Absinthe and exquisite corpses are inextricably linked. When surrealists sipped anise-flavored alcohol in avant-garde Parisian parlors, the Green Fairy inspired Ernst, Breton, Éluard, and other like-mind-altered artists to collaborate on idle drawings. One would find a loose leaf of paper, doodle for a few, fold the paper on itself to conceal the soon-to-be masterpiece, and pass the work-in-progress along so the next man could continue with their collective creation. The final product was dubbed an “exquisite corpse,” which are inherently cool, sometimes beautiful, and always intriguing.
After undergoing some very bad PR for the better part of the last century, absinthe recently began trickling back into popular consumption. So too has the exquisite corpse. The collaborative capabilities of the internet make it the perfect medium for content creators to riff off one another’s work. Artists with disparate styles living far apart from each other can all contribute distinct chapters to a single, cohesive story.
Dan Meth and Next New Networks’ Drinking and Drawing show what kind of exquisite corpse a handful of notecards, a box full of sharpies, and a room full of inebriates can create. Little Minx’s exquisite corpse highlights the talents of Ridley Scott’s production company. And now Berlin-based Christen Bach is tapping animators from around the globe to give the exquisite corpse a treatment in flash.
Titled Animation Tag Attack, Bech runs his exquisite corpse like this: “Each participant gets four weeks to produce at least five seconds of flim. When the time is up, the clip gets uploaded to the blog and the next one in line takes over. It is up to each individual creator to pick the style and media they want to work in – and to decide how they think the story should evolve…There are no rights or wrongs – just creativity. Good luck to us all…”
At six installments deep and only one more to go, Animation Tag Attack is a nervous, trippy tale with heavy references to the green liquid that will forever be the exquisite corpse’s muse. Pour yourself a sugary glass of absinthe, check out Bech’s site, and enjoy the show.