Original entry and discussion to be found below the following.
Edit (June 7, 2004): I have my word. I am a word.
Edit (May 24, 2004): Wow. I spent an hour talking with a reporter from the Associated Press about my involvement in Jackson’s project. I gave him contact information for several people to talk to, including Rob Poulos. I also tried to emphasize the ways in which “Skin” engages with cultural anxieties about permanence and impermanence, and that these anxieties are heightened in a digital age, where words seem to vanish from the screen as soon as we shut down our electronic reading devices. I brought up William Gibson’s Agrippa, the disappearing digital poem, as an example of an earlier work engaging with the same kinds of anxieties. I discussed the recent increase in scholarly attention to the material forms that writing takes and has taken, explaining that when I wrote to Jackson I expressed my interest in becoming a word for “Skin” in terms of the experimental forms pioneered by William Blake and Emily Dickinson.
As of this writing, the article has appeared in USA Today, The Salt Lake Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Baltimore Sun, The Chicago Sun Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Omaha World Herald, The Seattle Post Intelligencer, The Miami Herald, The San Jose Mercury News, The San Diego Union Tribune, Salon.com, The Indianapolis Star, The Daily Times (Pakistan), New York Newsday, The Orlando Sentinel, The Tuscaloosa News, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, and several other newspapers.
But when the article came out, my name wasn’t even mentioned. I’ll think twice before I invest that much energy in speaking with a reporter again.
Original entry: Have you already read about this?
Writer Shelley Jackson invites participants in a new work entitled “Skin.” Each participant must agree to have one word of the story tattooed upon his or her body … From this time on, participants will be known as “words”. They are not understood as carriers or agents of the texts they bear, but as its embodiments. As a result, injuries to the printed texts, such as dermabrasion, laser surgery, tattoo cover work or the loss of body parts, will not be considered to alter the work. Only the death of words effaces them from the text. As words die the story will change; when the last word dies the story will also have died. The author will make every effort to attend the funerals of her words.
Wow. I have to say that I’m very tempted to participate.