Ecriture Infinie: Capturing and Celebrating the Art of Handwriting

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One new idea for every day in 2011. We're talking big, small, local, international, in action, and on the drawing board. Here's today's -- what's yours?

Bili Bidjocka is not ready (or willing) to accept the notion that handwriting is a thing of the past.

The international artist created eight giant books and set them free (along with large writing desks, lamps, and pens) in public places throughout the world on a mission to collect and celebrate the 3500 year-old invention of handwriting.

"What we know for sure is that we live on the verge of momentous change in the way people record their own thoughts," he writes. "And that the feeling of holding a pen firmly in your hand, smell the paper, smudge your fingers with ink or graphite, turn a page, still is -- for many of us -- a beautiful feeling."

Bidjocka writes that the focus of his project, which he calls "Ecriture Infinie" (or "Infinite Writing"), is the gesture. The giant books are set up for public participation, and with time, they are filled with words, then sealed, wrapped, and hidden in a secret place.

He writes that the result will be eight, author-less time capsules that he hopes will be found in thousands of years and left up to interpretation.

In addition to the eight books, the Ecriture Infinie website is open to public participation; you can track the travel of the eighth book, watch live video of people writing in the book, and experiment with hybrid analog-digital writing while sharing the way, and why, you write by hand.

For more information about the experiment, check out the Ecriture Infinie website and join the conversation on Twitter (#ishandwritingstillalive).

Bili Bidjocka interview from Ecriture Infinie on Vimeo.

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