Wednesday, February 11, 2009

COLOSSUS! The cut-ups game

COLOSSUS! is an improv card game inspired by Surrealist games, the "cut-up" method, Fluxus scores, and various other avant-garde artistic practices. A collage of words, images, and performance, both the text and visual elements are culled from found print media. My intent was to use collage to create a rapport between the aesthetics of the card and their function in the game. Card designs were inspired by the work of Berlin Dadaists Raoul Haussmann and Hannah Hoch.

There are four different card designs. Each set has fifteen cards:

1) "Human Cards" : Sentence Subjects

2) "Machine Cards" : Verbs

3) "Animal Cards" : Prepositional Phrases

4) "Mannequin Cards" : Verbal or Physical Handicaps 

How do you play?
  • Each of 3 players is dealt a stack of 3 verbs, 3 subjects, and 3 prepositions.
  • Going around in a circle, one player selects a subject, the next a verb, and the next a prepositional phrase, placing them face down in the middle.
  • The player designated "actor" for the round turns over the cards and arranges them into a sentence that he or she will act out. 
  • The actor also draws a "handicap" card, which he or she must abide by while performing the action.
  • There are no winners or losers-- but hilarity will likely ensue!
An example score for action:       
"Julius Caesar dropped dead aboard the spacelab." 
        Handicap: Your feet are stuck together.

A Variation on COLOSSUS!... 
Give each guest at a gathering (a dinner party or other small party would be ideal) a set of the four types of cards as he or she arrives. At some point over the evening, each person spontaneously performs his or her action. 

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