Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rock Thoughts

As a novelist, I often think of storytelling as a solo effort. I hole up in MY office in front of MY computer and try to pull a good story out of MY brain. On the side, I try to keep up with the interaction of social media. Maybe I love this idea launched by former corporate lawyer Karla Valenti purely because it is the very opposite of what I do each day: public art, collaborative storytelling, for children. Here’s an excerpt from Latina Lista:

Photo taken from Rock Thoughts Blog
“The concept is simple enough: Find a palm-size rock; paint it to look like a monster; take a picture of the finished rock and send it to Rock Thoughts, who will send you a special code to write on your rock; create a story around your new ‘monster rock’ and submit it to Rock Thoughts; and finally, release the rock into the wild—or your nearest public space where someone will find it and start the process all over.”

"I wanted to create a virtual space that allowed participants to connect with people from all over the world, from different cultures and different lifestyles, exposing each other to unique perspectives as well as providing opportunities for people to collaborate in generating something new," Valenti said. "The collaboration comes in many ways: by creating a story for a rock that was painted by another and then hiding the rock for someone else to continue the narrative; by adopting rocks that have been previously painted and submitting a story for those rocks; by crowdsourcing a story for a featured rock; and by providing feedback to each other's stories.”

Fascinating. Will it catch on? I’ll be watching, and if I find a monster rock lurking around my comings and goings, I’ll see what stories it has to tell me. Would you participate in public art like this? Have you ever participated in any kind of effort to create collaborative art?


Anonymous said...

I love this. I'm going away on vacation to a relaxing get away spot that has a nearby craft cottage. Maybe I'll have to snag a few rocks to paint while I'm there, and have my children do the same.
Do you think you'll start one?


Erin Healy said...

Probably not, due to my kids' ages. But maybe by the time my youngest is old enough to get it, the idea will have caught on.

K said...

Erin - thank you so much for your post on Rock Thoughts, I just saw it now! I really appreciate your support and am thrilled to get the feedback.

On a separate note - Rock Thoughts is not just for kids, it is for adults as well. In fact, the bulk of our stories and rocks have come from grown-up storytellers (we never truly outgrow playing, do we?). Conversely, even my littlest one has had fun with this (she started at 3).

We have been active since April and the idea has far outgrown where I expected we'd be at this point. We've been featured on a number of sites (including Springwise and Idea Mensch) and have continued growing both domestically and abroad.

The voice of support that we receive from fans such as yourself, is what has helped us get to where we are and it is most truly appreciated. Thank you again!

Erin Healy said...

You're welcome! It's such a fun idea. I can see the kind of excitement it has the potential to create as it catches on, so I'm glad to hear you say that it's exceeding your expectations. I hope it continues to do so.