8. In May 1990, I produced THIRTY MINUTES IN THE LATE AFTERNOON, a
group-written narrative on ACEN on the WELL. Three separate characters
(John, Mary, and Rubber Duck) were written simultaneously by 15 writers
in 3 parallel topics. The story was set in the San Francisco Bay area
where John and Mary were preparing (separately) for their first date.
The third character, Rubber Duck, was sitting on the steps
of the Museum of Modern Art. The time frame was the 30 minutes preceding
the 1989 earthquake. Mary's route involved a freeway and a bridge which
would both break when the earthquake hit.
I asked participants to choose a character, enter the topic and
speak/think as that character. Since this was the group mind taking the
persona of the characters, the emphasis was on the character's thoughts
and their memories. In the final work, I put the 3 topics in a data
structure in which the thought streams of the 3 characters were
simultaneously displayed. The resulting work, written by 15 writers
(whom I did not select but who saw the topic and responded) is a
surprisingly seamless, collaborative net-made work.
Artist on the Net
Read from an array of 3X5 cards,
this talk was given in March 1993
at the Conference on
Computers, Freedom and Privacy