Short Story Being Published in Tattoo Form, One Word per Person



Shelley Jackson is publishing her short story "Skin" in a unique format -- tattooed on human skin. For several years, she's been recruiting volunteers to get one word each of the 2,095-word short story tattooed on their bodies. Each word is written in a classic book font in black text.

It's a transcendent activity for the author and the participants, as Jackson expresses in an interesting stipulation presented at the end of the volunteer agreement:

From this time on, participants will be known as "words". They are not understood as carriers or agents of the words they bear, but as their embodiments. As a result, injuries to the printed text, such as dermabrasion, laser surgery, tattoo cover work or the loss of body parts, will not be considered to alter the work. Only the death of words effaces them from the text. As words die the story will change; when the last word dies the story will also have died. The author will make every effort to attend the funerals of her words.


Link via Geekosystem | Image: YouTube user zzpiercedgirlxx

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I'm one of the "the"s. Got it in new courior font on my collar bone.

One of my friends asked me what if it turned out that this was an elaborate prank to get 2000 people to tattoo the word "the" on them? I would've found it pretty funny.
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I am a word! #1033.

Even the "the"s out there don't regret it, from what I'm witnessed. This project gives you a chance to sacrifice a small and specific portion of yourself in order to be a working part of something so much larger. Very interesting piece and a lovely message.
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The project began in 2003.

From the FAQ page:
"Do you still need volunteers?

Yes and no. I am still accepting applications, but I do have plenty of volunteers already--over ten thousand requests for the relatively few words remaining.

I'm interested. Am I too late?

No, I'm accepting applicants in no particular order, so you could write me today and get in. Of course, the odds are pretty slim, given how many applicants I have."

Also note that the last update was 4/20/2010.
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