Monday, January 18, 2010

Surreal blogspam?

So there are spam blogs, you know, the ones you used to find on Google when you typed in a subject and the blog that came up in the search results was just gibberish and repeated keywords. Google and other search engines now have programs to largely eliminate these. Sure, they were funny, but they tried to re-direct you to e-marketing sites or installed malware on your computer. (Not funny)
Then there is blog spam. This has been a recent development on my blog. I was deleting the posts as they came in for approval (yes, I do approvals for posts, largely due to just this sort of issue...) but now I have another thought. What if these auto-generated posts were some sort of robot art? (I don't actually believe this, I just like the theoretical possibility)
So I decided to approve the comments for the Marcel Duchamp and invented pseudo algebra post. Check it out.
So these posts kept making me think of the exquisite corpse poem I found online a few years ago. Oddly enough, the exquisite corpse poems online have anti-spam protection now. I find this perplexing as it seem counter-productive in a sense. How can you decide that some contributions are spam and some are not in a surrealist creativity exercise? I am approving all comments for the Duchamp post based on this rationale:

Exquisite corpse (also known as "exquisite cadaver" or "rotating corpse") is a method by which a collection of words or images is collectively assembled, the result being known as the exquisite corpse or cadavre exquis in French. Each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence, either by following a rule (e.g. "The adjective noun adverb verb the adjective noun") or by being allowed to see the end of what the previous person contributed.

The technique was invented by Surrealists and is similar to an old parlour game called Consequences in which players write in turn on a sheet of paper, fold it to conceal part of the writing, and then pass it to the next player for a further contribution. Surrealism principal founder André Breton reported that it started in fun, but became playful and eventually enriching. Breton said the diversion started about 1925, but Pierre Reverdy wrote that it started much earlier, at least before 1918.

André Breton writes that the game developed at the residence of friends in an old house at 54 rue du Chateau (no longer existing). In the beginning were Yves Tanguy, Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Prévert, Benjamin Peret, Pierre Reverdy, and André Breton. Other participants probably included Max Morise, Joan Miró, Man Ray, Simone Collinet, Tristan Tzara, Georges Hugnet, René Char, Paul Éluard, and Nusch Éluard.
Henry Miller often partook of the game to pass time in French cafés during the 1930s.

Thank you Wikipedia (it's own exquisite corpse, of a sort) for the justification.


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