Lena Séraphin: A Site Specific Writing Dialogue in Public Space

This proposal takes writing to public space where we are influenced by commercial and informative signage. The aim is to do writing based on bodily perception and to let writing bridge the sensorial, corporeal and cerebral. Elasticity is regarded as a feature that is launched when doing this writing experiment titled “A Site Specific Writing Dialogue in Public Space”. Elastic writing is seen as a quality that reaches beyond solitary writing and resists corporate language that dominates public space – it strives to embrace difference. In this experiment live-writing is further seen as a performative act as the participants writing in public space are observed by passers-by. Please note that due to the current situation participating can also happen indoors by a window. For the writing parts participants are randomly placed in break out rooms in pairs.
We begin with two warm-up scores. Firstly; write 3 minutes without adjectives and secondly write 3 minutes about things/people/beings/animals/phenomena in motion. The two persons alternate doing their 3-minute writing in turns by speaking. The warm-ups take 12 minutes. In the next part writing happens in a spoken dialogue format so that the two persons are engaging in a dialogue of observations for 15 minutes.
The session continues with all participants in a discussion based on the experience of writing parallel to a solitary sphere. A topic is speech and dialogue as writing and if they could be seen as a form of self-publishing. Further topics are the spatial issues and if writing/s can affirm spatial interconnectivity and/or inter-subjectivity.
Writing happens in a language that each writer chooses, including self-made ones, and one is free to shift between different languages, too. The session pays respect to a shared multilingual space, emphasising the tonal and acoustic qualities of spoken language as much as the meaning-sense of words.


Lena Séraphin is an artist and researcher based in Vaasa/Helsinki. Her research interest is site specific writing/reading/listening and publishing as an aesthetic research practice. Site specificity is performed in a public space when a group of writers make notes based on bodily perceptions. The writers interact in a collective score using constraints challenging writing to bridge the cerebral + corporeal. She is co-founder of the SAR Special Interest Group on Language-based Artistic Research.