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Rita J King and I got talking on Twitter a while ago. She’s one of those scary people who can seemingly do anything: writer and journalist, futurist, Senior Fellow at two think-tanks, an Innovator In Residence at IBM, artist, public speaker and I give up. She’s currently exploring what she calls “hybrid realities,” which very broadly speaking could encompass storytelling, the digital world and the public event. I asked her to write to you about whatever thing interested her today, and this is what she wrote:

Artists, writers and cartographers who can imagine the magnificence of the Seven Seas should check out the guidelines for participating in the story of the Levitating Mermaid.

The story is that the Levitating Mermaid is in possession of a massive trove of secret letters, with the Imaginary Sailor, Balthazar, in hot pursuit across the Seven Seas, described here by the 9th century AD author Ya’qubi:

“Whoever wants to go to China must cross seven seas, each one with its own color and wind and fish and breeze, completely unlike the sea that lies beside it.”

* Sea of Fars ends at a strait where pearls are fished.
* Larwi is massive, filled with islands that have kings. It can only be sailed by starlight and contains many wonders that are beyond description.
* Harkand has an island filled with precious stones and rubies.
* Kalah is shallow and filled with huge serpents that ride the wind and smash ships.
* Salahit is large and filled with wonders.
* Kardanj is very rainy.
* The Sea of Sanji, the final crossing, is the sea of China.

The site contains handwritten letters written to and from the Levitating Mermaid and the Imaginary Sailor, as well as glimpses of the trove of secret letters in her possession. Balthazar’s passion is letter writing (the results are sometimes, but not always, NSFW, like his site), which is how I met him when I requested a letter.

The story has just begun, so now is the time to become a character in this electrifying global art caper.

Follow artist, adventurer and entrepreneur Rita J. King on Twitter (@ritajking).

Published in guest informant

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