About Jay Thomson

Jay is an artist, designer, blogger and entrepreneur living in Philadelphia, PA.

Archive Dive: Exquisite Corpse, circa 1996

1996 Exquisite Corpse

Exquisite Corpse

circa Spring, 1996

Exquisite Corpse is a drawing game invented by the Dadaists, in which a piece of paper is folded into thirds. Each artist is tasked to draw one third of a figure without looking at what the others have drawn. It’s one of my favorite things to do in small groups or at parties.

This is one I participated in (I did the bottom third), while I was in The Netherlands in the first half of 1996. The other two artists were: Erika Atwood (American, top third), and Richard van der Berg (Dutch/New Zealander, middle third).

I have no idea what the context of this drawing was, but the three of us were thick as thieves for those few months together. There was always drinking and eating and drawing and painting (and much more than I can write about here) going on around us. Erika and I shared a studio, and Richard and I shared a flat together.

Archive Dive: Form Letters & Checkboxes

Lavaguy card #4 (back) Back in the late eighties and early nineties, I experimented with a form of art that I never defined: it was part performance, part social activism, and very under-the-radar. The format was simple: I emulated government forms, with all their blanks and checkboxes for choices that didn’t seem relevant to me. This was way before Facebook, eHarmony, or any other online social network or dating site/app. They were meant to be funny, with tongue firmly planted in cheek. I must say, most people didn’t get the joke. Once in a while someone would take it seriously (as art) and think it was something kindof ground-breaking… but mostly I just got blank stares from people.

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30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 24

De-Clutter Challenge: Day 24

Day 24

More stuff I don’t need from the filing cabinet.

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30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 23

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 23

Day 23

More from the filing cabinet.
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30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 22

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 22

Day 22

Another archive dive. Stuff that was in my collage materials morgue, but never made it into any collage.

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30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 21

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 21 30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 21

Day 21: Time for a Pep Talk

Three weeks in, and well over 200 distinct items disposed of! If you’re following along with your own challenge, it’s time to congratulate ourselves. In the final nine days of the challenge, we will abandon as many items as we have in the previous three weeks, so it’s time to knuckle down and get serious. If you’ve been struggling to keep up, this may be the hardest part of the challenge for you. Even if you’ve skipped some days (or stopped altogether), there’s no shame in picking it up again. When you’re a hoarder, getting rid of anything can be hard, so don’t give up! You’ve made it this far, and we only have nine days to go.

Everything except that Fossil tin came from the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet, which functions as archive + morgue of collage ephemera. This is a difficult drawer for me to go through… everything in it has some personal significance, although some of it is only because I’ve held onto it for so long.
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30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 20

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 20

Day 20

More (nearly) useless stuff from the depths of my filing cabinet. I wonder what on earth tricked my brain into thinking I should keep that empty, torn-in-half envelope with no markings on it?

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30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 19

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 19

Day 19

Another day, another drawer. I know all these documents from the filing cabinet are pretty boring to look at, but it feels awesome to finally get rid of all this paper!

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30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 18

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 18 Day 18

More stuff from the filing cabinet. Sorry it’s not very exciting to look at, but it sure feels good to gain all that extra space in the filing cabinet! Continue reading

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 17

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 17

Day 17

Okay, okay… I fell off the wagon a bit. Actually, I just had a grueling work schedule for the past 8 days, and I’m going to do my best to catch up now.

Today, I’ve decided to tackle my filing cabinet. When I moved two years ago, I got rid of three or four metal filing cabinets with four drawers each. Most of them were stuffed with everything but files: art supplies, tools, brushes, etc. Now I just have one filing cabinet full of papers and files. My goal is to clean it out, so that I can move my “archive” of letters and photographs there. (And by “archive” I mean the cardboard boxes sitting on the floor in my office area.) Unfortunately, files and papers aren’t very photogenic for the blog post. Continue reading