What Is This?
WHAT is this?
The Bait/Switch Project is an initiative dedicated to inspiring, connecting, and supporting creative people across disciplines. We strive to make the world a more beautiful place and believe in creating lasting community through art.
The goal of Bait/Switch is to create an enormous body of work that spans time, space, and sensory experience. Our platform allows multiple artists to contribute to the same corpus, an ever-expanding chain of creative call and response.
Bait/Switch is inspired by art party games which are usually played by passing folded up pieces of paper around a table. These activities can be traced back to Victorian evening parlour games such as ‘Consequences’ and ‘Head, Body, and Legs’.
Instructions for 'Head, Body, and Legs' from The Boy's Modern Playmate (1891)
In the 1920’s, the Surrealists reinvented these little titillations as a battery of methods for automatic writing and image making, including the famous Exquisite Corpse. These techniques were embraced as a kind of bridge to the collective unconscious. Automating certain elements of the creative process was seen as a way to tap directly into the subconscious without the rational mind getting in the way.
The Surrealists believed that creative genius could be a shared experience, a theory which seems especially interesting now, when cultural phenomena such as social media seem to connect people in a way that ironically feels extremely impersonal. In an essay about Exquisite Corpse published in 1948, Pierre Schneider wrote that “some artists went so far as to expect a miraculous flora to bloom on it.”
Flora aside, we do expect something miraculous to occur. We believe in the power of art as a device for interdisciplinary communication and champion the excitement of synaesthetic experience. We also believe in the beauty of receiving a ‘prompt’ as a creative jump-start, especially for those of us who are no longer in school. Through this initiative, we see ourselves as explorers, and cannot wait to see what we discover.