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Zoomquilt, SF Art

The Surrealists used to play a game called Exquisite Corpse. You take a strip of paper and fold it into, say, six. Think of each of the strips between folds as a “tile.” Pass the folded strip around the table (of course you're doing this in bar, a cafe, or after dinner at one of your Surrealist dens), and each person draws part of a human figure in a tile. The group works its way down the strip, tile by tile. The constraint is that you only see your blank tile, along with a few stubs of lines that the previous artist drew to overlap the fold. And you overlap a few lines across the fold into the tile below yours, for the next artist to hook into.

Now, what with this being the 21st century, suppose that your “tiles” are digital paintings. One possibility here is to hook the tiles togtether along their edges, like patches of a quilt. There's this way-cool art group called iCE which enables digital artists to collaborate in such “quilts” over the web.

The most astonishing quilt I've seen yet is a zoom quilt. I print two frames of the zoom quilt below.


Now if you zoom into the little central region, you see this…


And that goes into a landscape and on and on through about a dozen levels, eventually wrapping back to where you started.

There are various ways to view the thing, I found the Flash version worked the smoothest, if you use the HTML view, you have to keep clicking and you progress in jumps instead of smoothly.

The zoom quilt seems to be the work of German artists — wunderbar.

I'd like to turn my circular scale novel Spacetime Donuts into a zoom quilt.

Another SF Art link today is to a show at the

gallery of the New York Academy of Sciences on 63rd St. in Manhattan. Included are some nice images by the Wayne Barlowe, a demon at inventing aliens, also the author of a couple of coffee table books.


“I'm very squid to meet you.”

2 Responses to “Zoomquilt, SF Art”

  1. KraftedKhaos Says:

    Hey there… I was wondering if you could tell me the actual style of art you would call the drawings used in zoomquilt & zoomquilt II… I’ve searched and searched, and not even Google has given me a straight answer. I don’t know much about art, but that style fascinates me, but I don’t know what to search for to find more stuff like it!

    Can you help?


  2. Rudy Says:

    KraftedKhaos, There’s a good chance that you’re a spambot, but in any case the current link for the Zoomquilt is One of my fave collaborative art projects of all time. What STYLE is it in? Surreal, fantasy, pop surreal, Escheresque, magic realism, something like that.

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