen in the house.

  • Studio Tau

    Studio Tau is the art studio, workshop and makerspace of βlivande, equipped for artists and makers. Membership based at different tiers.

  • Transforma

    Project of the Node association funded by a 1 million SEK art grant which will own equipment and tools at Tau and hold courses in arts and crafts. This also pays some salary for Hampus Lindblad during 2019. Transforma is a separate entity from Blivande and it’s Studio Tau, and rents space to hold hackathon and courses at Tau.

  • Studio Beta

    Co-working space on the second floor for up to 25 people, and the membership to also gives access to Studio Tau. We’re aiming to be as selective as our cash flow allows us to be in choosing who we bring in to Studio Beta to create a community of peers with synergies between each others work, rather than an office. People that are actually likely to use their access to Studio Tau and go to workshops at the Node in the evening are given priority.

  • The Node

    Biggest single tenant of Blivande, and pays about 25% of the total rent while holding 45% of the space between 18:00 and midnight on weekdays and every other weekend. At other times, Blivande uses the space.

  • Blivande Events

    We aim to create a unique space for events. We’ve seen at the Node that there is demand for spaces that feel creative and different. We’re aiming to host everything from daytime conferences and seminars to all night parties (we have a permit with our landlord to even host small club events until 5 AM in the morning if we want to) in the Node space, which we can use for the Blivande company during daytime and every other weekend.

  • External events

    Renting the space out for events arranged by others has been a steady source of income at the Node, and we think it will be at Blivande too. We’ve had the Node rented for everything from theatre performances and concerts to birthday parties and large dinners.

I want to bring Edgeryders in

Det Blivande Huset is where I’ll be spending a lot of my time in 2019, working on things like Particip.io and anything else I might start with Edgeryders Nordic, as well as any work I might to for the POPREBEL or NGI projects. We have also talked about hosting the next LOTE in Stockholm and there could also be an opportunity to use the house for events relating to NGI.

I would like to ask weather Edgeryders could invest renting space in the house for the Edgeryders Nordic branch in Stockholm, much like is done for the Reef in Brussels. What I’m proposing more specifically is this:

Edgeryders would have an arrangement with Blivande to have access to office space for up to three people at Studio Beta, and Blivande will supply office equipment (including monitors for up to two people and printer access) and maintenance. Essentially, this means that Edgeryders pays for the equivalent of a fixed desk at the house, which I will be using, with room for two others whenever necessary.

Edgeryders will also be entitled to 5 full days per year to run its own events in the Blivande Event space on the 1st floor, including technical and event production work from Blivande (meaning that Hampus or someone else would be there to help out with AV, decorations and cleaning afterwards). Further events would be arranged at a discounted rate.

I’m asking for Edgeryders to sign a contract with Blivande for one year, for a total of 100.000 SEK, starting January 2019. This is equivalent to three seats (3000 SEK per month per seat) at Studio Beta. These are open to any Edgeryder working on ER stuff (as long as I’m given some heads up with a ping on the platform or the Riot), which is usually not the case as memberships are personal. Standard full day event rates with support will be at about 15.000 SEK, which means that 5 days would be worth 75.000. This could go towards LOTE or anything else we would like to do at the house. This location would be to Edgeryders Nordic what the Reef is to Edgeryders in Brussels. And incidentally, this amount is also smaller than what Edgeryders Nordic will generate in for the overhead account through the Particip.io project. As Edgeryders moves into having physical locations and branches, it’s probably wise to have it as a rule of thumb that a branch should bear its own overhead cost in normal circumstances.

Finally, I’m really excited about this, and I would like everyone to come visit once we have it in January. Ping @nadia, @alex_levene, @noemi, @mariacoenen, @bob, @natalia_skoczylas, @alberto, @johncoate and others that have been asking me how this is coming along or otherwise shown interest.


#2

Fantastic news! Congratulations, and can’t wait to visit. I am also looking forward to celebrating it with you :slight_smile:

As for renting office space, I like the concept a lot, though it is much more expensive than the Reef (6K EUR a year, so about half). I intend to support this proposal, subject to a stern check on the (company wide) cash flow predictions: we are growing fast, and growth need cash…


#3

Great point.

And congrats on getting this off the ground :seedling:


#4

Understood! I’d like to for the record add that the 5 full days of event space suitable for events with up to maybe 150 people, including AV equipment (speakers, projectors etc) and a big kitchen
is also an aspect.

Gotcha, and I agree. Within the next month, I’ll be transferring 65k EUR to the ER account for the Particip.io project. We’ll be expecting payouts to developers and venues for that project to happen at a steady pace throughout October 2018 until December 2019. That should do something for our cash flow right?

For reference, payments to Blivande if this proposal is accepted, would happen quarterly (25 kSEK installments) in January, April, July and October.


#5

We all really need to get down to putting all our projects into Matt’s Magic Budget.


#6

I’ve never actually found this fabled spreadsheet at the end of the rainbow. Could someone link to it?


#7

https://edgeryders.eu/t/magic-spreadsheet-discussion-and-updates/8769/2


#8

So much happening these days :slight_smile: Congrats for that house @hugi , that’s a lot of opportunities in one spot.

I do not understand what Edgeryders Nordic will be, in formal terms? Not its own registered organization, no?


#9

No, just a name for an entity within Edgeryders, much like the Research Network.
Purpose of it is:

  • Find projects for Edgeryders in the Nordics, first of which is Particip.io.
  • I want to work on Edgeryders stuff, and I’m based in Stockholm and would like to not travel as much as I’ve done, so I’d like to bring Edgeryders here. @nadia also spends time here as this is her home town.
  • Having permanent access to a house like this also allows us to plan Edgeryders events and gatherings in Stockholm.

#10

@Hugi - you found yourself a pretty amazing place I have to say!
Do you have a plan to live there as well? I don’t see it anywhere, but it would be useful to know if there are rooms for rent and what would they look like?
I could think of finding an alternative way of funding our presence there, possibly by hosting residents for temporary art/tech projects there. Find a grant that would cover this and our rental at the same time, maybe?

Also, if we manage to get a proper budget for the LOTE 2019 in Stockholm, then possibly we could use it to cover the cost of a working space in Blivande upfront and then find creative ways of making the best out of it. But again, we have to discuss sleeping arrangements i.e. - our previous events were really cheap, so we could provide people with travel grants and beds and food. But then maybe it is time to sell tickets to the event and make participants contribute as well.

I am also a bit afraid that there are not enough edgeryders in Stockholm who would be able to join and find money for running it - but I might be wrong, and there also might be people willing to move to Stockholm to help out?


#11

Yes! But I also see it as a point of access into other communities. In fact this space looks like a meeting between several Swedish and ER Nordic, which means you dont start with a blank space. many of those already working from the space could be edgeryders like people - some who could team up with Hugi, or Nadia, in the longer term, or us for the event. That is, if I get it right. Any costs for travel, food and things more expensive would need to be included in a new financial model for our event, at least in a city like Stockholm :grimacing:

Well done Hugi! What is a cut off date for this to move forward with/ without ER official involvement?
Asking because we all have many questions and can be quite slow to make decisions involving this kind of an amount. Also pretty conservative financially, as you know.


#12

Unfortunately not. Because of zoning regulations it’s not possible.

Running the house will happen with or without ER joining. To begin with, the first people using the ER assigned seats will people from the community who have built the precursors to the software developed for the Particip.io project. This community overlaps completely with the communities which will move into the Blivande house. They will now work on this project under an ER banner and collaborate with others on the platform. This means that if they work on Particip.io, I can offer them a place to work from.

No cut-off date, as the house will happen with or without ER. However, establishing a physical location for ER Nordic is key to me personally to converge my own work. In order for me to feel happy and motivated, I very much need to get ER colleagues here in Stockholm, and a place to go to. I’ve always been a work-out-of-my-backpack kind of guy, but that’s changing pretty rapidly now. I very much understand that it’s more than is usually invested in something like this. That I propose it at all is only because I’ve already secured a larger amount than I’m asking for to the overhead account by running Particip.io within ER rather than having it as a stand-alone project (which would then probably have paid for space at Blivande regardless). I do this because I see a long term synergy because I want people engagement in Particip.io to be a step into engagement in Edgeryders.

Also, in spirit of where we landed at the retreat, maybe this is an opportunity to figure out:

  • How will this decision be made now
  • How will it be made in the future

#13

It would be good for me to know when planning for Particip.io and Edgeryders Nordic how this decision will be made, and within what timeframe. For example, next week I’m meeting a representative from the Church of Sweden working in the Swedish Archbishops office who’s interested in knowing how the church could modernize with more online-offline community building and by having deep conversations in online settings. It’s only an initial conversation to get to know each other, and it might not lead anywhere, but that’s an example of a client and project that I’d only take on if I knew that I had a place to work from where I could offer space to people working on the project when nessecary.


#14

Noted. I volunteer to call a board meeting with Edge Nordic - Blivande on the agenda. On it.


#15

I hear you Hugi. Let’s not make this too long…


#16

I once heard Bob Dylan say in an interview (paraphrasing here, but pretty close to exact), “an artist can never have ‘arrived.’ You must always be in a state of becoming.”

So, good choice for a name…


#17

There is the ‘bullshit’ concept in the arts community in the UK currently of ‘emerging artists’.
It’s become very trendy to fund initiatives that work with ‘emerging artists’, often frequently over a course of 5-10 years.
Now we’re finally at the stage where people are starting to asking “how long do you have to be emerging before you have emerged?” and more importantly “what exactly are we emerging into?”

Of course the truth is exactly as you and Dylan state. To stand still as an artist is to start to die.