Apply to Babel Between Us, an experiment in co-created fiction


Image by Sune Skote, Fornvårdar, 1950

We (@jakobskote, @OlaClaesson, @filipnystrom, @Alja, @JenMcG and I) are looking for eighteen people to join Babel Between Us, a large scale online co-created writing process. The project utilizes digital ethnography to explore a range of questions:

  • What happens when a group of people from different backgrounds and interests meet anonymously through a fiction they create together?
  • What worlds manifest on the borders between their ideas, and what stories appear among them?
  • Can ethnography be used as a tool to mediate and enhance this kind of creative collaboration?
  • What is the language for communicating the thinking of a collective intelligence?

The project will take multiple forms; the co-created digital text itself, a cartographic visualization of the fictional universe and its conceptual world, as well as a research paper.

We aim to compose as diverse a team as possible. As a guideline we are looking for people with a strong interest in collaboration, who are comfortable with expressing their ideas through writing, who have an interesting creative output, who are comfortable with the “yes, and” principle and, most importantly, people who love experiments. Writers, poets, playwrights, actors, artists, philosophers, journalists, LARPers, etc. You do not need to be a published author to apply, we accept all applications.

Selected applicants are expected to produce roughly 2000 words per week during each iteration. There are three iterations, each six weeks long with a month break after each one. In total the project will last for up to 6 months. The work is paid and each writer receives a flat project fee.

If this sounds like you, please apply before the deadline, January 20th.

Babel Between Us is a project by a rag-tag team of artists, Edgeryders, Blivande and funded by Kulturbryggan.

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After only 48 hours online, this is our geographical spread of applications:

Help us fill that map!

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Way to go!

Hi guys! I’ve been excited about BBU since the first time I heard about it. Congrats on this amazing research.

I’m not sure if this is the best channel, but I have a question about the application. I’ve been working on it for a few days and something is bugging me now. I had to reset my browser for an update and, when it got back, the second writing prompt in the application (the one from another applicant) had changed.

I had only put a few characters down for my own contribution in that question (so as to have a sneak peak into the following question), and now I’m not sure about which prompt I should respond to (given the warning “don’t change it once you have chosen one to work with”).

Would it be okay if I continued the process with the contribution I’m currently seeing?

Thank you!

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Thank you very much! Happy you found it.

Yeah, sorry about that! That was a flaw in the design.

Absolutely. The contribution that is selected once you submit the form is the one we will note as the one you responded to. Just as a precaution, copy it to a document in the case that something goes wrong and save it until you hear back from us about the application.

Again, thank you for applying, and we look forward to reading your contribution!

Oh, and one more thing! Since you already have an account at Edgeryders, you will run into an error if you use the same email adress. If your email supports adding a +something to your adress, then do that, and otherwise you’ll need to use another email account for your babel account.

It’s not ideal, but I didn’t have time to iron out the edge cases before we went live.

Thank you for the thoughtful reply, @hugi! Really appreciate it!

Alright, so I’ll continue my application less worried that something could go wrong! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Alright! I’ll use the + trick!

Thanks again!

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