Exercise 2: Wearable

Picaso - Parade ballet costumes

WWSDD? - What Would Salvador Dali Do?1

Dadaist Hugo Ball describing his costume for a performance of his poem, Gadji beri bimba 1916:

I wore a specially designed costume. My legs were encased in cothurns made of luminous blue card-board reaching up to my hips, so that I looked like an obelisk. Above this I wore a huge cardboard collar, scarlet inside and gold outside. This was fastened at the throat in such a manner that I was able to move it like wings by raising and dropping my elbows. In addition, I wore a tall blue and white striped hat.


Choose a moment in daily life, an everyday occurrence whether in public or in private. Create a minimal script for this occurrence where 1 important element has been changed to make this action or event surreal.

Design a costume for your performer or performers to highlight both this act and this important element as well as accompanying choreography. The costumes should cover the face and preferably as much of the body as possible. The costumes should incorporate at least 1 aspect of modern technology.

Do not approach this project with "I will recreate what a Dadaist, Futurist, or Surrealist would have done 100 years ago". Take inspiration from these avant-garde movements but utilize the history, cultural understanding, & technological language of today. WWSDD?

The performance should last for 5-10 minutes and may include the use of sound (aka backing track, music, etc). No video will be used. The performance will take place in the Hypercube.

Hints: Think of motion in terms of "large" or "small". Cardboard & house paint may be useful. Stuffed pantyhose can make great shapes. Thrift & second hand stores are great sources of material.


Read the following:

And watch:


Also going on right now at the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art: Brian Bress exhibition (costumes, characters, & video).

Due dates

  1. If he was 20 years old and had access to the culture and technology of today.