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Joss Areté Kelvin is an avant-pop art bender* whose work incorporates writing, music, video, dance, and emerging technology. Their non-fiction writing has been published in Pop Culture and the Civic Imagination (2020) and online at The Manchester Review. They directed and produced Your Friends Close, a festival-premiering feature film currently streaming on Amazon; released music and video art, headlined L.A. venues, and played festivals as Areté; devised and performed immersive nightlife experiences; and served as event producer for the Transforming Hollywood conference (USC/UCLA), and other future-focused symposiums while working for pioneering media scholar Henry Jenkins, a leading world thinker on transmedia storytelling. Born and raised in N.Y.C., they graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University in Chicago and lived in Los Angeles before expatting to the UK. As a creator, they are obsessed with innovation in storytelling, form fitting function, and surrealist explorations of the subconscious. They answer to any pronoun and are likely to rebel against any box.

*magic realist multimedia artist

@findarete on twitter and instagram

More here.



This is an extract from KEYS, a postmodern surrealist fantasy novel in progress.  

Cassandra is broken into bits in body and mind. Diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, 

she awaits trial in an institution for a murder she can’t remember committing. But when she tumbles into a dreamworld labyrinth – part shock and prescription drugs, part her mind’s determination to heal – Cassandra unlocks the doors of perception. On an axis of two planes – our world and the surreal world she discovers – she must battle her demons, put her selves back together, and find wholeness. The piece is being simultaneously developed as an interactive experience utilising music and emerging technology.

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You can’t 

Breathe. Speak. Think. 

Moving too fast. Not getting anywhere. 

Lightning hits. Jolts. Spasm. Puppet body. 

You hear them say: Grand mal seizure. Any known history? 

You hear them say: The patient has not spoken since the police found them, sir. You hear those voices.


Beyond the spinning room. Beyond the tornado (you’re becoming), you hear the other voices, quiet, in the tornado’s eye—

They’re earthquaking. 

The walls are caving in.

Then there will be no walls.

Without walls, the whole body will collapse.

Why are you so sure the walls are holding them up?

What if the walls are keeping them in?

Click here for full submission.