This Sunday in Berlin a team of authors is creating a participatory environment to mirror today’s interconnected society based on technology which pervade our everyday lives. The text becomes a ghost, and everybody an author.
One steps into an arrangement of performances including many different stages to re-enact something unfathomable to which something like authorship was once attributed. The information provided on the website of the event suggests a constellation of something like dance, writing, intimacy, sharing and experimenting with something like an author team conducting the different performances. One is momentarily texting on his or her cell phone, to an e-identity, the other is jamming with these texts. It promises to be an experience which makes oneself and his/her language present by probing it as a wild and fluid part that gets redefined by other texts of a greater artificially created network.
The different stations of rephrasing text in a collective event is what Cloudpoesie is intending. There is a phantom to be chased after. The phantom that is summoned on Sunday in Berlin is as different as gestural expression can be. It is text as material transformed into its being acted out in a special environment. Text which is translated, rephrased, remixed, performed and hypnotized. “What we take to be graphics, sounds, and motion in our screen world is merely a thin skin under which resides miles and miles of language.“
This quote is from Kenneth Goldsmith, attorney for what he termed “Uncreative Writing”. This kind of management of text quantities is an heir of conceptual writing like LeWitt, Duchamp or Warhol’s diaries. They have treated text always as not something bound to its meaning bound to a page of a book. It is nothing new to treat text as material, or to question written text as the sole way of communicating by combining text with dance (by doing eurythmics) (or something like in this tradition) or to make literature present and to raise an awareness for the architecture and the unique quality of language through poetic and collaborative experience.
But there is something new at Cloudpoesie which marks it as a great experiment. That is on the one hand the essentially participatory nature of the event and on the other hand the fact that there will be a publication as an e-book distributed by indie publishers who already have a reputation in Germany, the online publisher microtext and the online version of the literary magazine STILL.
The team of Cloudpoesie – the collective of poets Katharina Schultens, Andreas Bülhoff, Martina Hefter, Georg Leß and Charlotte Warsen along with the graphic artist Andreas Töpfer – keeps it pretty secret what will happen at the event exactly. I heard something of a fog machine or tents in the shape of a shell.
Anyway, if you are interested bring your smart phone along! But be warned: It is on an experimental stage. And remember: You also get the publication from the event. If you are curious, check it out on next Sunday, November 22nd at Theaterdiscounter, close to Alexanderplatz in Berlin.