Originally based on the parlor game Consequences, in which texts were assembled by guests without seeing (due to creative folding) what previously was written, exquisite corpse was became an important source of collaboration and creative experimentation for surrealist writers and artists such as André Breton, Joan Miró, Tristan Tzara, and Marcel Duchamp. These artists used a form of the game as a way of assembling visual and textual ideas into a form that they could not have foreseen and, therefore, had very little control over. Some of the results were astounding, others less so. Every result, however, was something new.
Sound American’s version of exquisite corpse adds a few twists in keeping with our milieu and mission. Each cycle, three composers will collaborate on a short work specifically for SA, to be published in that cycle’s journals. One artist will go first, passing on a set of information to the next who, in turn, will add, subtract, and change that information to create a new version of the piece before passing it on to the third, who will create a “final” take on the composition. The readers of Sound American will get to watch the whole process as it occurs as each version will be reproduced in subsequent issues.
We’re very pleased to have Jules Gimbrone as our second composer for this round of exquisite corpse. Their work, An Attention Equation, brings Ka Baird’s original concept back from the outdoors and into an intimate and inner space.
• Jules Gimbrone: Wrest (Pack Projects, 2012)