Raku writing is a series of high heat, real time, collaborative writing
Our rough metaphor is raku pottery processes. While traditional pottery is
a slow, painstaking process that can take days just in the heating and
cooling of a piece, raku processes can produce a piece in a matter of
minutes. These pieces can be unpredictably beautiful, and also spectacular
We are exploring a high heat, real time, collaborative writing. As with the
entire Port exhibition, we are
introducing time explicitly into the workings of the supposedly timeless
Internet -- realizing and drawinginto question the dream of the ultimate
archive, in which all items are permanently in flux. In addition, Raku
Writing brings with it other aspects of the impermanence of the non-digital
world: evolutionary methods, replacement, insertion, removal, combination,
In each rehearsal and performance invited writers are producing paragraphs.
Roughly one every six minutes. Audience members read these paragraphs, and
select elements to be altered. In the first rehearsal these elements were
words. From the second rehearsal on they have been sentences. The elements
(sentences) that enough of the participating audience members select for
alteration, before the next paragraph is submitted by the invited writer,
are fired in the continually-changing kiln.
Once a new paragraph is submitted, the altered version of the last
paragraph is displayed. Audience members may select elements in the new
paragraph to be changed, and they also may review the changes made to the
last paragraph. The audience evaluates the alterations made to the previous
paragraph, and sends their reactions back to the Raku Writing site. These
reactions are then used to shape which processes are used in the future.
Also, at any time audience members may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This
email is displayed during the course of the performance, and is a means by
which the audience gives more free-form reaction to the invited writer, and
the rest of the audience, as the next paragraph is being produced.
For the final performance, two invited writers will be working at all times
-- one producing new paragraphs, and the other performing "cold work" on
the paragraphs that have already been fired.
To participate in any Raku Writing performance, go to the Raku Writing page
shortly before the performance is scheduled to begin. The words "take part"
will become a link. The link will take you to the viewing page.