A live writing event that challenges writers to create a new work using as their inspiration collected memories from the general public.
The project seeks contributions from anyone both online and in person during each event in a unique interaction between artist and audience. Your memories can take the form of text, images, or video. Your submissions may be published to this web site and provided to the authors who may choose to incorporate your memories into their work in progress.
Up to three authors sit before their computers in a public space and they write. Their work is fed to a large screen and simultaneously to the project web site, every keystroke visible to the world.
The audience, both online and in person can contribute to the writing in progress, by providing the authors with a memory. Memories flood in online direct to the web site and, in person, via the manual typewriters we provide at the venue.
As the number of collected memories grow through the day, they are attached to the author’s table, eventually reaching the floor and ‘flowing’ out towards the audience as a kind of visual flourish and as a marker of our progress.
This is writing as a performance, but one distinct from other performative aspects of literature: this isn’t a reading of a prepared work, nor is it freestyle poetry. It’s improvisation not with speech but with text and the tools of contemporary writing: keyboard and cut-and-paste.
For most readers, Memory Makes Us is a web site. For festival visitors, it’s a live event. Next year we will take some of it to print.
But none of these individual ‘formats’ capture the whole project.
Memory Makes Us exists in its most complete form right here on this web site where writers’ and readers’ contributions are presented in their entirety and with equal significance. But the web still doesn’t capture Memory Makes Us. Not entirely.
Because it’s in the live interaction where the project really sings.