It’s sort of like an Exquisite Corpse…

It's sort of like an Exquisite Corpse...

There’s a long-term project I want to do with the Interstitial Arts Foundation, but it will require quite a bit of coordination and people power, so I’m not entirely sure how to get it started. However, I know I have about 7 million intelligent and creative friends who might be able to help out or point me in the right direction or give advice, so I decided to post my idea here.

So far the IAF has done several great projects to support interstitial fiction and writing about interstitiality. There are the anthologies, Interfictions and Interfictions 2, and the magazine Interfictions online. We’ve done two auctions where we asked visual artists and crafters to create art based on the fiction, but we’ve never done the reverse and not a lot with interstitial art outside of literature. This isn’t because the IAF is only concerned with lit, it’s more to do with who is doing most of the volunteering and driving the projects–i.e. artists whose focus is mainly writing.

This project will eventually grow to involve artists from all the different disciplines and will start with musicians. The idea is to invite musicians, singers, and songwriters to create songs, symphonies, sounds, or whatever else they’re moved to do based on interstitial fiction. Just as with the last auction, we can provide copies of stories from the Interfictions anthologies. Plus, there are now several available online for free. This time, we won’t limit it to interstitial writing published by the IAF — musicians can base their music on any piece of writing they see as interstitial. I know there’s a list of interstitial fiction around somewhere that we can dig up.

Once all the musicians involved are done and the music available to all, we can move on to the next artist group. My thinking is that we ask dancers and other movement-based artists to create a short performance or dance based on the music. Then, once those are complete, maybe visual artists create art based on the dances or textile artists create clothing for the dancers. And on and on until we hit multiple artistic disciplines and perhaps, way down the line, bring it back around to writers.

This could turn into quite a big project, thus the need for excellent project management. We’d need at least two people to coordinate who are musicians themselves and have contacts in that community. One of these people should be familiar with how rights work and help us craft the best way to present the idea to musicians. The IAF wouldn’t want exclusive rights to publish the music, but would like the ability to include the song on a compilation album of our own. Plus, we want other artists to be able to freely build upon the music for the next step in the project.

There are probably other considerations I haven’t thought of–please let me know your thoughts in the comments. Does this seem like a doable idea?

4 thoughts on “It’s sort of like an Exquisite Corpse…

  1. I don’t totally hate the idea or anything. It just would be interesting to see something start with dance and see what art, writing, music, etc. would be inspired by that. And this looks like dance-inspired-by-music-which-was-inspired-by-writing. Which has, well, Been Done A Lot, for centuries and centuries.

    The prompt was just an example of me playing around with cross-pollinating historical dance forms and music. Perfectly intelligible to my dance students. :)

    1. Now that you make me think about it, you’re right! I thought of music first because I know so many musicians, but that progression is very common. I’d be completely down with starting this project with dance. Are you interested in maybe helping organize down the line?

  2. Speaking from the dance side of things, while this is interesting it also feels very much like my art form is the third fiddle here — dance based on music based on writing. Why not shake that order up?

    Here’s a prompt: Bane (from Batman), 1840s Paris, 5/4 time. Interstitial enough?

    1. I don’t want it to feel like dance or any other art form is the third fiddle! In my vision, each time we engage a different artistic group, the project becomes all about them and they’re the focus. Art first and not just background on art first.

      Why do you feel like dance would be third fiddle just because we concentrate on other art forms first? I mean, it has to start somewhere.

      also, I’m confused about your prompt!

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