Greetings curious soul!
So you'd like to know what we are up to this year?
Well get comfy, because we are long-winded and it's an exciting year ahead.
(PS: if you don't know what empori is or what we do, might we recommend you read this first for more context.)
2021: Start of taste series
Many if you probably know empori for conversation experiences, either because you've attended one or that's what you were told about us.
So if you think we just make conversation events, we can't really blame you.
But conversations are just ONE of the experiential mediums that we are curious about.
Yes, we dedicated all of 2019, and some of 2020 to exploring conversations under the "Talk Series", but we are done now.
2021 is the start of something new.
May we present you with: TASTE SERIES
We don't know how long this will go on for or what it'll constitute.
But we do know that it will involve exploring the intersection of taste, interactivity and narratives.
Or in less fancy words:
we'll be coming up with taste related experiences that involve stories and play/games.
(Taste here is defined as BOTH physical taste and figurative/conceptual taste)
Okay, so maybe we lied a bit about not knowing what taste series will constitute.
We are kicking off taste series with「 Identi-tea-茶wu語」, an experimental tea tasting experience that will (hopefully) explore both the stories of identity and stories hidden within the flavors of tea.
We have already started work, and you if you are the sort that enjoys behind the scenes stories and abstract intellectual ramblings, you can track our progress via the taste series tag.
(Note: majority of the process pieces will be accessible only to paying members!)
BUILDING EMPORI LIBRARY
Aside from drinking way too much tea and reading about the philosophy of taste, 2021 is also going to involve a lot of writing for us.
Because yes, we finally figured out what to do with empori, which is to...make it into a studio//library.
We will still be making IRL/in-person/event-based experiences. Don't you worry about that.
And charging for it.
Charging for stuff? 🙀
It's a big decision and commitment, but for those who don't know.
We are legitimately trying to make a living as an experience artist.
After the last two years' worth of experiments, we've finally had to confront the fact that there is no way we can pay the bills with our experiences while making them accessible.
In the spirit of transparency, here are some numbers.
1x Armchair Discussion takes us around 40 hours of prep work, to design materials and put together the questions and content.
The conversation itself is 3 hours, and requires two facilitators.
We firmly believe that facilitation is high-level and demanding work, so the facilitators should at LEAST be compensated $50/hour.
(to give your some perspective, the average hourly wage of a private tutor in Singapore is $42.50)
Even if we were to completely underpay ourselves for the design work, and price it as the hourly wage for gallery-sitting ($12/hour).
That is still:
Total- $780 session
Assuming we have 8 person per discussion, that is $97.50/person for one event.
This is not even including the cost of refreshments and venue.
It would easily cost $250/person, if not more for a 3 hour conversation experience if everyone involved was compensated fairly for their time and effort.
That doesn't sound very accessible.
And accessibility means a lot to me.
So after much mulling, we thought it'd make more sense to make and charge for good quality content at accessible prices, than absurd prices for quality experiences.
No, this does not mean that experiences we make, when we make them will be free. But at least they'll be reasonably priced AND make sure all parties involved are fairly compensated and valued for their time as much as possible.
(Although I will not complain if one day, the library has enough members for us to do free events in perpetuity.)
So if you like what we do, find it meaningful for you, and want to support us, we'd be thrilled (to bits) if you could join you as our library's inaugural members!!Join the revolution!
So according to my checklist here, I've done everything I have to do here.
Thank you for sitting through that.
It means a lot to us to have your attention for so long!
Here's a fluffy puppy of gratitude! And we hope to see you around our library! =D