About this project
I believe extraordinary experiences are a normal and universal human trait, and that one day they will be seen not as "psychic" or "supernatural" but as another, more exceptional way in which we communicate with each other. Already, there is some scientific evidence to support this idea, but there's no intelligent conversation in popular culture about our extraordinary moments. The anecdotes we all have about the extraordinary are powerful and fascinating, as well as valuable to our global community. The Extraordinary Project will be home to all of our unusual human experiences--those odd, improbable coincidences, twists-of-fate, hard-to-explain feelings about people or events in the immediate future--that happen to us and affect our lives. My goal is to gather 100,000 anecdotes, which I will organize into categories and use to create a public conversation around the questions: do these incidents mean anything? Do they affect how we behave? Can they help us in some way?
With the funds I raise from this campaign, I plan to solicit, curate and produce people's extraordinary stories from around the country and create the only public forum for popular discussion on the topic of the extraordinary experiences. The forum, my website (www.suzanneclores.com), will feature documentary shorts, interviews, articles, and commentary from experts about the nature of the extraordinary. It will also serve as resource for a book I am researching on the topic of how we understand and accept these invisible and subjective human experiences.
80% of the funding will go to story soliciting, curating and producing this online forum. 20% of the funding will go to operating costs such as technology maintenance, editing programs, and the occasional expert consultation. My presence on traditional and social media, as well as in-person at Extraordinary Parties in 4-6 cities throughout 2014 is how I will draw the bulk of solicitations. I will personally interview individuals and record the stories myself. We likely won't gather 100,000 stories this year (though you never know) but by the end of 2014, I hope The Extraordinary Project will have a social and culture presence that resembles something like StoryCorps. At that point, we'll think about instituting Phase Two, but until then I would love your support with Phase One to get this unprecedented social history project off the ground.
Risks and challenges
The three most challenging aspects of The Extraordinary Project are 1) getting the word out to people who have stories to share, 2) helping people find the time and mental space to tell their stories into a smartphone video or written testimony and 3) getting these stories edited and presentable for my website and the documentary in progress. I plan to rectify the first challenge by hosting Extraordinary Parties--small gatherings in homes or art galleries in different cities in which I come to talk about The Extraordinary Project and collect people's anecdotes first hand. Extraordinary experiences are inherently social, so hosting events in people's homes, on college campuses, at art festivals or even at cultural institutions like the Chicago Cultural Center are wonderful ways to get the word out. The second challenge I will rectify by talking to people one-on-one about their experiences in person, on the phone or via live chat. This is my job as a curator, producer and journalist, and a very important part of the story gathering process. The third challenge I plan to overcome by calling on the services of my very generous and talented friends who are editing and technical professionals. The Extraordinary Project cannot exist without help from friends, and so far I've been very lucky to have so many volunteers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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