Bookmarks by James Voce
This project is always evolving and has its roots in film. Back in 2001 Ben Langley* and I wanted to see if we could string a series of film titles together, without random connecting words, to form a coherent story. We did.
But it was a struggle. It ended up forming the voice over to an animated short story about an elderly projectionist. He's been stuck in a dark room watching films for far too long. So his words form a continuos narrative string of film titles; ones that he's watched and projected over the years. We never got to make the animation, but if you fancy giving it a go, let me know. It might even make a nice stage play. Who knows.
The Bookmarks project is a collection of 500 opening sentences from novels. This number continues to grow. Each sentence built into your story leads onto the next sentence without any connecting words. All lines are taken from Capter 1. No prologues allowed. Some are great; others not so. But it is the juxtaposing of the sentences that generates unique stories. The viewer decides how many they wish to build into their story.
The Bookmarks Project is an attempt to challenge the importance of context, a cornerstone of semoitic theory, by removing sentences from their original context and thus creating new narratives without context.
Sometimes they work; others times they don't. I have been careful to only include sentences that will make sense when juxtaposed with other random sentences. For example, I have deliberately left out sentences that include characters names, and locations that are too specific.
Enter a number in the box at the top of the page to generate your story. If you hover your mouse over a sentence it will reveal the author and title of the novel. This may not work for touch screen devices. I'm working on that one.
*I often wonder where Ben is. I think this will be my next project. Consider it a stalker project: Where is Ben Langley?
How well do you know the back of your hand? Would you recognise it from 100, 1000, or even one million others? Take part in our online installation and find out HERE.