“The World’s Longest Collaborative Sentence” by Douglas Davis is a project he began in 1994 at the art gallery at Lehman College, where he invited people to contribute in the forms of words, photographs, video, graphics, WWW links, and sound via the Internet, the World Wide Web, email, regular mail, and personal visit.

The huge difference between broadcast TV and the Web is the keyboard. With that people can say anything; they have full expressive capacity. This means a more intense and personal link could occur between me and the audience.

The quote is rather applicable then and even more so now, what with almost everybody having a part of themselves on the net now. With a simple device like the keyboard, it can generate so many diverse, unscripted and unexpected outcomes. This is quite evident in this work where you can easily see how different individuals type a sentence differently. They could write about basically anything and everything they wanted. It was total freedom where there was going to be nobody who could stop them physically. It was also interesting to see how some people interacted with each other even though they are all strangers to each other but they talked as if they weren’t.

Our relationships and interactions are increasingly mediated through social media, leading to hyper-energetic participation in networks here referred to as super-participation. In the intensity of social networking, collaboration, tagging, sharing, and viral distribution, we become an open system of media redirection, flows of activity in and out of the collective, third space.

With it being in the web means its easily accessible to others from other parts of the world. This further amplifies the work where anyone could read and add in their own words anytime anywhere. I think it is this element that brings closer to the topic of super participation. Everyone in one way or another are all connected, thanks to the advancement in the internet as well as how everyone is so readily to share and take content from there as well.

Overall, this work reflects the world we live in now where everybody is constantly adding in their own comments or opinions onto a posts by someone else or themselves. The cycle is endless and if people are interested enough in the topic, the post can go viral with the endless commenting, sharing and tagging.

References:

http://rhizome.org/editorial/2013/jun/12/restoring-douglas-davis-collaborative-sentence/

http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/Artport/DouglasDavis

http://artport.whitney.org/collection/davis/Sentence/sentence1.html