This week’s ElseWear post features resident-artist, Rod Northcutt, visiting Elsewhere from College Corner, Ohio, the site of his collaborative project, MAKETANK.
Rod’s golden yellow get-up stems from MAKETANK’s recent project “The Howdy/HEJ-hva så? “
MAKETANK (originally an American collective) arrived in Copenhagen and was impressed by the innovative models for residential living. They first lived in a boat community on Skibbroen and next in the autonomous Freetown Christiania. To really understand the complexity of intentional communities, they started their own, called Howdy/ HEJ-hva så?, on 11 October 2013.
The community was founded on the shared ideology of its citizens, including generosity, social happiness, and intervention. There is an official flag, official tattoos, and an official color (yellow, to signify happiness and a new dawn). They lived in the exhibition space Værelse101, even though it was small (only 10.5 square meters) and it lacked running water, a toilet, and heat.
The Howdy/HEJ-hva så? culture was constructed from zero, so the citizens of Howdy/HEJ-hva så? Held an opening convocation on their founding day to ask visitors to help them develop a set of community traditions, social organization systems, and unique attributes (including crafts, art, music, rituals, food and drink, and of course a system for law and order). Soon after, flooding caused them to move out, but they simply went into the city, lived with friends, and cooked free pancakes for their neighbors (via a street kitchen bike) to build trust and friendship.
While Howdy was an admirable social experiment, the community elders decided that it was time to pull the plug a week after it was founded. The lore and ethic of Howdy will live on in the memories and stories told, but the community, its site, and its people have been absorbed into the greater global society. Remember Howdy / Husk HEJ-hva så? !