LA Flood Project

“Use the # & Tweet yr escape”: LA Flood as Mobile Dystopic Fiction by Kathi Inman Berens &Davin Heckman
Each of LA Flood’s 64 “lexia” (or “bits of story”) is pinned to exact geospatial locations around L.A.-metro. As a Katrina-grade flood ravages the city, each lexis tells the story of a character in that location or of the location itself. Each simulates the three stages of flooding: water rising, water at its height, water receding. The story is perpetually available via desktop and mobile. Most of the time, the large, distributed story lies dormant. It springs to life during a six-day Twitterfiction installation that anyone can participate in. LA Flood creative director Mark C. Marino and writing partner Rob Wittig call this “improvised” Internet fiction “NetProv.” Two Netprov installations, one May 2011 for the L.A. Festival of Books and another October 2011 for a U.S.C. “Visions and Voices” event, generated over 70,000 tweets. Click to read the 543-page archive of the Netprov.
Based on the model of a War of the Worlds-style hoax, the story solicits participation from people tweeting both as their real selves and as invented characters. Often who’s “real” and who’s “fictional” is hard to discern. Mark Marino:
The LA Flood Project actually led to some real life confusion. When fictional character Manny Velasco (@ascovelasco) mentioned the rain falling in the morning, one of his followers expressed dismay as she was driving up from San Diego where there was not a cloud in the sky. When Robert Rex Waller, Jr. (@iseehawksinla) claimed the parking lots were flooded, the USC Parking Twitter account denied this claim.
Rather than a top-down storytelling experience such as Twilight: Los Angeles, in which Anna Deavere Smith organizes the many voices she says she copied “verbatim” into a story structure she designed, LA Flood is openly participatory. LAinundación made a story on the understanding that its readers will also be its writers, a practice akin to the historically dynamic relationships between readers and writers in the science fiction community. In LA Flood, such interactivity is augmented by its publication via social and mobile media forms. In fact, the collective refuses traditional notions of authorship by choosing to identify as an inundación (“flood” in Spanish), which is an accretion of volume that overwhelms a space. FEMA defines “flood” as “a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties,” reinforcing the formal conception of the work and its authoring as an event that is defined by its capacity to overwhelm boundaries and create common conditions. In another point of contact with Butler’s Parable and its exploration of shared pain and pleasure, LAinundación’s invitation to authorship allows readers to explore, momentarily, the boundaries between the “properties” associated with race, class, and ethnic identifications.


Despre Claudiu Degeratu
Expert in securitate nationala, internationala, NATO, UE, aparare si studii strategice

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