Endless Exquisite Pattern

I made up this game to combine two of my favorites: Exquisite Corpse and Endless Landscape.

You may know of Exquisite Corpse as the game made popular by the surrealists—or you may have played it as a child, as I did, without knowing anything of its past. The name comes from this bit of poetry, “the exquisite corpse will drink the new wine” a phrase generated from the game. Also called Consequences, this collaborative parlour game uses a simple folded sheet of paper passed around the group to create a story, a line of poetry, or a fantastical drawing. The surrealists also made collages using this technique. Each player adds a bit, folds the paper over to hide it, and passes it to the next player, who adds a bit, folds it, and so on. Results are silly and sometimes profound.

I discovered Endless Landscape when I purchased a pack of 24 cards by the same name for my kids. In this game, cards are placed side-by-side in any order, always resulting in a seamless landscape. This novelty has been called the Myriorama, or “Many Thousand Views,” said to originate in France, with an English version showing up in 1824.

Exquisite Endless Pattern: To infinity and beyond!

In my version, a simple template allows you to create interlocking squares that can continue ad infinitum. A pattern that also is not a pattern, unique pieces always form a cohesive composition, yet they can be endlessly reconfigured, rotated, or removed. Add as many pieces as you like, creating an emergent, ever-shifting design.

Playing with the interface between structure and content, this game seems to me to reflect the idea that, although we all connect to each other through the ways we are the same, we enrich the community by sharing our uniqueness.

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The printable pdf template includes some rendered designs and some blanks, with instructions and tips. Do it with friends, do it with family, do it with yourself! Use paint, marker, collage, or whatever! Enlarge it to cover a wall or keep a set in your bag to use while you’re waiting for…your plane…your food…your enlightenment….

Show Us Your Designs

We’d love to see what you come up with! Share your images to Instagram and be sure to tag them: #mythosSphere