Exquisite corpses

February 21st, 2012

When we still had that comic group called monipodio, we used to have a lot of those comic jams (or exquisite corpse comics). We produced quite an amount of collaborative comics that way.

In 2011 these “good old times” come back to my mind because of two projects I’ve been involved in. One I created myself with a friend (Andrea Beggio), it’s a musical project called 45seconds, the other one is an international underground comic book called Puck Comic Party.

Puck Comic Party

Puck, sample page

More than 170 artists from all over the world (including big names like Tony Millionaire and Bill Griffith), 3 panels each. It’s maybe the biggest comic jam published as a book. What I really liked was the mix of old school and new school comic artists, more about it on puckcomicparty.blogspot.com (mostly in Italian, which is weird for an international project like this… but hey, we’re in Italy).

45secondi

This was a completely different project. Since it was all about music and the overall approach a lot more serious. On the other hand the structure was quite similar: each musician had 45 seconds and had to work with material from the preceding part.

When we first had the idea to create a collective musical project we really liked the simplicity of the surrealist cadavre exquis, but we knew that it had been done many times already. So we decided to expand the concept by introducing several variations to the original, making it evolve in new directions.
Instead of permitting free (and hence often random) collaboration, we decided to limit the possibilities of each participant, creating not only a more interesting challenge, but also a better foundation to explore the mechanics of collective creation. We assigned some simple rules to each musician to give more structure and consistency to the final piece. The assigned rules ranged from the use of variation on a predefined theme, to the use of certain compositional devices.
The musicians involved in the project all have different backgrounds ( such as circuit bending, electroacoustic or noise music) but are united by a common inclination towards experimental approaches to sound. This was definitely intended, as part of the experiment was to see how these different styles could combine and interact with each other through the project.

The track itself is nearly ready for release (through an Italian netlabel called  sinewaves.it). Int he meantime check out this version where I mashed up the track by taking single loops and layering them into a new composition. It’s kind of distillate of the 10 minute track we produced, or, if you want, a horizontal version of the same.

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