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The Story Told in Tattoos and on YouTube

In 2003, writer Shelley Jackson asked 2,000 volunteers to get a single word tattooed on their bodies. Together, they formed the story "Skin," but its full text was never published. The pieces of it wandered the earth, occasionally finding each other (two got married) and undoubtedly drunkenly telling new stories about their participation at bars. One died.

This year, she asked the participants (who she calls "words") to upload a short video of themselves reading their words aloud. Then, she cut the 200 words who did so into a new story, which has now launched at Berkeley and online. It's embedded above.

Here's what Jackson told the Los Angeles Times' Carolyn Kellogg about the project:

Skin is ceaselessly remixing itself as its words wander around the world, and in a sense my original story is only one of countless stories that it tells. The video I've put together is one way of gesturing toward that, but it would also be interesting to open up a space for other people to assemble their own stories out of the same material.
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