The Crowd-Funding Conundrum
In “When Kickstarter Kicks Back,” featured in the Sunday, August 4 edition of the Chicago Tribune, columnist Christopher Borrelli weighs the pros and cons of crowd-sourced funding for art and design projects. Borrelli spotlights SAIC Assistant Professor Pablo Garcia (Contemporary Practices), who experienced both the benefits and drawbacks of Kickstarter success when he raised $425,000 to produce the NeoLucida, an updated version of the 19th-century optical drawing tool the camera lucida. As noted on Fast Company blog Co.Design, support for the project far exceeded Garcia’s initial projections for production, forcing the artist to seek outside manufacturers in China to keep up with demand. Despite its unpredictability, Garcia sees crowd funding as an overall positive force. “You don't have any middlemen. What you receive is not so much money as freedom,” he says.