Writing in public space attends to artistic research as a performative act whilst bringing artists together to do observational and corporeal score-based live-writing in public space. The performative writerly practice animates public space as collective space and the writers as interdepending bodies.
The setting for this collaborative work is an understanding of knowledge as something provisional and limited, and that in addition to creating knowledge we also need to develop, learn and practice skills of sharing. The work of Georges Perec is influential to the research practice and especially his experimental book Tentative d'épuisement d'un lieu parisien, or An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris (1975/2010). His idea was to pay attention to the seemingly insignificant, and to notice what is taking place when nothing special is happening. In many ways this writerly intention is put in practice anew by writing together in public space, and the ongoing research also suggests writing on a corporeal basis merging the cerebral and physical and moreover, writing as a bodily resource. We ask: What does corporeal writing signal and how is it read? How does writing collectively observe and announce? How is collaborative writing an affirmative gesture? How does collective writing attend to the possibilities of reciprocal spaces?
Writing in public space has been tested at the #3 Research Pavilion in Venice, 2019, with the project Wording – Collaborative Writing in Public Space. 50 artists took part in the workshop organised 12 - 14 June 2019; 16 in Venice and 34 in different locations from Medellín in Colombia to Marksjön in Sweden. Writing in public space has been further practiced with/in the Market Square in Tammisaari as well as Vaasa, Finland, as part of the postdoctoral research project Sharing Text by Lena Séraphin at Åbo Akademi University 2020-2023.
Writing in public space is a continuation of a series of language-based artistic research collaborations (in conjunction with the activities of the Special Interest Group). The project Textorium in 2022 and exposition Textorium: Collaborative Writing-Reading with/in Public Space is a collaboration between Emma Cocker, Andrea Coyotzi Borja, Cordula Daus, Vidha Saumya and Lena Séraphin.
Perec, Georges. 2010. An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris. Translation Marc Lowenthal. Cambridge (MA): Wakefield Press.