Exploring Barcelona
Mike Archer

What is the Project About?
This project focuses on the notion of writing as a space and spaces. Current professional and academic discussions have begun to centre on the possible broad spectrum of spaces out of which, and through which, writing products and processes arise. It would appear that the various psycho-emotional, psycho-social and psycho-spatial aspects related to how writing arrives or surfaces on the spaces in front of the writer are elements not fully understood. As well, in tandem with these internal elements the external spaces of familial contexts, social arenas, cultural forces and elements of immediacy in the physical spaces impact on the thought processes that generate writing. Thus, through the frame of space this project touches on the deeper aspects of writing.

The concept of writing cuts across much of what happens in society at large. It could be simple as writing emails through numerous aspects such as interacting on social media and the creation of important documents. Therefore this project by its very nature and focus in inherently interdisciplinary However, the notion of writing is also now a theme being explored within several other academic disciplines such as architecture, urban studies, philosophy and sociology. Writing is no longer confined to putting pen to paper or generating e-symbols on a computer screen, although these are still import aspects. Other fields are beginning to ask questions such as how is meaning inscribed onto, within and through the symbols and structures human create? However, this project is not focused just on academic considerations but also seeks to engage people who simply write for sheer enjoyment, or perhaps of necessity. The simple shopping list is now written through a myriad of modalities, and in itself contains numerous elements of meaning making that could be explored. This project will therefore appeal to multiple academic disciplines, different societal groups, to the public at large and to professionals outside of academia. Economists, theologians and anthropologists may be interested in the economies, embedded meaning and identities created within their own practice, while those who scribble love letters to their significant other may wish to unpack how they create meaning and generate authentic engagement. The creation of singular meaning on a kitchen table or interacting with a global fan-culture on line represents a plethora of opportunities for exploration.

Who Should be Interested?
The target audience for this project is anyone who is interested in writing and how writing works. By its very nature it could appeal to academics, professionals and the layperson.

What are the Issues?
The current set of issues in the area of writing relates to the current shifts, changes and discontinuities related to ownership, place and process. Writing is no longer just concerned with the physical space in which writing occurs, but other frames of reference such the ‘brain space’ spaces, cultural frames of connection and the socio-familial referents. These aspects are now beginning to discussed as actual places. For all writers and their audiences, the sense of ‘spaces of writing’ are once transparent and opaque, places of melding and lines of demarcation as well as voices representing cultural sieves and silences. With the rapid changes in technology authorial places are also rapidly becoming an issue of space. While this has probably always been the case, a few critical questions related to the writing now include:
• ‘How does this physical space and place of writing influence the way one writes? What do these psycho-spatial places look like?
• How do people simply write now days?
• How has globalization and new technologies changed the relationship between the symbolic and social practices? What do these psycho-spatial places look like?
• How do people simply write now days?
In short, we know little about how writing currently occurs or how people think about writing.

What will be the Outcomes?
While the interactive and collaborative nature of the project will develop interdisciplinary understanding, another intended outcome is realize a better understanding of the global imaginary we now find all find ourselves in. While we are called upon to write for a multitude of purposes the processes and tools of writing now available have the potential for us all to dream as we never have before. Whatever the process or medium, writing can now allow us to consider not just who we are as individuals but who we are as collective. It should be able to help and heal those in need both, as well as allow us to know how to help. Writing could now become a genuine source of wellbeing. We could through writing, find what it means to genuinely ‘taste life’.