Friday, June 22, 2012
I've been turned into art. I am Damien Hirst's pickled shark. I am Damien Hirst's bling skull. I am Damien Hirst's Last Supper (he may not have done that one).
There's a thing called 3Hundredand65 where an illustrated story is told in a year's worth of tweets. We all get to do a day: in my case, I tweeted fifty days in where I stripped the protagonist of his clothes and covered him in tea. No doubt the 364 other authors may take the story in a different direction.
And what authors. My comrades-in-365dom include Chris Addison, Ian Rankin, Stephen Fry, Bill Bailey, Irvine Welsh, Jonathan Ross, Neil Gaiman, Tim Burgess, Clint Boon, and many many more. Oh and plenty of unknowns like me too.
I found it a strange experience because I'm very picky about my writing and who I work with. So for example, in my tweet I killed off a whirlwind that was annoying me only to have a whirlwind return in today's tweet. And you find yourself compromising with other people's writing styles... well, not compromising... collaborating.
Having your tweet turned into an illustration by the immensely talented Dave Kirkwood (an abstract of which is included in the above picture) is another level of powerlessness you get with true collaboration. Sometimes that leads to tweeters trying to lead the illustrator on with their tweets - as I did. 'I'd like this, this and this in my illustration, please!'. This whole project is fun, liberating and surprising.
If all that wasn't enough, you can now find me on 'Collaborate', a limited edition print featuring all the authors from the first three months of the project. My name is listed, and if you're wondering which is my speech bubble, it's the good looking one. There'll be a meet-up in a Manchester pub next weekend too, where no doubt the print will be on sale. (Edit: here's the poster about that.)
3hundredand65 is raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, who provide specialist services to young people diagnosed with cancer. The project is all about raising a profile, so if you're vaguely in the orbit of the planet "celebrity" and you haven't signed up yet, get in contact with 3hundredand65 and become one of the tweeters.
And yes, that includes celebrity modern artists and their chopped-up fishes.
Further Fats: We Were Spending Precious Time