Karen and I send links to articles, photos, videos and all sorts of other content, ranging from the amazing to the absurd, at all hours of the day and night. This morning she sent me a link to a project by Eva Liparova. This woman, sick of being stuck on long flights surrounded by people in complete silence, took a blank book titled "Plane Tales", attached a pen to it and handed it to the first person at the front of the plane. Inside it said:
1. Read the last story in this book.
2. Write a response to the question.
3. Ask a new question or use the same question again.
4. Pass the book to the person next to you.
5. If you don't want to write, please pass it on.
6. Return to Eva in seat 42E when done.
The responses she received were incredible. You can find the full transcript here and I HIGHLY recommend you read it.
Why am I writing my very first blog post about this woman's project, you ask? Chances are good, if you're (one of the likely very small number of people) reading this, that you already know that I have decided to take a six week arts adventure via cruise ship to Europe this fall. What you might not know is that this story collecting and community generating style project is exactly what I have been playing with lately and will be the backbone of the project while I'm traveling.
The original project was inspired by Twenty-Three Days at Sea, a program that creates artist residencies on cargo ships from Vancouver to Shanghai. As soon as I read the open call for applications I knew that I had a project to apply with. Many of the ideas I've been playing with for the last few years came together very quickly and I knew I had to apply. However, I also knew that, as a primarily performing artist for most of my professional life, that the chances of my getting accepted into such an incredible residency for visual artists were not necessarily great. So, I immediately began researching other ways to take a ship across an ocean (Truth be told, that's always been a goal of mine!) where my project could take place.
Turns out, I was right. There were only four artists out of 1001 applicants chosen to sail to China and I wasn't one of them. Luckily, however, I had just booked myself a six week cruise through the Mediterranean, so any disappointment was greatly dissipated by my excitement for this new adventure. Despite my complete impatience to get through the next 5.5 months (169 days, but who's counting?) I'm also really glad to have this time to research my destinations, hopefully find some artists to meet once I get there and to create the community that will be helping me along my adventure.
While the original project was based around the idea of time and technology (ship vs. plane, letter vs. text message, hand made vs. store bought) I have shifted my focus some and I'm still working on putting all the details together. I promise I will keep you updated as I figure things out! While I still wont be able to have as much access to technology on the ship (internet on the open ocean is PRICEY!) I have decided that I do want to document the process before and after utilizing the technology at hand. (I do work with social media for a living, after all!) While this whole website is still a work in progress I will attempt to keep people updated as this project develops!