The Surrealists used to play this game called “exquisite corpse.” Breton, Duchamp, Miro, and other members of the movement would socialize and sip absinthe in some sufficiently avant-garde Parisian parlor while passing sheets of paper back and forth. An artist would begin at the top of the page, draw whatever came to mind, fold the paper down to conceal his work, and pass the dutchie to the left hand side so the next player could contribute. A fun activity with some entertaining results.

With an open tab at a bar in New York City, Dan Meth recently played a similar game. This one involved a thick stack of 5X7 note cards, a sharpie, a backlit animator’s tray, 5 hours, and a lot of alcohol.  Although this was a solo experiment, Dan’s declining motor skills make it seem like there might have been others involved.  They also produced some entertaining results, which were showcased in an installment of the aberrant animator’s online series, Meth Minute 39.

Dan apparently had such a good time drawing under the influence that he thought others should partake. On January 23rd, he and Frederator organized Drinking and Drawing – an event with over 140 contributors, 1,300 of those 5X7 note cards and of course, more alcohol.

###The whole thing took place in a corner of M1-5 in NYC, and was partially MCed by an intern in a gorilla costume. There were 14 rounds of 10 people each. Each person had 16 cards and 10 minutes to make their contribution to the exquisite animated corpse. You were to start drawing off of the last card from your predecessor, and leave your last card as a starting point for the next person in line.

Mine sucked, but there were some well-known animators in attendance whose didn’t. When you put all of us together, I’d say the overall quality is well above average sprinkled with a few moments of brilliance.

But it’s really less about the end result than it is about getting together with friends, associates, and randoms to have a good time. Like the original exquisite corpses, the actual end-product is a focus point for posterity, an artifact of the actual experience. I’m looking forward to the next one.

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