Entanglements: an exploration of the digital literary work FISHNETSTOCKINGS


#fishnet1 #fishnet2 #fishnet3


Think of hashtags like fishing lines and lures. Artists drop them into the waters of the sea of Twitter and other social media platforms and hope that they get a bite. Of course, a person is just as likely to get a carp as a crab or even some seaweed in the tangle fo the undersea flow.  For my part I participated in at least two of the instantiations of the project's netprov component.  In one, I believe the one for the Walker art museum, Rock solicited contributions over Twitter.  In another, she solicited via a Google form.

Netprov is a form of collaborative online writing, theorized and named by Rob Wittig. The mantra he often repeats for this form is "play and go deep," borrowed from famed Chicago improv originator Del Close (see his book Netprov).  In FishnetStockings this meant lines that ranged from epigrams to riddles and even one liners. 

The netprov component seems to fade into the background of this piece, but more it mixes in as just another element, just another layer, in the waters of the work. 

In time, Rock and her collaborators moved away from Twitter to a Google Form, which was much easier to control and vet.  Notably, that change happened in 2016, when a certain Tweeter-in-Chief was elected in the United States, and Twitter became a platform for divisive Presidential propaganda.

Remnants of the Twitter hashtags remain for now, though it be a turbulent sea.

(We're entering the unknowable time as the richest man in America, Elon Musk, has just acquired the company for $44 billion.) 

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