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Just came across two projects that seem to me to really be putting the internet to good use to enable new ways of collaborative practice. The first is common practice, a series of curated events that wants to use an “unpredictable cobbling together of texts, poetry, people, code, language, Wiki, chat, conversations etc.” to create new texts. (Thanks to Janneke for pointing me to this) They have a meeting the 3rd of June  where people will collaborate on a new text (see the site for more info). And here some more about what the event entails:

The reading groups that make up common practice will take place in June and September. You are invited to read, write, tinker with and intervene in the literary and theoretical texts and poetry together with others through the simple-to-use online tools. You can join us in the Reading Room at Arnolfini or online and via Skype (contact: common practice).

common practice references the widespread and increasingly familiar activity of using online tools in everyday to communicate, contact, work, socialise, play, research, be entertained, etc. The practice embodies the curiosity to experience ways in which human and machine skills and abilities perform together.

More importantly, however, common practice also refers to the fact that it is done in common – together with others. Thus it is social space of knowledge materialised through co-labour, codeworking and language.

The first session will open with mez breeze’s mezangelle poems, written in a blend of code and language, and we will be practising a simultaneous reading-writing reworking of these texts to experience their language-code operations during the event.

The second project is called The Tolerance Project and is really exciting: poet Rachel Zolf has asked 86 other writers, artists and thinkers to donate some poetic traces, DNA she calls it, which she will subsequently scramble together to write the poem a week that she needs to produce for an MFA she is doing. Hilarious way to turn a creative writing program into a conceptual project. And she has friends in high places; people who submitted poetic scraps include Steve McCaffery, Christian Bök, Nada Gordon, Vanessa Place, Nada Gordon and the list just goes on; but she invites anyone who is so inclined, to participate. More info from the site:

Eighty-six writers, artists and thinkers have donated their poetic traces to The Tolerance Project, a collaborative MFA in Creative Writing. Each piece of poetic DNA in The Tolerance Project Archive has been assigned its own barcode. Each poem written for the MFA will employ traces from the donated traces. The MFA poems are restricted to The Tolerance Project Archive for their content.

MFA poems written for class will be posted on this blog. Poetic DNA barcodes for the traces used in each poem appear at the end of each MFA poem post. Click on the barcodes to reveal the donor identities and poetic DNA traces.

This collaboration includes you. The online public is welcome to use the comments field to give constructive feedback on The Tolerance Project poems. You are also very welcome to browse The Tolerance Project Archive and create your own MFA poems. Post them on the Archive site and if we like them, we may even bring them to class for feedback.

Based on cumulative feedback received within and without the institution, the MFA poems will be scrupulously revised toward the creation of The Writing Thesis.

For queries re The Tolerance Project, please contact thetoleranceproject[at]gmail.com.

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