Liberating R & D

Corporations, universities, and the government all have research and development departments — places designated for innovation, and people paid to innovate.

The result is that we have a whole lot of the things in which corporations, universities and the government are interested. Salad dressing, software, “smart" bombs. Styrofoam cups, high-fructose corn syrup, and a seemingly endless supply of five-dollar flip-flops.

We also have some really cool things because of all this R & D. The internet, for example.

And thanks to the internet, we can now connect directly to each other. We can gather as a community and do R & D on whatever we want. Solar panels. Education reform. Arts funding.

That’s one way to think about what the Patronopolis is: a community doing research & development on how art gets made. A test of what happens when artists get paid to do their work.