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’.

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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.