The BSA’s First Meeting: 2 August, 4:00 EDT (20:00 GMT)
The Brooklyn Stereoscopic Association: A place where everyone belongs.
Less than a month ago, four friends (myself among them) who are veteran 3D hobbyists came together and decided to do something special. It was something that would fill our needs, but also something that would fill a void we had long noticed in the stereography world. We all had friendships with other stereo people, and most of us had clubs we could attend. But like the (intentionally Leone-esque) searching eyes above, we were looking for something more.
We wanted to found a complete community with an emphasis on inclusiveness and minimal censorship. We don’t want homogeny of any kind – homogeny of ideas, homogeny of skin colors, homogeny of geographical regions, homogeny of genders, homogeny of topics. We want a little bit of everything. We wanted to avoid situations where a single egotistical dictator made it their own show, so we agreed to arbitrate by quorum. There are currently four members of the Leadership Team, and nobody has any greater say than anybody else. And just like that, the Brooklyn Stereoscopic Association was formed.
What is a Complete Community?
There are dozens if not hundreds of stereoscopy clubs dotting the cities of the world. They meet up, and talk 3D talk, and we heartily encourage you to join one if you have one nearby. There are also many places where budding stereographers post their own work online, and request constructive criticism. Some people just want to show off their work – without so much criticism. Then there are collectors, many of whom have cordial personal relationships but bid fiercely against each other on auction sites. (I am of the latter variety). There are publications, some of them highly recommended. There are YouTube channels on which you can learn the basics. There are a lot of resources out there! But we want to be all this for you, and more. We want to be your 3D family.
And what does it take to build a family? Well, for one thing, it takes family members, which is why each and every one of you is cordially invited to our first meeting, on 2 August @ 4:00 PM EDT / 20:00 GMT. We acknowledge that while there is likely much we have to teach you (and you to teach each other), we also have much to learn from you. We each have our areas of specialization, and most of you, my readers, have at least a passing knowledge of some area of stereography, which is why you’re on my blog. But we’re throwing wide the doors, and inviting anybody with even a mild curiosity to join. You don’t need to own a single stereoview, know what an anaglyph is, or understand the difference between positive and negative parallax to join. You do need to bring your curiosity, and your willingness to help other members of the family – that is all! (50-year veterans also heartily welcome. We all have more we can learn!)
What we offer you, even if you’re already a member of [insert organization name]
What we aim to offer is a diverse community – our only constraint right now is that we are an English-language club (despite one of our founders being Dutch). We will be holding bi-weekly online meetings on Sundays at 4 PM EDT / 20:00 GMT. Discussion will be encouraged after every presentation, and previous presentations will be archived so that if you have to miss a Sunday and REALLY wanted to see someone’s talk, or (hopefully) the whole meeting, you can! But beyond meetings, we offer:
- A communal blog, which will be much like this one in terms of presenting interesting content, but far more diverse. All Full Members can post weekly – so it will cover every topic of interest to BSA members! Reblogs of your own work from other publications are also great.
- An image gallery, with comments for each image either expected to be positive, or at your request, asking for constructive critique & criticism. If you don’t know what constructive criticism is, no problem – just ask us! All 15 images in the collage that acts as header image for this post were taken by the founders. I’d love it if, by next time I mention the BSA on my blog, I can use a collage of 15 different images from 15 non-founding members!
- Freedom from censorship. You can present on any topic that is not bigoted or illegal, and know that you’re doing it in front of family – even if distant family that you’d like to get to know better. All we demand is mutual respect. Beliefs may differ, but at the end of the day, this is a 3D club, not a debate league.
- An integrated chat forum & community home base. For now, we’ll be using a Slack channel, details of which will become available at the first meeting. Slack is not ideal, as it deletes messages and images after a period, but until we come up with a better solution, it will work well enough.
What the Brooklyn Stereoscopic Association expects of you
Thankfully, as we’re striving for maximal inclusivity and minimal censorship, we don’t need to make a 10-page rules guide. But obviously, as in any organization, there are a few baselines that we expect all members to adhere to:
- No child pornography will be tolerated, ever, even if it’s for “Pete Townsend-style research”. The BSA will ban submitters of this sort of filth immediately, and I personally will attempt to contact the relevant authorities to get the offending paedo tossed in jail. I guess we do exclude one group – but “no paedos” isn’t exactly a controversial exclusion.
- No bigoted statements or slurs against any group will be tolerated. Depending on the severity, which Leadership will determine in channels, bigoted behavior of any kind against any group will result in anything from a warning to temporarily being muted to being immediately banned. A good rule of thumb is: if you think it might be bigoted, it probably is. When in doubt, reach out to Leadership! We’re here to help, first and foremost.
- No disrespect towards other members will be tolerated. This should be common sense in a family founded upon a bedrock of mutual respect.
And that’s it! We have so few rules because, as the Doctor put it in the 2005 reboot of Doctor Who: “Good [people] don’t need rules”. Just be good to each other and yourselves, and we’ll get along great.
How you can join the Brooklyn Stereoscopic Association
It couldn’t be easier! Just hop on over to our newly created webpage – https://brooklynstereoscopic.org/ – and read the Mission Statement. If that sounds pretty groovy to you, you’re already a member! Full Membership takes a little bit more, but only a little. We basically just want to get to know you a bit. And it’s quick – you could be a Full Member two meetings after our introductory meeting on 2 August! Hop on over to our Members Page for more details.
As an added treat, our first volunteer presenter at our second meeting (16 August) is none other than Stacey Doyle Ference, my wife, and the author of one of the most viral and instantly-popular posts in the blog’s history, “Nudes from the Weimar Republic“. Stacey will be expanding on her themes by giving a more detailed analysis from a queer/feminist perspective.
That’s it for now; hope to meet many of my long-time readers on 2 August, or through the Slack which will follow, or through a later meeting. Best wishes to everybody during the global pandemic we’re facing; I’ll return to normal posts with another treat from VistaScreen as soon as it’s finished!