The latest project from SFX is an audiovisual update to the surrealist ‘Exquisite Corpse’ assemblage technique.
Cairo DJ and producer ZULI and visual artist Sam Wiehl are just two of the participants of Xquisite Force, an ongoing collaborative project from SFX, the audiovisual label founded by Alessandra Leone and Zoë Mc Pherson.
The project is an audiovisual update of the ‘Exquisite Corpse’, a technique for collaborative assemblage developed by Surrealists such as André Breton in the 1920s. Originally, players would write on a sheet of paper and then conceal what they had written so that the next player could add to the work without seeing the previous player’s contribution. This developed into a method of collective assemblage, where each collaborator adds to an artistic composition in sequence, either by following a specific rule, or by being shown only the end of the previous contribution.
With Xquisite Force, a host of musicians and visual artists were asked to create sound and AV works in response to the last fragment of the previous contributors work. Each artist was also asked to pass on an idea or thought that was instrumental in their work to act as a creative trigger for the next work in the sequence.
Finnish artist Forces and French artist Ainissa V kicked off the project with ‘Xquisite Force’, a piece that is dedicated “to the possibilities of electronic sound with different live coding techniques and SuperCollider software abuse.” Drawing inspiration from the Voynich manuscript, a 15th century illustrated codex hand-written in an indecipherable manuscript, the two artists put together a brain-scrambling marriage of ear drum-shredding sound and glitched-out visuals.
It was the Voynich manuscript that Forces and Ainissa V decided to pass on to ZULI and Sam Wiehl, who took it as the jumping off point to create ‘Cipher’, an elasticated study of organic forms rendered as impossible digital objects moving in virtual space. The piece is inspired by the phenomena of psychogenic amnesia, a memory disorder characterised by episodes of retrograde memory loss, often concerning personal information of a traumatic of stressful nature.
To follow the ongoing creative assemblage of the Xquisite Force project, you can visit the SFX website.
SFX have released a selection of tracks that have resulted from the project to raise funds for the people of Beirut. XquisiteForce.collection/01 includes tracks from Aho Ssan, KMRU, Bonebrokk, Gramrcy and Katie Gately.
All proceeds from sales of the compilation will go directly to two organisations in Beirut: Haven for Artists – which focuses on supporting migrants, women and LGBTQI people – and Beit El Baraka. In the wake of the explosion on August 4 these two organisations are providing food and shelter and financial, medical and psychological assistance to those who need it most.