SSNA on collective improvisation

Hi, me and @hugi got an idea of an experimental use of SSNA: to induce a semantic social network from a collective improvisational writing process.

For example: A group of 10-20 people will engage in a month-long collective writing process where each act as a character of their choosing, similar to live role playing or improvisation theatre but text-based and online. No specific background or theme is provided, but the story emerges from the collective effort of their characters.

A second group of people acts collaboratively in the role of ethnographer, continuously analysing the produced content to distinguish emerging patterns as codes. Codes in this context is not limited to specific objects, but extended to also include vaguer concepts such as vibes (“gloomy”), writing styles (“linguistically playful”), and broader general themes (“polemic”).

We think there’s plenty of reasons this project might be interesting, for example; the resulting project could be presented as an art project in some form we’re yet to come up with; it’s a sort of experimental test for the SSNA process itself by applying it to an noninstrumental conversation/community; it can be seen as a collective ritual or divination process by abstracting a collective world-making effort; it could potentially prove that SSNA is applicable to performance ethnography, and so on.

What are your thoughts?


I’m really excited about this idea, and Jacob and I have talked about that I will push a very small amount of Participio funds (1-2k EUR) towards this, just to cover potential costs. Art and SSNA is a really interesting fit for Participio. This is probably interesting to @alex_levene, @bob and @noemi.

My initial thoughts in reply to your other post on this here