These are the various collectives' visions read by each delegate to the "Omni" Collective of Collectives February 13th 2014 meeting.'
As a dance, somatic, and body-based space we are interested in how to nourish life, self, and society. This is both for the people who come into the space, and in relation with the larger collective. It is our sense that movement as a practice offers many things regenerative for political social movements, and specifically in relation to self-care. The space also supports the creation of art, for cool innovative art to happen, which is done through providing space, time, and resources.
We are interested in how the project is rooted in Oakland, and also want to create a hub and connection with other like-minded and overlapping movement artists around the country and globe. We value doing it together, a collective process, and supporting each other's work. An artist-run space: this is potentially making a space for the art through a grass-roots process, rather than springing from a larger institution; this is actually rare. This could be a blueprint for making art, since the economics and social structure of this city and our larger society require change, as do our politics. - To quote PST catalogue: "artists developing their own cultural infrastructure to support changing methods of production."
The dance space will include weekly events like Open Movement, a place where anyone can join in and move. We also are interested in offering free space and creative forms of exchange for movement in the space, as the space permits.
We are conscious that the demographics of this dance collective and the "Omni" collective are predominantly white, in Oakland, and it is important that we are aware of this and in critical dialogue about 1) how to decolonize our practices, and 2) how to community-build so that the space can be available, accessible, and desirable for people from racially diverse and historically rich backgrounds. This is especially important because we are in a position of potentially having access to space and land. In terms of the Collective of Collectives - how do we facilitate and foster participation of people of color in the leadership of the project? It is a piece that is missing right now.
We seek a process that does not advance the agenda of any one collective over another. So that there is an equanimity amongst and within the groups.
OMNI-TANZ -- We would like to use a model of consent. We enjoy an informal process, that is fully transparent, and actually fun to spend time together.
"Larger Collective Omni" -- We would like to initiate if it works a spokes council with a consent model. People can block, but they can only do so if they believe the issue at hand does not support the larger mission of the collectives.
Hacker Spa provides access to spaces, activities, and classes that invite our members to become fully engaged with their communities, their bodies, and find spirituality through their work. We provide co-working spaces that encourage relaxation, balance, and community. We advocate for personalized work environments over social engineering and the manufacture of corporate culture. We are militantly against working in chairs and at desks.
We challenge our members to fully discover and master their senses, sensations, and states of being. Through the Hacker Spa we hope to manifest a community of fully alive and awesomely human beings.
Bookstore / Cafe
Our proposal for a café/bookstore at the entrance to the Omni is grounded in a radical vision of public space that we believe would be in harmony with the project.
We would like to build on the long tradition of the café and bookstore as a place for public meeting and discussion. The space would stand in opposition to the current “work station” café and retail heavy bookstores. We would offer a comfortable, inexpensive alternative. The café could be used as a meeting place for the various collective but would also be welcoming to people who live and work in the neighborhood. By providing inexpensive food and pastries we would be giving people a place to gather and talk. The café could also provide a center for a free food distribution project.
The bookstore would of stock the types of books that one would associate with a radical store, but would also stock books that, though not necessarily considered “radical”, are in the spirit of the collective. We would provide a venue for others in the group, partnering with the public school by hosting readings, workshops and discussions, partnering with AK and the printing collective to issue pamphlets and small-run printings and could provide a locus for distribution of the writings and ideas that are important to us and to the community.
One important reason for being part of Omni collective, or any collective, is the prospect of breaking with the wage slave system that most of us are forced to work in. The concept of democracy in the workplace has become a forgotten idea in current capitalist culture. If the Omni collective could provide a place for its members to make a living without bosses and outside traditional capitalist business models we would set an example for the larger community of workers.
Larger Collective Vision
We cannot wait for the revolution (that may or may not happen) to make (or not make) the world we want to live in. We must make the new world now, in between the paving stones. Today is the only real time that matters. It is today that we suffer and struggle. Our hearts and bodies ache now. The Omni is the making manifest of a different way of being together. It is the concretization of our faith in and love for one another. An anti-capitalist space built on the principle of mutual aid.
The Omni is a Becoming. The Revolution of Everyday Life. The acknowledgement that the building of solidarity, love and respect are ongoing projects that do not end in the streets or at the barricades. We will not turn away from the discomfort, the anger, the frustration, the distress. We will embrace the messiness of tearing down and building anew. We will embrace each other - those who are ready to be embraced - and we will treat those who are not ready with tenderness.
This is not a project which aims to realize the impossible. Rather, the Omni represents a complete perspectival shift which allows us to see the world that has been held hostage - obscured behind the veil of capital.
The Omni will be a space which welcomes all those committed to collectively working to model a way of life outside of the mandates of the Market. It is a reclamation of the Commons. A digging up of the hedgerows. A place where resources are mutually cared for, cultivated and shared.