Monday, 18 May 2009

Blank pages?

I'm editing an article at the moment about writing and the public realm. This quote from writer/consultant/lead artist, Denna Jones, is one that I keep coming back to. Denna spent some of her childhood in the desert of Southern California; she says: ‘I’m very aware of the language used to erroneously describe the desert – bleak, empty, etc. – and I notice similar pejorative language used about areas designated for regeneration too. But, in reality, the desert is a hugely rich and complex place. I get very concerned about projects which assume places with problems are just blank pages.’

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Online writing - Public Art?

I am taking part in In Digitalisation, a course run by Spread the Word looking at digital possibilities for writers. Last night Naomi Alderman talked to us about her online, and offline writing, which I found really inspiring. One thing that struck me, as she was talking about issues pertinent to online writing, was the number of similarities with the concerns of public art: people won’t read the work in a linear way; the visuals are really important – you need to find a designer/artist who can do visual justice to your words; the reader is immediate and present in a way that’s perhaps less evident with the written page. Perhaps online writing can be seen as another kind of public art, in a world where lots of us lead lives that constantly cross and recross the boundaries of online of offline, and new ‘virtual spaces’ are constantly being created.