A couple months back, I was packaging up the collage materials sent to me by Monster Rally for the Color Sky video (below) when I realized how amazing the pile of unorganized cutouts looked. I sat staring at them for a moment, then quickly gathered up a handful, randomly placed them face down on the scanner and covered them with a sheet of recycled paper. I repeated the process three times with three different groupings, creating the collages above. I’m not sure why/how I haven’t explored this technique before, Dada artists have been using chance as a process since the 1910s. Hans Arp would tear up paper, drop the pieces onto larger sheets and glue them where ever they may have landed. What Arp didn’t have, however, was a scanner at his disposal. To my knowledge, he never repeated, documented or compared the results of his chance experiments, which is where I think things get interesting, being able to see how identical fragments can create vastly different wholes.
Yes, these are simply unorganized collages, but they mimic life as accurately as I know. We’re all given a number of elements to work with and we can make of them what we choose. Some of the same pieces emerge time and time again and similar story lines may unfold. No two are ever alike and all are fascinating.
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Think or Smile | Nathaniel Whitcomb © 2011