Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 3, 2012.

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A book featuring visionary thinkers and makers, illuminating more ecologically, economically, and socially just versions of "now."

A Guidebook of Alternative Nows is a collaboratively created book with over 30 contributions by visionary creative thinkers and makers – from the Yes Men to the Critical Art Ensemble and the Community Economies Collective – that illuminates ways contemporary artists, activists and others are devising  more socially, economically, and ecologically just versions of “now.”

The idea

Imagining other versions of now can be difficult without concrete examples – and where can they be found when so many signs tell us that the world is spiraling downward: more and more economically unsound, environmentally crisis-ridden, and lacking in obvious avenues for everyday people to make their voices and visions heard.

With particular fervor since the financial crisis erupted in 2008, however, creative movers and shakers, with stars in their eyes and dirt under their fingernails, have been dreaming up projects and ideas in the areas of ecology, economy, community, urban design, and food. These propositions range from witty to earnest, from utopian to pragmatic. Bursting with street-smart optimism, what they share is belief in the possibility of creating versions of now not yet fully manifest.

A Guidebook of Alternative Nows is composed of a collection of these projects and ideas – flares of inspiration with clear practical resonance in this time of potential radical transformation.

The book

A Guidebook of Alternative Nows is not intended to pinpoint the next big solution. Instead, it seeks to shed light on a cacophony of potentialities and realities, all of which may compose a part of our nows and our futures.

The book will act as a platform, encouraging the awareness of and engagement in “alternative nows.” As editor, my conviction is that by uniting these diverse but related beacons, readers will have a foundation for strengthening the ties between these different versions of now, and adding to the web of possibilities.

This book could catalyze paths towards change – it will certainly offer a more hopeful and democratic panorama of the present and future. 

Contributors

The Yes Men / The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination / Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative / Temporary ServicesCritical Art Ensemble / Jeanne van Heeswijk / Recetas Urbanas / UrbanFarmers.ch / Artist Bailout / Howling Mob Society / Fallen Fruit / Spurse / TJ Demos / Valreep Social Centre / Trade School NY / the vacuum cleaner / New Social Art School / Monochrom / Llano del Rio Collective  / Solidarity NYC / Ken Ehrlich & Kate Johnston / swearonourfriendship (Jenn Su & Laura Noguera) / Watts House Project / Platform London / Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens / Conceptual Devices / The School of Critical Engagement / Precarious Worker’s Brigade / Georg Hobmeier & Tommy Noonan / Billy Mark / Sasha Costanza-Chock (Indymedia) / Dr. Jenny Cameron (Community Economies Collective) / Ethan Miller (CEC) 

Designed by Angelina Köpplin

Cover Illustration by Mary Tremonte of Justseeds

A small selection of chapters from the book...

  • Geographies of Hope
  • Take back the (food) economy: Lessons from the Hummingbird
  • Monkey-wrenching the Capitalist Juggernaut
  • Independence Proceeds from Interdependence
  • Tools for Collective Action: Precarity- The People's Tribunal
  • Fuzzy Biological Sabotage

How the money will be used

If we reach our $5000 goal, we can:

  • Cover our production costs to get the first edition of the book printed by June 2012. It will be beautifully printed and bound, with full color images. We're planning to print 800 copies to start off with.

If we raise $6500 we can:

  • Cover other smaller costs such shipping a copy of the book to each of the chapter contributors and paying for our upcoming web domain.
  • Reimburse ourselves for: subsidizing the shipping costs of rewards; paying for some of the production costs of the rewards; Amazon and Kickstarter fees.
  • Cover the basic costs of a book launch in at least one city.

If we raise more (up to $19,000):

  • We can start paying the contributors, designer, and cover illustrator for their work. Thus far, everyone has been working for free and this book is taking a lot of effort to create! 

If we raise even more:

  • We can print more books
  • We can begin to finance an international workshop series of Experiments in Alternative Nows in connection with the book!

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Rewards

Have a look at the great rewards that are available! 

For example:

Temporary Services (artist collective and contributor to the book) is offering 5 special sets of these 4 classic booklets:

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Artist and contributor Mary Tremonte of Justseeds is designing Alternative Now "scout" badges!!! Check them out:

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Designer Angelina Köpplin has created limited edition risographic print illustrations, connected to themes covered in the book: ecology, economy, community, urban design, food, & intervention.

A sample of Angelina's past work:

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Trade School NY is offering advice and software to set up a Trade School in your area (TradeSchool.coop). 

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Valreep Social Centre has offered to give tours of their beautiful house in Amsterdam:

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A note on the rewards and shipping...

Because this project includes contributors from many different locations, some of the rewards are being shipped from the US, and some from Europe. Everything shipped from Europe will have an additional shipping cost because in general post is more expensive there. Here's the breakdown:

Badges by Mary Tremonte: Shipped from the US. International shipping $3

Risographic prints by Angelina Koepplin: Shipped from Zurich, Switzerland. All shipping (also including CH & EU) $5

The books: Shipped from Zurich and the US. Estimated delivery date to Europe is June, to the US is July/August at the latest. US shipping included. Europe/International $5. 

Solidarity NYC DVD: Shipped from the US. International shipping $5

Temporary Services booklet set: Shipped from the US. International shipping $5.

**If you are in Zurich, pick up can be arranged for the risographic prints and for the books. 

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Thank you in advance for your support! 

- Amber Hickey (Editor, A Guidebook of Alternative Nows)

FAQ

  • Yes indeed it is! The difference is that I will sign it and add a personal inscription for you.

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  • I know it's really annoying that you need to have a credit or debit card to pledge. I suggest these two options: 1. Borrow a card from a friend and pay her or him back in cash -- this is a good option because maybe your friend will want to support the project too 2. If that's not possible, message me, let me know you're interested in supporting, and I'll do my best to make you one of the first we make the books available to once they are produced.

    I hope that helps!

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    EARLY ACCESS TO THE FIRST EBOOK edition. Plus you will be listed in the "supporters" section of our project website.

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    3 backers

    ALTERNATIVE NOW "SCOUT" BADGE designed by artist and contributor Mary Tremonte of Justseeds. Add $3 for shipping outside the US.

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    2 backers

    FULL SET OF 2 ALTERNATIVE NOW "SCOUT" BADGES, designed by Mary Tremonte of Justseeds. Add $3 for shipping outside the US. **SUPPORTERS who give $15 and up will be acknowledged by name in the print edition as a supporter.

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    3 backers Limited (147 left of 150)

    A LIMITED EDITION RISOGRAPHIC PRINT by designer Angelina Köpplin, inspired by the topics of Ecology, Economy, Community, Urban design, Food, and Intervention. Signed & numbered -- 25 per theme available. Add $5 for all shipping (the print is coming from Zurich). *Pick up from Zurich also available.

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    A COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION OF THE BOOK! Add $5 for shipping outside the US.

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    SIGNED COPY OF THE BOOK with a personalized inscription from the editor. Add $5 for shipping outside the US.

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    1 backer Limited (19 left of 20)

    SPECIAL DVD: "PORTRAITS OF THE SOLIDARITY ECONOMY." Created by Solidarity NYC. Add $5 for shipping outside the US.

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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    FIVE SETS OF THE FOLLOWING FOUR CLASSIC TEMPORARY SERVICES BOOKLETS ARE AVAILABLE: "Why The Exhibit Was Canceled," "Framing the Artists," "Public Phenomena," and "The First 71 Booklets." PLUS a signed copy of the book. Add $5 for shipping outside the US.

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    SPECIAL REWARD! ONLY 1 AVAILABLE: Combo of a signed copy of the book and a special DVD "Portraits of the Solidarity Economy" by Solidarity NYC.

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    3 backers

    A TOUR OF THE VALREEP SOCIAL CENTRE lead by contributors from the Valreep collective. If you are not based near Amsterdam, they will send you a secret link to their filmed "vimeo- tour." PLUS a copy of the book. Add $5 for shipping outside the US.

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    DOUBLE TROUBLE: 2 copies of the book; 2 Alternative Nows "scout" badges. Add $8 for shipping outside the US (or $3 if you can pick up the book in Zurich).

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    6 backers

    ART, BOOK, & BADGE SET: 1 risographic print by designer Angelina Köpplin (limited edition); Signed copy of the book with a personal inscription; Set of badges by artist and contributor Mary Tremonte of Justseeds. Add $5 for shipping if you live in the US (print coming from Zurich). Add $10 for international shipping (or arrange pick-up).

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    TRADE SCHOOL: Advice and software to set up a Trade School in your area (provided by Trade School NY, http://tradeschool.coop/). PLUS two copies of the book!

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    1 backer Limited (24 left of 25)

    FULL SET OF 6 RISOGRAPHIC PRINT ILLUSTRATIONS by designer Angelina Köpplin on the themes of Ecology, Economy, Community, Urban design, Food, and Intervention (Signed & numbered, limited edition). PLUS a signed copy of the book! Add $5 for shipping if you live in the US (prints coming from Zurich). *Pick up from Zurich also available. And add $10 if you live outside of the US.

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    INTERVIEW, ARTWORK, BADGE & A BOOK: Skype Q&A session with the editor (1 hour); 1 copy of the book with a personalized inscription; Set of 6 risographic prints (signed & numbered); 1 pair of “Alternative Now” badges. Add $5 for shipping (prints coming from Zurich). Add $10 for shipping outside the US.

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    WORKSHOP, ARTWORK, BADGES & A BOOK: Personalized workshop plan on the topic of creating “Alternative Nows,” collaboratively planned with the editor; 1 book with a personalized inscription; Set of risographic prints on the themes of Ecology, Economy, Community, Urban design, Food, and Intervention (signed & numbered); "Alternative Now" badge set, designed by Mary Tremonte of Justseeds; Shipping included.

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    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    THE WHOLE "ALTERNATIVE NOW" PACKAGE: Personalized workshop plan on the topic of creative “Alternative Nows.” The editor would be happy to facilitate this workshop if it is financially and geographically possible. PLUS: A set of risographic prints (signed & numbered); Skype Q&A session with the editor (1 hour); 5 signed and inscribed copies of the book; Advice and software to set up a Trade School in your area (provided by Trade School NYC); Tour of the Valreep Social Centre (in Amsterdam or online via Vimeo); 5 sets of “Alternative Now” patches, designed by Mary Tremonte; 1 BIG handwritten thank you letter from the editor; Acknowledgment in the print edition as a supporter. Shipping included.

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Funding period

- (25 days)