The Last Weekend and a New Era in Collaboration
by: Nick Cope
September 20, 2012
As we approach the time of year when the days become shorter and we begin to wind down from a summer of excitement and excess, there is a melancholy. Enter interdisciplinary artist Peter Coffin and designer Jon Santos of Common Space, two impressarios who felt like their network of friends and collaborators should push the limits of enthusiasm and energy through The Last Weekend [of Summer, people].
What they have done is inspiring and you can [and should] be a part of it. Coffin, Santos, and their allies decided to rent an entire summer camp in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains and curate a series of performances, dinners, and interactive workshops. Such a simple concept can be truly radical. Highlights of the weekend include a Tie-Dye Workshop with Shabd, a scavenger hunt with Confetti System, Three Sisters Tacos by The Jewels of NY, and a Design Build Competition hosted by Freemans Sporting Club, a line-up of amazing musicians and much more. With over 75 participating art, music & culinary contributors, the true end-goal of TLW is to collectively transform a summer camp into a temporary experimental prototype community. Be prepared for lots of unpredictable, spontaneous, and wonderful encounters in the pastoral remove from the big city.
The WILD briefly spoke to the co-founders at TLW to understand the origins of the concept:
NC: What inspired you to conceive of The Last Weekend concept?
JS: Peter and I have been hosting gatherings of friends in the Catskills for a few years now and we always end the summer with a big party. Last year, our friends who live down the road, got married and decided to rent a local sleepaway camp for the festivities. It planted the idea in our head about how rad it would be to take over the camp for our end-of-summer party, with a focus on artist-led projects, experimentation, and education. The curated projects were developed over the past few months as conversations between us and the artists on variations of the theme of “camping” until we agreed it was appropriate. We also like that a full weekend in the Catskills, away from texting/tweeting/instagramming, encourages a the kind of personal interaction that’s just not as likely to happen in the city. There’s time and space to develop the friend-of-a-friend bonds or to just make new friends.
NC: What is the significance of community and collaboration to you?
JS+PC: This weekend event wouldn’t be possible without a strong collaborative effort between the organizers and the participating artists. Collaboration encourages a different kind of productivity that encourages an outcome that sometimes cannot be predicted on an individual level. Collaboration can also be difficult because people have to really open themselves up to other people’s ideas, learning styles and goals.
NC: Do you see growth potential in the concept, perhaps a brand somehow being developed out of this project?
JS+PC: In some ways, the community we live in up here is based on creativity, quite a few of us met in San Francisco more than a decade ago through the music and art scenes but we met in person. in some ways we are trying to preserve that “in person” way of living.
The Last Weekend is a grassroots effort made possible by your ticket sales, the hard work of a group of friends and the generosity of Friends and Family Workshop, ISA, Modern Primitive Exchange and Everlane. Fortunately, tickets are still available for the weekend. At $155 for a weekend full of activities and lodging in a rustic cabin, the price is a bargain getaway for New Yorkers seeking to squeeze out that last bit of summer fun. Check The Last Weekend website for more details.