Work-in-progress preview due Mon Mar 30 (11:59PM). Full result due Mon April 6 by 11:59PM.

For this assignment, we will resume collaborative work, now with a new focus on the visual results of our moving textile explorations. Each pair will create a single video composition as a sequence of clips created separately. The result will be a type of ‘exquisite corpse‘, a traditional technique for collectively creating a composition by following rules to create each segment without full information about the work of the collaborators. We were particularly inspired for this by the ‘Exquisite Corps‘ video we showed in class, or this other ‘Exquisite Corps‘ dance video.

Process and Approach

The pair will agree in advance on the number and order of clips to put in a video sequence, along with the kinetic properties and locations of the cloth in the first and last frame of each clip. Each person will then individually use kinetic textile elements to create clips that match the conditions at the boundaries but follow their own movements and forms over the duration. These will then be spliced together into a single sequence and presented as a single video.

We can see a number of ways this abstracted description could be resolved. The result might be narrative or non-narrative. Here are a few ideas for what sort of ‘kinetic properties’ you might try to match at the boundary between each segment:

  • An overall static shape within the video frame. This could as simple as ‘line across the horizontal center’ or complex like a full body pose.
  • A path of movement into or out of the video frame, with an edge position and a direction. E.g. a structure of any size or shape moving diagonally to the upper right corner and then entering from the lower left corner of the next frame.
  • A particular solid color filling the frame. E.g. a lateral movement of fabric across the frame which ends filling the frame, followed by different fabric filling the frame and moving off.
  • A particular material state and visual form. E.g., ‘fabric billowing up in a fan at the moment it covers the lower half of the frame.’
  • A particular zoom center, e.g. zooming into a point and then the next clip zooming out from the same point. (This can easily be overused.) For some ideas, you can search ‘zoom transitions’ on YouTube, there are many examples and tutorials.

For materials and form we encourage you to continue exploring any of the textile and cardboard techniques we have discussed so far. Each person will need to make individual choices according to their interests and resources. There is no need for the different clips of the sequence to use similar materials as long as they can follow the chosen linking principles. This could also be a good time to rework previous ideas or projects if you have them available.


  • Collaborate remotely on a video production
  • Identify and articulate abstracted kinetic principles as rules which can be applied to two or more textile artifacts
  • Create ad hoc kinetic structures using materials at hand
  • Discover unfamiliar movements and perspectives
  • Explore the interaction of light and fabric
  • Practice composing video as moving image


After the first week, we’d like to see a short progress blog post from each pair with the following:

  1. A single video showing a rough cut sequence of two clips which join at a boundary. This will make sure the production pathway works and help us see your textile approach as a work in progress.
  2. A brief statement of your plan for the number of clips and rules at the boundaries. This could either be words or diagrams.

For the due date, each pair should please create a single short post on the course site with the following:

  1. One edited video comprising the sequence of individually composed clips. The video should be embedded for direct viewing.
  2. A brief paragraph outlining your explorations: intended effect, surprises, discoveries, successes.


The spirit of the course remains focused on discovery and creative exploration. So please keep in mind the same principles we have emphasized in every assignment:

  1. Stay open and go with your discoveries.
  2. Experimentation and creative exploration is more important than refinement.
  3. Make clear documentation compelling images. We are now treating the ‘documentation’ as a primary creative element in the form of narrative or non-narrative cinematic production.


The following comments are carried over from the previous assignment to provide inspiration for how we might approach this assignment.

For a textile, you might choose a garment, on or off the body; this is a versatile solution. But you might also choose something located in the space like a rug or curtain; something useful like a towel or sponge; something discarded like dryer lint; or fabric stock (if you have it).

For a movement, please experiment with your textile. Fabrics drape, fold, stretch, crease, pleat, billow in the air. Textiles absorb and release water, tear, fray, abrade, burn (please be careful). The idea is to find something unfamiliar.

For a structure, you might use cardboard as a ‘soft’ element, or use it as an armature inside a garment or sewn artifact. You can also take advantage of the nature of video to suspend artifacts using string, either as marionettes or as structural supports.

For a location, look around your space carefully from many positions and angles. It may help to look through a camera view to see the effect of the framing; cropping the world to the rectangle of the image can be transformative. Please look high, look low, look inside, look outside. Maybe there is a surprising intersection of angles where parts of the architecture come together; maybe there is an interplay of light and shadow near a window.

Please experiment with the chosen textile movement in the selected space. The camera needs light to see, so as you practice, see how the light intersects the fabric. You may need to move light sources or the camera to shape the illumination. Light from the front will highlight different motions than backlighting. A diffuse light will create very different shadows than a sharp direct light.

As you set up each shot, please consider the full image: what is in each corner, what is foreground or background, what is in focus or defocused, is everything visible deliberately included? A video is a sequence of photographs, and each can be considered as a composition. Ideally you would find a way to brace your camera, or at least use camera motion as a deliberate gesture.

As a composition over time, please consider the nature of your movement: is it an abstraction? Does it convey mood? Is there a distinct narrative? Is it timeless, or is there a beginning and end?

Please see our new Video Resources page for more ideas and tutorials on how to create compelling videos.


Our expectations remain very open. But there is much to be discovered here. Here is a sampling of some potential inquiries:

  • How does a house fan move a blouse?
  • How do waves ripple across a towel?
  • Can wetting fabric reveal hidden layers?
  • Does wearing clothing in an unusual way modify body movement?
  • Can you fold together towels to unwind in a sequence of colors?
  • How does everything in your wardrobe fall through the air?
  • Can you form a sling or trampoline from a towel?