The Bloomsday celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses this year is going to be a very special one. The novel marks its ninetieth year in book form and its first year of freedom from copyright restrictions throughout the European Union. What better moment for Ulysses readers, lovers, and scholars to marshal their imaginative and creative powers for a collective global exhibition of what Ulysses means to us!
In 2011 we added a day-long reading of Ulysses on Twitter to the Bloomsday celebrations, a rendering of the novel in extreme short form by dozens of Joyceans from around the world. New media such as Twitter give us a new way to build a global Bloomsday celebration and community. This year we plan to open the floodgates of all media – social, new, and traditional – to see how the world liberates Ulysses using the connectivity and creativity provided by all these tools now in our hands.
Here is the plan, if you want to participate. You possess a very personal appreciation of Joyce’s Ulysses. You also possess a unique aggregation of creative and expressive styles. LiberateUlysses encourages you to bring those two parts of yourself together to produce your own personal interpretation of Ulysses and share it with others. The world will certainly be a richer place as a result.
Revisit a chapter, a scene, a theme, or a line from Ulysses and render the impression it made on you in the medium or art form of your choice. Illuminate what you saw, what you felt, so that others can experience what you did as Joyce took you deep into the heart of his Hibernian metropolis. This LiberateUlysses blog will chronicle the creative experience of your work in progress and bring the results together in an online exhibition on Bloomsday, 16 June 2012.
The choice of expressive media is entirely open. Be experimental. Starting with the Bloomsday staple of dramatic readings, your options expand into sound recordings … street art … environmental art … sculpture … song cycles … a single song … Livestream … Ustream … YouTube … book arts … billboards … broadsides … film … photographs … Flickr … visionary art … video … Vimeo … written word … spoken word … woodcuts … webcasts … podcasts … webpages … illuminated pages … printmaking … painting … poetry … postcards … comics … murals … music … mosaics … calligraphy … tragicomedy routines … dance … and mashups of any of the above. Again we encourage you to be experimental (a la Ulysses).
If your creation is fixed in space and time, you will need to devise a way to share it with others online. Make a video, a photo gallery, or a rambling blog post or podcast that describes (or better yet, shows) the how and why of what you’ve created. Needless to say, please work within the confines of the legal limitations (or lack thereof) where you live.
LiberateUlysses will serve as the virtual gallery for your creations and a general resource for other liberating Bloomsday activities around the world. We will be taking the collective outpourings of LiberateUlysses to Dublin in June for a presentation at the 23rd International James Joyce Symposium.
To submit your project for consideration, email your name, contact information, and a one-page description of your project to firstname.lastname@example.org by 27 February. The deadline for completed works is 4 June (exceptions made for projects designed to take place on Bloomsday).
To encourage discussion of LiberateUlysses ideas and facilitate collaborations, join us on Facebook and follow @2lysses on Twitter (#LiberateUlysses).
We have more LiberateUlysses ideas brewing that we will be announcing in the coming months. For example, we are working with the James Joyce Centre in Dublin to create new ways to bring the Bloomsday celebration to the world.
– Steve Cole, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
P.S. We are planning a second Twitter rendition of Ulysses for Bloomsday 2012, but are changing the rules of engagement so that many more can join in. We’ll shorten the event from 24 hours to 18 – one hour for each episode of the novel – and enlist the magic of hashtags. More details to come.