Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Countdown to Hallowe'en 12: Clive Barker's Crowdsourced Horror Novel

Lord Shani by Raja Ravi Varma; for Shani's karmic influence, see here. Image Source: Wiki.

What better way to welcome Hallowe'en than with one of the masters of British horror, Clive Barker? Over at deviantArt, Barker is crowdsourcing a new novel, headed under the project title, Odyssey II. He writes the opening, They're Mad, They Are (here), and in eight weekly multimedia competitions of which Barker and dA officials are judges, the members of deviantArt present the rest of the story. The first submission date was October 19.

Read Write Web reports:
Andy Warhol once said "being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art." Case in point: deviantART, often described as the Pandora of the art world.

The 12-year-old site is a social-media pioneer. A platform for art discovery and ecommerce, it's also one of a handful of social networks born at the start of the dot-com era that are still alive, kicking and making money.

The site boasts 250 million images and 22 million registered members in 3,000 genre communities. And it made a reported $10 million in revenue in 2010. ... But its newest project could push deviantART to a new level of prominence. The site is teaming up with New York Times bestseller Clive Barker to release a crowdsourced book.

It's called the Odyssey project, the second crowdsourced book from the site. The creator of the Hellraiser movie franchise is writing the prologue and, along with deviantART staff, will select subsequent chapters from community submissions.

The final product will be published online and in print. ...

Deviant's founder and chief executive Angelo Sotira founded the site in his early 20s in Los Angeles during a time when few investors wanted anything to do with something that looked like a risky entertainment venture.

Years later, they're singing a different tune, and Sotira is a seasoned veteran in online business. He's doing something he loves, and it's apparent when his eyes light up as he walks me through varied galleries that show how deep deep of a vertical that deviantART is, and yet how nuanced the subject matter is.

There're so many galleries that you can get lost for hours. The very engaged community adds 200,000 images a day, forcing deviantArt to keep multiple data centers around the country to keep up with traffic.

The organization has a profit-sharing arrangement with artists. Sales are primarily lithographs and image prints; deviantArt does fulfillment, framing and shipping, and takes 70% of each purchase.

DeviantART's only real competition is Art.Sy, but that site is geared toward fine art, while deviant is for the masses, Sotira says. He says his site is for the 99%, reflecting the diversity of people's interests, everything from galleries on black and white photography to cute animals to anime characters to noir pin-ups. Images are ranked via shares and crowdsourcing.
I've long been a fan of Barker's work, ever since the first Hellraiser movie (1987: "What's your pleasure, Mr. Cotton?") and ever since I read the Books of Blood as an undergraduate in an unsetttled waterfront university town. I never forgot the starting sentence to the series: "The dead have highways."

See all my posts on Horror themes.

See all my posts on Ghosts.

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