On the 11th of June, 2009,
Jonathan and Edo gave a workshop at BALTAN

BALTAN Labatories in Eindhoven (NL) invited us to give a workshop for a group of 16 creative professionals.
The day consisted of a short presentation of our work and manifesto, and four drawing sessions: Two Conditional Drawing sessions in the morning, two Custom Rules sessions in the afternoon.

More info on the baltanlabatories.org announcement post and evaluation post (incl. list of participants).

More pictures on BALTANs flickr set.

Conditional Drawing sessions

In the morning we played two sessions of Conditional Drawing.

In the workshop the participants, in small groups, create collaborative drawings based on simple instructions.

The tight limitations of these instructions stimulate absurd associating, expression of half-finished ideas, discovery of personal affections and aversions and new fantasy worlds.

This workshop is based on Jonathans drawing game.

Conditional Drawing instructions:

  • Four players sit around the table with a large paper sheet on top.
  • Each turn every participant first receives a unique card with 3 instructions: adding an element, modifying an element, creating a relationship between elements. These instructions were randomly selected from the list of instructions to the right.
  • Then, the participants get 3 minutes to execute those instructions by drawing on the paper.
  • The turn ends by them explain to each other what they've drawn.

1st card-instruction:

- add a personal fascination
- add a problem
- add a technological element
- add a artificial element
- add a human element
- add a natural element
- add a futuristic element
- add a cultural element

2nd card-instruction:

- mutate
- evolve
- develop
- extend
- improve
- add detail
- simplify
- constrain
- attack
- defend
- distribute

3rd card-instruction:

- make a combination
- create a border
- create a relationship
- create a dependency
- make a comparison
- show a consequence
- show an alternative or solution
- change the scale

Custom Rules (v.2) sessions

In the afternoon we played two sessions of Custom Rules, version 2 (version 1 we had played before, at a regular Conditional Tuesday). The workshop Custom Rules is based on executing simple rules which results in complex patterns.

During the workshop we made custom rules for each other: very formal instructions how to draw lines. We made these rules using templates, printed on cards, from which we could create our own custom rules.
For example: "Your green line must cross the last drawn red line in the middle."
The participants have to collaborate intensively to figure out how to behave harmoniously within the limitations and to prevent themselves from getting 'locked in' by the rules.

Initial Setup

  • Play with four participants.
  • Each participant has their own color pen: red, green, blue or black.
  • Each participant starts with 2 custom-rule-cards: 1x card type 1, 1x card type 2.
  • The participants take turns.

Tasks Performed Every Turn by Each Participant

Draw a straight line

  • Only draw the line when it doesn't conflict with any of the received custom rules.
  • The lines may not cross other lines, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
  • Try to draw the line so that it works well with the other lines, within the given constraints.

Fill in a custom-rule-card and give it to the next participant (Only in the first two turns)

  • Combine parts of sentences together, by underlining them, to create a custom rule.
  • Try to make a meaningful rule that goes well together with the other custom rules.