Ego Weekend – a surrealist game
created 24 November 2008 link added 11 December 2008
This is one of several games created by Rrose for her Salon Surrealist. Please see Palimpsest Stories.
A variation of Identity Cascade, this is conceived of as purely conceptual art, consisting of a plan with cookbook-style instructions. It will be up to the audience to construct their own identity cascade.
- One or two packets each of large sticky notes in two different colours.
- Several large sheets of paper.
- Bluetak or other means of posting paper onto walls.
- Three walls with plenty of space.
- Markers of any desired type.
- Alarm clock or other timing device such as a watch timer.
- Digital camera.
- Microphone or MP3 recorder optional.
- Choose one colour to represent “What I do”. Write as many different verbs and verb phrases describing things you do onto the notes as possible. Stick the notes randomly on one wall.
- Choose another colour to represent “What I am”. Write as many different nouns and noun phrases describing what you are on the notes as possible. Stick the notes randomly on another wall.
- Write the words “Who I am” on a large sheet of paper. At the top, jot down which colour has more notes. Leave room for further writing.
- Close your eyes and pick one note from the “am” wall and one from the “do” wall randomly.
- Stick these notes next to each other on a large piece of paper, and write some words to connect them into sentences.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 at regular intervals (say, once per hour) throughout the weekend until most of the notes are used up. Use the alarm clock, watch timer etc as needed to ensure that you are reminded to carry out the exercise on time. Precise timing is crucial so that normal routine is disrupted arbitrarily and in order to separate the engagement with each identity.
- During this process, jot down on the sheet of paper entitled “Who I am” any thoughts you have about your identity and the process.
- At the end of the allotted period, stick all of the sheets of paper onto a third wall and read them out loud. Record and make a podcast if desired.
- Photograph the various stages of this process and post the result to a web page.
Party game variation
Invite your friends to play the Ego Weekend Game at a party. The activity can be compressed into an evening’s entertainment. Have all participants put their sticky notes on the same wall, mixed together. Participants will then choose randomly from the mix at regular intervals.
Afterwards, if desired, see if party-goers can match digital photographs of the people with their constructed identities.