We set up our digital media operations in a sun-lit colorful flat above the Brig on Abbot Kinney over four years ago, and now take residency in Robert Graham’s former studio adjacent to the boardwalk. Many of us had prior successful residency up in Silicon Valley, and with entrepreneur mentality, we were not just looking for the next big idea to create, but the right environment to make it happen. It was the convergence a raw entrepreneurial vibe in all fields; from art to science, and the density of a beyond eclectic community that beamed us here to Venice. There’s a heavy presence of what Graham had created from nothing in this space – we feed off this pulse and of a community’s that is almost indescribable to the non-visitor, and in-turn we only hope that we are contributing back with our presence not just online, but offline in being respectful of the Venice heritage and people, and being cautious not to impose too big of an outsider footprint while doing so.
I personally have been a Venice resident for over eight years, with a circle of friends primarily of artists. It’s always been an awkward navigation in attempting to convey what I do and why – translating a sense of purpose and cause through websites vs. street art doesn’t always relate. In the beginning years when we were a rarity here, it felt as if the global Venice community just ignored and proceeded. Now I find my line of work and presence here a contentious debate most any time – driving rents and home prices up, fancier eateries replacing more affordable ones, kicking the artists out – the list goes on and on… a similar experience I went through in San Francisco’s Mission district during the dot com boom, whose outcome is still up for debate. Venice has been a gift to us. Without it we wouldn’t have the people and the ideas that make each day here on Market street such a radical and engaging experience. We lose sense of this, we lose the community.
Chris Dolinar is the head of Marketing at Mota, a new media company that aims to translate the pulse of the Venice community vibe into every aspect of the business in connecting buyers and sellers of used vehicles, through a common currency of truth, trust and transparency. Their recently launched product is called SureSale.