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“I wanted a story that actually lives, and actually dies, and disappears.”
In 2003, artist and author Shelley Jackson started the Skin Project: a story printed, word by word, as tattoos on volunteers.
See photos of some of the tattoos at the bottom of this post.
This episode pairs with the previous one, Trammels, about adding obstacles to the creative process.
The Melancholy of Anatomy, Shelley’s short story collection that was the original home for the Skin story.
The history of the invention of the electric tattoo needle.
Radiotopian pal Nate DiMeo of The Memory Palace recommends the tattoo artists’ reality TV competition Ink Master.
The Szpilman Award was for ephemeral artworks.
Books bound in human skin = anthropodermic bibliopegy (shudder).
The transcript of this episode is at theallusionist.org/transcripts/skin-story.
If you don’t mind, could you take a few minutes to answer a few questions about this show, and your podcast-listening habits more generally, in the annual Allusionist audience survey at surveynerds.com/allusionist? Your information will NOT be sold to Spyingonyourinnerlifecorp, but WILL help us make the show more to your liking.
*This discount should work in non-US Casper stores as well.
YOUR RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
This episode was produced by me and Martin Austwick, who also composes all the music for the show. You can hear his songs under the name Pale Bird.