At various times, artists have come together in different locations to collaborate and develop new concepts and ideas about art based on the influence of the newest technology. An internet based creative community has developed around the OTIS on-line gallery, a world wide community based on the exchange of images, ideas, and collaborative artworks taking place in the proximity offered by computers and modems, instead of cafes, restaurants and studios. The images on these pages are the result of the third planned collaboration by the artists of OTIS on-line gallery, SYNERGY:CORPSE, a trans-global exquisite corpse project.
The exquisite corpse is a drawing/parlor game, embraced by the dada and surrealist artists of the early part of this century, where a figure is drawn by folding a piece of paper several times and each participant draws a section, while the other parts are hidden from the artist. There are a couple of examples hanging in the Art Institute of Chicago in one of its modern art galleries, just past the gallery with Monetbs Haystacks and the self portrait by Van Gogh. A couple of four and five parters, done with pencil and watercolor, probably composed over laudanum spiked wine at a Parisian cafe. The collaborators were Yves Tanguy, Robert Desnos, Man Ray, Hans Arp, and others. This drawing game is a physical manifestation of the concept of convergence: the idea that beauty resided in the irrational convergence of disparate objects, " the chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella" a quote from Lautreamontbs Chants de Maldorer, a book embraced by these artists. They saw this game, as well as others of the same sort, as a way to defeat personal control over images- words- art, and tap into the unconscious, to relinquish control of their actions to randomness, to allow the unplannable to occur. This is what SYNERGY:CORPSE is all about, an unknowing, blind, unconscious collaboration as a group, a group that could never have come together except at this point in time, over the internet. The electronic frontier functions as a cafe- artists garrote- studio and brings together artists in a fashion that also occurred in the great artistic movements of the past, Florence of the 1500bs, Paris of the twenties, or New York of the fifties. Undoubtedly, the net is one place where the technological effects of the computer on art will shake out.
The OTIS, Operative Term Is Stimulate, on-line gallery is the creation of Ed Stastny, a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. It began as a repository of digital images created by artists to show their work from a variety of sources, both com-puter and hand generated, and now has images from dozens of artists encompassing a vast range of image creation techniques. The OTIS gallery is a little over a year old and artists from all over the world have been involved in different projects. The previous planned collaborations were called crosswire and arcana.
Crosswire involved downloading an image, manipulating it, and then reposting it to the gallery. When an image and been manipulated three time it was declared "done". Arcana is a project involving development of a new computer generated tarot deck. In the last several months a different sort of unplanned collaboration has begun to take place. Usually on weekends after midnight, the artists meet on an internet relay chat channel #OTIS and exchange images in PANIC sessions. These are free wheeling interchanges involving interaction, and collaboration, as the artists explore 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional image manipulation in a real time immediate exchange over the internet. These sessions rarely end before sunrise and result in hundreds of new images, evolving in a spontaneous wildly creative fashion. All of the products of these collaborations are available for viewing and downloading at the OTIS on line Gallery.
The results of SYNERGY:CORPSE will on display at an exhibit at: Kopi cafe 5317 N.Clark Chicago Il 312-769-6531 opening April 8, 1994