Thursday, January 11, 2007

TiP Events Calendar: Let's Start A Flash Mob

"Someone keeps stealing my letters" is a shared visual space, similar to collaborative mosaics, in which site visitors share a giant refrigerator door and attempt to write messages. I like this better than the pixel mosaics because the reward and punishment of being robbed of your materials cycles much faster. The result is a more energized "game" rather than a plotted, coordinated process. I feel like we're a bunch of ants who can't communicate with each other. Fun!

Email me at pensare.nelle.immagini (at) if you'd like to help take over this space so we can write something funny. I need about ten people who could do it at a prearranged time tomorrow for about five minutes. Ideally we would chat on Gmail chat to coordinate. When we're done we'll do screen captures. It will be the longest word or phrase ever written on that site, and it will be an historic occasion.

Site discovered via Web Savant.


Diana said...

This sounds and looks like it could be a very fun thing to try. How do you do it?

Jeremiah McNichols said...

To do this in a congested environment (i.e. where there are "competing" players):

Gather enough participants so that each can be assigned an individual letter that appears in the text any number of times, with one "spare" participant (ex. "The End" would require five participants to whom letters would be assigned - T, H, E, N and D - and one extra, for six total).

Members of the group convene on the same playing field at a predetermined time and collect and pile needed letters in a corner of the workspace. Individuals grab their assigned letters in order of appearance and carry them to the space in which the phrase will be displayed.

The extra player "runs interference," retrieving any letters pulled away by competing participants. Often the best way to keep the letters in play that the group needs is to find a different one if one is stolen, rather than recovering the same letter. Doing the latter can energize opposition where an individual may have simply been grabbing a letter they needed for their own work. Sort of like "creating terrorists" in the Middle East - placate the locals when you can and let them go about their business.

I lost my incentive for this project when I realized that if you go in the middle of the night there's pretty much nobody there and you can do whatever you want anyway.