26 September 2012

I like having friends who finish my

I've been playing with the call and response potential of Facebook for some time-- usually in the form of posting a few lyrics from a song and waiting for someone to continue them.  It's a fantastic metaphor for how a sparkle in one jewel of Indra's net leads to another, elsewhere, along the pulse of the universe.

The linguistic structure of this kind of prompt, however, is limiting. It usually solicits one response: the first to continue the lyrics. It is rare that someone else would then build on them from that point. It is also rare that anyone would continue my call with anything other than the "appropriate" response: the actual following lyrics.

So, I have just deployed a different linguistic structure that I often use in narrative and theoretical writing: an incomplete sentence.  "I like having friends who finish my" Here, too, there is a strong vector toward an appropriate response, but the structure has encouraged much the opposite response from the lyrical experiments.  The appropriate response is well known and so no one offers it in response. Instead, the prompt has encouraged absurd responses from many who have never participated in the lyrical experiments.
And, since the linguistic structure is never closed by the appropriate response, people continue to participate. I think it's a successful piece, but I wonder if it would work as a series.

Time (and rhythm as a manifestation of time) are important to a series. Too frequent and the game becomes tiresome, too infrequent and it may lose momentum.

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