Micro-Project #5: The Exquisite Glitch

By: Randall Packer |

Exquisite corpse drawing by Man Ray, Yves Tanguy, Joan Miro, Max Morise; 1928

Exquisite corpse, also known as exquisite cadaver (from the original French term cadavre exquis) or rotating corpse, is a method by which a collection of words or images is collectively assembled. Each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence, either by following a rule: “The adjective noun adverbverb the adjective noun“, as in “The green duck sweetly sang the dreadful dirge”) or by being allowed to see only the end of what the previous person contributed. As preparation for this micro-project, we undergo a game-playing exercise, in which we will take a sheet paper, each of us will write one word of the sentence, fold the sheet, and pass it around until the sentence is complete. The surrealists used this technique to produce dream images and ideas: how does the collective form of creation contribute to a work of art that is situated outside the individual’s rational mind?

For this in-class micro-project, we will break up into groups and construct an image-based exquisite corpse using various glitch techniques. Each group will begin with an image, and then one by one, students will operate on the image as a process of deconstruction and glitch, until the final results are an aggregation or composite of everyone’s work.

Please follow this procedure:

  • We will form 4 groups
  • Each member of each group will choose a starting image from the Collective Body project, be sure it is an image of yourself, but any body part you like
  • Be sure everyone is logged into Dropbox and has installed the Dropbox application so you can use Dropbox in your Finder.
  • Place all the starting the images into the appropriate group folders in Dropbox.
  • Before processing the image, make a duplicate and number the new one so it is: image_1, image_2, image_3, image_4, etc.
  • Each member of the group will then perform an image processing technique on the duplicate image that decomposes the image as glitch
  • Each member of each group will choose a unique method of processing using Photoshop filters or any image editor.
  • It is important to use effects to their maximum in order to bring about an extreme alteration and decomposition of the image.
  • Images can be collaged, blended, rotated, flipped, etc. by each member of the group.
  • Any member of the group can decide to make the canvas size larger in order to extend the collage
  • After the image is passed around the whole group, the member who started the original image, will upload each version of the image, and write about the transformations, describing the effects of the collective process on image creation (and deconstruction), using the technique of the exquisite corpse.
  • Use “micro-project” as the Category
  • Also, post the final, extreme version of each image to the Flickr Group Page.
  • We will then compare and discuss the composition and decomposition of the images of each group.

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