The 24-Hr. Micro-Elit Project

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The 24-Hr. Micro-Elit Project experiments with microfiction, or flash fiction, a genre of literature that generally entails narratives of only 300-1000 words. Inspired by Richard Brautigan’s pithy “The Scarlatti Tilt”, a story of only 34 words published in 1971, my work involves 24 stories of 140 characters or less about life in an American city in the 21st C. delivered––or “tweeted”––on Twitter over a 24 hr. period.

The launch date was Friday, August 21, beginning 12 a.m. PST. Each hour until 11 p.m., I posted a story, and followers of my twitter site were encouraged to tweet their own. After followers tweeted their stories, I cut and pasted them to the Project Blog. An archive of all of the stories can be found there.

As a participatory work, the project was a success: Over 85 stories were submitted by 25+ participants from five countries. As a social experiment, it showed that Twitter can facilitate the making of art in a collaborative way: For a whole day we turned Twitter into a Literary Salon that brought together strangers and friends from far-flung places to share their work and love of literature, thus extending the normally perceived use of Twitter.

(Source: Author's description for ELO_AI)

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Scott Rettberg