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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

synergetic completion

the "synergetic transformations" issue of BluePrintReview reached completion.

it's all up here: issue #27: the collab issue
23 collaborations.
45 contributing authors and artists.
70 pages.

i just put a list of all authors and artists together, sorted alphabetically, in "about".
but numbers and lists can't really capture this issue.

looking through the pages again, now that the issue is complete and online, i am still stunned by the way it came together, almost as if some synergy out there had weaved themes into it, and while the issue expanded into different formats and moods, kept knitting cross-connections into it. some probably are still unnoticed -  this actually is the first issue that still was in progress while it launched. as the editor, i didn't see it completed before i put the final group together.

it also took until now for the poem on the starting page to form: the introduction lines to the collaborations, each of them a quote from the contribution itself, pieced together:

synergetic transformations

missing all but queries, limits:
we being one - suddenly
the silence between

casting our lives
I'd like to think

but never finished

here I lie

it's true:
the change
should have been so lucky

if look a/gain
the space between

day's end
a frame, a wall
to pause

a renku
every day

a stub of string
the untangling will cut
how to

in criss-crossing paths
mine and yours
we cleaved / we, as one machine


From end to beginning

yesterday, not long after the final group of collaborations went live, Karyn Eisler mailed me with a question about the issue: "Why did you decide to include process notes in this issue?"

the question brought me back to the start of the issue, to the initial call for submissions. which also provided a different view to the synergy issue, as part of the chain of BluePrintReview theme issues. after browsing the archive, i wrote back:

"Curiosity. It’s the first time that a whole issue of BluePrintReview is focusing on collaborations, and also is open re: format. It’s in some ways the counterpart to the usual issues. I just looked for the original call:

The next issue of BluePrintReview is dedicated to collaborative works and has different guidelines: usually, the text + image on each page is coming from different submissions. For this issue, they come from one submission – with the submission itself coming from more than 1 person: please submit collaborative works that are combinations of text+image, and if you want, add a note on the process.

The issue itself was partly inspired by the collaborations in the previous issues (listed at the bottom of the “Re: Synergy” page ). With each of those, I wondered how it had come together. What had been the starting point – an image? A line? How had it all come together?” So I added the invite to send notes.

(this answer is now part of Karyn's blog entry in Living ?s)

and today, a mail from contributor Steve Wing pointed at another element that made this issue so special:

"It is a stupendous issue.  It brought people together to create.  It is filled with wonderful work that is not just published in BluePrint Review, it was inspired by BPR.  It would not exist to be published somewhere else."


What next?
for the collab issue itself, there is one last step to take: as it launched in groups, with each group added on the top of the page, it is now online in reversed order. it will remain for this for a bit, and then turn into the original order. the sorting for this is already included, too, on an extra page: synergies - original sorting.

and if you want to reflect on collaborating, Daniela Elza has a collaborate blog post up that ends with 3 questions:
Do you collaborate? How did it go?
Will you do it again?
What do you think about collaborations?

BluePrintReview issue 28
beyond the synergy issue - i am not sure. apart from the issue number, of course: after #27, there's #28.

one thought i had: maybe it could be a re-visit issue. pages from the previous 27 issues. like a summer walk through words and images written in earlier summers and winters. (picking up on the seasons theme here). will see. and will send mail once this is figured out.

thanks again for making this issue happen. it's amazing to see how it turned into so much more than the sum of the pieces.

- Dorothee

3 comments: said...

What a wonderful collaborative poem! I vote for submitting it for publication somewhere. The author list would be longer than the poem:-)

marcusspeh said...

doro, this was/is a fantastic issue. thank you for your vision and all your hard work to help birth it. i will blog on this more in a few days, have already written a little bit in this otherwise hardly accessible recent post. cheers!

marcusspeh said...

plus: repost at kaffe in katmandu where a number of #27 authors are members, too.