Few experiences are more valuable to a writer or artist than seeing their creations indulged and re-imagined by a contemporary. Since 2007, Barken has collaborated with Irish artist, Diana Muller, in Ireland to illustrate his novel and short stories collection. Their work together and constant dialogue about creating collaborative multimedia also set the stage for developing the online literary magazine, Monologging.org
Founded in 2011, Barken’s “local-global collaborative magazine” and press provides up-and-coming writers and artists with a platform to experiment and collaborate. Uniquely, the premise for Monologging.org derives from his novel, All the Lonely Boys in New York. The speaking game, “Big Echo,” later called, “Monologue,” helps the veteran soldiers portrayed in the book employ free speech and to overcome PTSD-related inhibitions. For aspiring authors, Barken knows this is also an excellent writing prompt. By evoking “Monologue” and other interactive models for intensive, two-way, creative communication, this unique publication seeks to build an international community of writers and artists and to provide a social context for their work.
“Traditional books have only one entry point, websites, on the other hand, present countless portals,” Barken reflects in an author’s note. He believes that collaboration enlarges the scope of creative works, and views Monologging.org as a borderless realm for artistic projects. “From links scattered across the web, readers are transported into the heart of a story when they visit,” Barken writes. In addition to great fiction and poetry features, the publication provides weekly arts-related reporting…
In June of 2015, Barken released his novel, All the Lonely Boys in New York, the first major imprint produced by the monologging.org community & press. To celebrate the occasion, the author rented pop-up gallery space in Chinatown and invited Oakland-based artist, Dara Lorenzo, to present a series of Photo-prints. Dara’s paintings are inspired by scenes from his novel and include select illustrations by Diana Muller. This 3-way collaborative gallery was a major achievement for the Monologging community, setting a high bar for the quality of collaborative multimedia and interactive local-global arts experiences that the publication seeks to provide for a growing audience.
Barken often writes short blog posts about his ongoing collaborations with different artists. His series, “Empire State Days,” recounts the growth of an online community and real life interactions with the writers and artists he has recruited to participate in the monologging salon. Likewise, the author’s annual Letter from the Editor engages the devoted Monologging following, detailing collaborative accomplishments and setting goals for each year the publication is active.
One of the original pieces published on Monologging.org, this collaborative work established the method behind Barken and Diana Muller’s collaborations. Marked with interactive links to dialogue inserts, the author and artist take turns reflecting on the process of creating a story and two oil paintings by installment. First published in 2011, this stand alone short, introduces readers to Myles Fletcher, the narrator of Barken’s novel, telling of three hungry travelers who go fishing one night on the pier in Galway, Ireland. Their plans are disturbed by a mysterious drunk with a murky past…