exquisite games

Project Overview: Formal language (written text, oral speech, etc…) and visual imagery are both used in our world to communicate. At the same time, however, language and images do something different. It is not that one is ‘better’ than the other, but rather these different modes of communication produce different responses. In addition, both modes of communication are defined by what they are not able to communicate, that is, what remains in excess to the communication itself. It is this excess — the incommunicable, the ineffable, the incognizable — that might provoke thinking spurred by the unthought, that is, what is yet to be thought. In this Surrealist inspired project, participants work to ‘translate’ this excess by responding to a series of found text and images. Participants begin by randomly choosing several pre-collected found words and phrases (i.e. I cut out a selection of nouns, verbs, and phrases from art magazines) and then create a short sentence, poem, phrase using those words (note: it does not need to make ‘sense’ in the typical way we thing of the word; experiment!) The words are pasted to a long sheet of paper, which is then passed along to another participant to add to. Step two involves participants looking at the words they have just been given and then finding images (from magazines, found images, etc…) that they feel responds to the original text. Once the new images are added, the paper is passed once again, and this time participants respond by writing a short sentence, poem, or phrase based on the image they see. Pass it again, and participants can now draw images in response. This process can continue through several stages of drawing, writing, collaging, etc… until the paper is ‘full’. The aim of this ‘translation’ is to provoke questions around interpretation, the connection between text and image, and what we include and exclude in our own meaning-making processes.