(a hashtag in search of stories)
a multimodal multithreaded abstract quiescent scroll
#yekshab is an ongoing, participatory, cumulative, part-public, part-performative literary work. #yekshab stands for a type of openness. It stands for expansions. It stands for fluidity and multivectorial participation. A regeneration of our relationship with the world. And in the process, it reinvents and fashions newness in a range of literary realms. A literary work. A literary epic, maybe. Participatory. Cumulative. An epic scroll. (Or… (Or: is it all just a hallucination… All just poetic delirium… The fragile articulation of the attempt at constructing a tale… Maybe only this… A printed page. Ghosted digital hashtags… Empty and unpopulated… Only this. Only: this. And nothing else, really. And nothing else… #yekshab.)) A distributed abstract scroll. A fun, crazy, necessary—necessary!—multimodal multithreaded, possible, quiescent, abstract scroll. #yekshab.
A thousand tellers.
One night. That Night.
Tell me. Tell us.
One night. Story of. Story in.
One night. One thousand tellers. And I!
How you must tell, in order to survive. How you must mold the material of the world into stories, in order to survive.
(I thought about not doing it, I really did, but: it’s too good. Too right. Really. Must be done. Just, must. The reversal and the intertext. The grand reversal. And this radical and extreme brevity: #yekshab.)
One Thousand and One Nights: the classic compendium performs the central tenant of storytelling through its framing device: Shahryâr, the Persian king who marries virgins only to execute them the next morning, spares the life of Shahrzâd, the last of his wife-storytellers, because she is clever enough, astute enough, to not end the story she starts—and because… he wants to hear the rest! And from there, every night the same. The king does not go through with the execution because each night, upon finishing the previous tale, Shahrzâd starts another tale that she stops as dawn is about to break… The execution of the morning is postponed, for the king—the nasty, violent, king—wants to hear the end of the tale… And on and on for a thousand and one nights… The essence of story-telling: the necessity of turning the material of the world into stories, and the necessity of telling stories in order to survive.
#yekshab points to the same fundamental need to mold the material of the world into stories, while radically overturning key elements of a classic intertext: instead of one person telling a story to another for a figurative (and imagined) thousand nights, there would be a thousand (figurative) tellers, telling a story to untold thousands in one (figurative) night. Story of one night. Story in one night. Told by thousands. All accumulating, all fusing. In one space and in… ethereal space. All becoming one. All: becoming our tale. #yekshab.
The hashtag: a sign that points to the crucial cumulative and participatory dimension of the endeavor—and not a literal hashtag. A symbolic one that performs the multidirectional and (dis)connected assembly of fragments. We will create Textsheets. Encantations. Shoutouts. Roundrugs. Zoomtells. Wordclouds. Wordblock Sculptures and Assemblies. Stories Around an Actual Fire. Soundstrings. Confabs and Projective Performations… And sure: various hashtags to generate a distributed digital thread—multiple hashtags in different venues, given how fluid and nimble one must be on the web and on social media platforms. So, go… Just tell. Post. Participate. A night. That night. However you want. Whatever length. Whatever genre. Whatever scale. Whichever language. Tone. Words even. Maybe Just words. Not sentences. Just words. String along words. String along images. String along impressions. Sensations. Words for that night… Of: that night… A long walk. That strange encounter. The sudden fleeing. The shots. The passing of cars, the flickering of lights. The descent of fog into the alleys. Secret getaways. Passages in strange towns or wanderings in familiar towns. The old man at the curb. The dog, the leaves. The lamps, the sky. The doubts. The dreams. The thoughts. The howls.