Event: Cut cut copy shop - for a new wor(l)d order...
Where: Tent City University, St. Paul's Occupy LSX
What we did: Took an Olivetti 1969 Valentine typewriter to Tent City University. Encouraged people to bring texts connected to the Occupy movement in some way. Asked participants and passers-by to select phrases from the texts and type them out. Rearranged the selections to create a new text.
Inspiration: Delaina had been talking to Simon Morris who, with his imprint Information as Material, is the Whitechapel gallery’s writer in residence. He had put her hot on the trail of a new writing movement: conceptual writing.
I'd done some writing events at Really Free School earlier this year, in which a collaborative text was created using the Olivetti. I was asked to do something similar at Tent City University, so I got in touch with Delaina and said I was thinking of combining two old tricks to make a new(ish) one. We made it conceptual and agreed that 'collaboration is joy'...
Why: We don’t really know, it was an experiment.
Result: We had a lot of fun and talked to many people up for giving conceptual writing a go and trying to create a better wor(l)d while they were at it. It was often a challenge to get across the importance of copying text: many wished to write their own. Our favourite contributors were the children who wanted to type out lines from Goldilocks and The Three Bears. We thought about it for a moment, then realised how perfect that was.
Photos: Delaina Haslam