SITO / Synergy / Corpse

From Paper To Pixels

by Liz Stevens
from Chicago's NewCity, April 14-20, 1994
Page 26, Art Break

The Internet is spawning all sorts of once unfathomable new ways for people to communicate, artists included. The results of one such on-line interaction are hanging this month at the Kopi Cafe in Andersonville. "Synergy:Corpse" reflects the independant / collaborative creativity of 10 artists who have never met face to face. And none of whom knew prior to the April 8 opening of the exhibit, what final form their artisitic contribution would take.

"Synergy:Corpse" is the electronic equivalent of Exquisite Corpse, a turn of the century artists parlor game that was popular amongst the dadaists and surrealists; the first person produces a sketch and folds the paper over so that his work is hidden, the second person, who continues the drawing conceals her work, passes the paper on, etc. The result is a single montage made up of a usually bizarre juxtposition of styles, concerns and techniques.

Substitute the word pixels for paper in the last paragraph and you'll have some idea of what "Synergy:Corpse"'s exhibit organizer has done: take nearly 50 on line designs and randomly spliced them into 13 corpse composites. For instance, a piece comprised of Wallach's, Alf Edgar's and Dan Bornstein's creation's looks something like a two-headed monster doodle atop a classically wrought torso of siamese horses joined at the back, perched on a 3-d space age fountain base sprouting tentacles.

The exhibit is a byproduct of OTIS, an on-line gallery created by University of Nebraska student Ed Stastny. Wallach, a Chicago commercial designer and photographer who's been exhibited in galleries around the country (and currently at OPSIS in New York City) began experimenting with computer imagery a couple of years ago; he encountered the OTIS group while cruising the internet in search of other computer based artists. Wallach proposed the the corpse idea to Stastny in January, and the two wroked out the details through e-mail correspondences. The concept was presented to the OTIS artists later that month.

Wallach calls OTIS "a really revolutionary development in the area of image creation techniques." He and Stastny are already discussing a follow-up exhibit with a slightly different twist.

"Synergy:Corpse" is running through May 16 (1994) at the Kopi Cafe.

Thanks to Dan Bornstein for typing this up.
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