AB: You have said that you provide the "frame" for the interactive work on the web, which is then shared and further developed by you and thousands, possibly millions, of "users". To what extent is the artist a necessary factor in this regard, i.e. for establishing a conceptual and formal frame for interactive creation, reflection, and perhaps even "enlightenment"?
DD: The artist is crucial. He is like the kid on the playground who says let's play --- baseball, football, basketball. And let's play by the winter rules. Often even the best friends of the "World's First Collaborative Sentence" say I simply put it up an interactive tablet and left its final form in the hands of the world. God if this were only true. The sentence needs constant monitoring and attention, spiritual as well as practical: it is one of the joys and drains of my life.
This year I decided along with friends and colleagues that the sentence must be printed out in book form in 2000 order to get the "reading" it deserves. This winter, in company with the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Lehman College Art Gallery, Printed Matter in SoHo, and museums abroad, we will "publish" the world's first collaborative book in an illuminated edition (that is annotated, as the monks glossed the bible: I will call attention to the remarkable, easily ignored passages and flight of graphic fancy). At this moment it appears pretty certain the illuminated sentence will be offered by either Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com, too, along with instructions as to how to print out your own simpletext version. The books I will annotate will be formally varied but lively reading and looking. We also expect to invite linguists like George Lakoff and Jaqcues Derrida to have their say about its linguistic character (is it a "sentence" after all?). We may also try to set up a marathon global reading of the sentence, which is absolutely necessary, since so many languages are involved. The Sentence can only be read aloud everywhere at once.