Launched in 2015 to facilitate a new kind of interdisciplinary collaboration, each 7×7 invites one visual artist and one writer to engage in a two-week creative conversation. The format, inspired by Surrealist games of the early 20th century, challenges participants to improvise, in their respective disciplines, a spontaneous story that pushes into ever-wilder imaginative terrain. Every finished 7×7 is singular, unclassifiable, and wholly original.
Francophone readers should also check out our sister-site C.E.L.A., established in 2019, for 7×7-style collaborations in the French language.
Follow us across social media platforms for announcements of future collaborations, updates, and more.
7×7 is to be played via email over a period of at least 14 days by two people, one writer and one visual artist. Any outward discussion for the purpose of clarification of themes, images, or ideas that arise during the play is strictly prohibited; players can only “clarify” the exchange in real time play, by advancing the collaboration with words or an image. The visual artist is limited to one image per turn. A turn of written work should not be longer than a single double-spaced page or 300 words. It is suggested that turns are created in one sitting and that they take no more than 2 hours to complete.
To begin, the participants determine amongst themselves who will initiate the exchange: the artist creates a picture, or the writer begins with the first lines of a composition. The initiator (participant 1) emails their creation to their partner (participant 2). This marks the first turn. Upon receipt of the first turn, participant 2 waits until the following day to respond. Their response should seek to acknowledge, interpret, and elaborate on the previous turn in accordance with their creative discipline. In the improvisational spirit of “yes, and…”, each turn should attempt to advance the collaboration forward on its own idiosyncratic terms. When finished, participant 2 emails their response to participant 1. This marks the second turn. Then participant 1 waits until the following day to respond… In this way, participants alternate the respondent role each day, emailing each subsequent turn to their collaborator. The game is completed when the writer and the visual artist have completed a combined total of 14 works, seven pieces of text interleaved with seven artworks.
Join our mailing list for the latest from 7x7.
We are not currently accepting submissions at this time.