posted by Ian Summers on February 8th, 2007

Exquisite Corpse

The original Surrealist idea combined preoccupation with chance, fragments, collage, with forms which emerge out of chaos, with serious play. Participants contributed to a poem or painting without knowing what their collaborators had done. The first player would write a word or draw a picture on a piece of paper folded over to hide what had been done, then hand the paper over to the next player. One of the earliest games resulted in the sentence, “Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau. (The exquisite corpse will drink the new wine.)”

Surrealists like Breton, Tanguy, Miro, Man Ray, Duchamp, Dali and others produced exquisite corpse drawings too — one artist did the head, the next the torso, and the next the legs and feet. A 1994 revival at New York’s Drawing Center in Soho invited 1,200 artists to produce 600 drawings.

In what ways can you turn the concept of Exquisite Corpse into your own creative project? We created a similar project in several of my teleconferences. It was a kind of exploration of the graphic novel. A photographer contributed an image as the opening page of a story and passed the image to another in the group. The next photographer took the story in his or her direction based upon the stimuli provided by the first photographer. This continued until all contributed and the story reached a conclusion.

posted by Ian Summers on February 1st, 2007

Believe it or not, Clark Kent asked Lois Lane out on a date in the debut issue of Superman in Action Comics #1 (1938) Lois accepted, but was far from enthusiastic. Was she holding out for a hero?

Clark Kent definitely did not turn out to be the hero Lois was holding out for. He not only didn’t stand up for his date, he expected her to dance with a man she didn’t want to dance with. Lois is forced to take matters into her own hands literally by slapping the aggressive suitor as Clark cowers. The bully attacked Clark instead of Lois. And that coward, Clark let him.

Lois Lane

Though Lois had every right to be angry, readers sympathized with Clark since they were “in on the joke”. Lois would have to wait another 50 years. Lois summed up Clark’s lack of appeal nicely. However, this has been an eccentricity of the comics from the beginning. Clark seemed to desperately want Lois to love him and yet he presented himself as not only a lie, but a singularly unattractive lie as well. Admittedly Lois Lane was no real prize in the beginning either. The difference, of course, is that Lois was not pretending to be anyone else and expecting to be loved for that “secret identity”.

Who did not stick up for you in your life? Was there a time when you might have defended someone and did not? Or have you ever assumed a secret identity? Have you ever participated in a chat room with a different name?


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March 1944
How to Date a Superhero

(please CLICK HERE to read the rest of this post…)

posted by Ian Summers on January 20th, 2007

This idea was stimulated by reading an article by David Mamet. The cry of olley olley in-free brought hide and seekers out of hiding and ended the game unless the IT had his or her fingers crossed in which case IT could renege on any promise they made and chase you back home.

Some bully could start punching you in the biceps unless you were crafty enough to shout finzies at which time you would lock pinkies and the pummeling would cease. If you expected someone was lying, you could ask them to cross their heart and hope to die. That is until you discovered lying did not kill. And if someone called you names, you could protect yourself by saying the magical words, “I’m rubber. You are glue. Everything you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.” And we believed it just for that moment in time.

What were the chants used when you were growing up? In what ways can you connote the feelings of magical protection through ritual?