Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An Experiment

"Chaos is the score upon which reality is written."
This Henry Miller quote just popped up on my gmail banner.
Sounds like he knows the way I make my art and my relationships.

I had a conversation with a very dear friend of mine about this last night, and we discussed the difference between chaos and adventure.
The difference?
Go ask someone's therapist, I certainly don't know.


Lovers, Haters, and Friendly Tolerators of Shawdenfreude,


Here is the interactive part of our Shawdenfreude show. I have decided to conduct an experiment and I need my dear readers to become active participants.

For the next week, I am going to ask for parts of an assignment from you funny and intelligent people and all you have to do it post your suggestions in the comments section.

The deal:

I am going to go places in New York I have never been before. galleries, bars, cafes, etc. and I am going to create written pieces based out of my experiences there.
I will then post them the next day on Shawdenfreude.

Here's what I need from you:

From you fine folks, I need suggestions of where to go, creative limitations, things to focus on, or things to include in that day's post.

For example, you might suggest that I:

Can't speak to anyone.
Ride the Subway.
Include 5 quotes I hear that day in the text.
Wear a flower in my hair.
Use a portion of the book I am reading in whatever I write.
Go to a church.
Mention Sweden 4 times.

Think of yourselves as putting a thumbprint in the clay. Somewhat like a Choose Your Own Adventure Story, I would like your outside input in helping me create the next day's written piece. The piece will then take the form of a short play, a poem, a fiction piece, or a rant depending what the set up is.

But in order for it to work, I need everyone to be involved and post ideas everyday for the following day. So please post as many as you like. (And Have fun. Just try to pick things that won't get me arrested, unless they are brilliant!)

Please feel free to forward this on to your friends who might be interested in being involved in the experiment.



Sarah said...

why not go to the end of every subway line and either buy a tchochkie or find something on the ground at the end of that line?

or ride the staten island ferry back and forth and on each trip choose a different passengar to write a little story about. you may only spend the duration of the ride writing about them.

franny said...

i like sarah's ideas. but to give you options:

have a "brought you by the number __ day". choose a number 1-10 and let that number dictate your moves throughout the day. ie: talk to the 4th person that passes you, turn after 4 blocks, eat a hot dog from 4 different street vendors.

dress up like a religious woman - jewish or muslim is easiest and go into "taboo" places - toys in babeland, bulesque show, gay bar...

go to the top of the empire state building (or another iconic nyc location) and have a romantic photo taken of you and a stranger. do this with as many people as you can. bring a disposable camera.
each photo must only be you and one other person. no group shots. define romantic any way you like.

JKW said...

Visit 25-Cent Peep World on 33 Street between Sixth and Seventh. It's conveniently located just next to Old Navy; you'll find it.

Once you've entered 25-Cent Peep World, relax and enjoy the bounty of Old New York! You may wish to wander over to the European counter (animals), or upstairs to the "legit" floor-space (crappy paperback Anne Rice novels). And be sure to say hello to the friendly janitorial staff, who always love to chat.

And then you can go shopping for performance fleece at Old Navy.

Emily said...

go to the strand's rare book room (3rd floor). ask someone a question about dinosaurs, someone else a question about feminist theory, then ask the dinosaur person the feminist theory question and the feminist theory person the dinosaur question. stand uncomfortably close to someone or something as frequently as possible and listen very very hard.

JKW said...

Of course, you could always seek gainful employment.

MS said...


You are deeply disturbed.

You are not welcome anywhere near me.
Not my bar. Not my blog.

I am asking you, in public, to leave.

Sam said...

I will also say to JKW, or whatever you want to be called, that if I find out you ever come within 10 yards of Melissa again, I will fucking end you. You got that, dude? She doesn't want anything to do with you, and if you even think about posting on this blog, or going to her bar, or even think of 4 numbers that happen to be in her phone number, I will eat you for lunch. Try me, I want you to.

Rachel said...

I would suggest we form a large posse of people who like melissa enough to do harm to someone else when needed.

Despite melissa's friends being generally laid back peace-friendly people, I could assume the minimum number of people in this posse would be about 500 (you know, assuming some people were at work, or entertaining melissa at the bar, or couldn't get childcare or whatever).

I say we hunt JKW, so that he will know how it feels to be unsafe in the world. So he will finally understand that if he tries again to approach her in public, in private, at the bar, on line, that he will not unhinge her or bother her, but endanger himself.

I pledge myself to this commitment.

R said...

You could always go shopping for ascots...I hear that's what the really cool kids are doing these days...ascots are hot.

R said...

I take back the last posting...best not to taunt a psycho.

Hutch said...

My brain isn't fully formed yet (I don't knwo when that will happen)
so my ideas are a bit standard:

Any unfamiliar wing in the Metropolitan Musuem of Art. The weapons
room is a good place to start. Or the Egyptian wing (I recently went
there for the first time. Prior to that I was like "yeah I know:
heiroglyphics..." You might want to go to TWO rooms and not leave
until you find the common thread in both arts.

OR EVEN BETTER: go to the Performing Arts library and sit down in the
public viewing room and watch every reel they are showing (it's
usually around 6 at about 10 minutes each.) You have to wear the bear
suit, and not hide your emotions (I always cry at some point...)

Leela mentioned Bemmelmen's bar. The murals are gorgeous. The drinks
are astronomical. I would go there, sit at the bar and do a study.
Being a bartender, you could watch and dissect the craft of a
compatriot, in ridiculously high-class joint (there's a part of the
menu that says the bar tender will create a new drink for you and name
it after you for a mere $5000.)

How's your Spanish? I go into Washington Heights once a week and try
to order something vegetarian from some restaurant. Usually I walk out
with a coffee.

You should walk the Manhattan Bridge into Dumbo. There's a great cafe
in there. Have coffee on the 2nd floor. Wear antenna and a dress and
bright rouge.

Ever been to the Opera?

Ever been to a NYPL at 2:30 when the elementary schools let out?