How a Corpse is Born

Materials Required

The General Idea

An Exquisite Corpse is constructed by exactly four (4) players. Each player fills an equal portion of the Corpse canvas. Players are cued only by a small slice of the previous player’s work. The goal is to create a unified work of art encompassing the sensibilities and styles of four distinct individuals. Unconscious echoes of imagery, tone and subtext will occur of their own volition.

The Specific Process

Step 1: Register as a Player:

Use this form to add yourself to the roll of mighty Corpsers. But don't do so before you finish reading this page and you know what's going on.

Step 2: Await your Corpse :

Once you are registered you will be eligible for participation in a corpse, and at the moment, it’s likely that that will be soon.

fig. 1 The first section of a Corpse. (50% scale)

Step 3: The Corpse is Commenced :

The player who is to begin the Corpse is chosen. This player (hereafter known as "Player 1") is notified by email that he or she is now to begin construction of the Corpse. Thus, Player 1 will construct an image 450 pixels wide and 200 pixels tall which will be the first section of the Corpse (fig. 1). Important Note 1: It is crucial to the process that the beginning section not be a complete image in itself. Leave trailers and dangly bits at the bottom which will cue the next player's contribution. Important Note 2: There are no limitations as to how you create your Corpse section. Scan a drawing. Use photography, clip art, whatever. So long as it ends up as a 450px X 200px JPG, no imagery is proscribed or prescribed.

Step 4: The Section is Submitted :

You will then send your section back to The Mortician. This submission being satisfactorily executed, the Corpse assembly process will resume. For complete instructions on submitting your section for a corpse read this article >>

fig. 2 Player 2 recieves a slice from Player 1's section.

Step 5: The Corpse is Passed Along :

Once the submission is received of correct dimensions and format, the bottom 15 pixels of the section (see fig. 2) will be sent to the next player, whom we will call "Player 2."

fig. 3 Player 2 creates a second section based on the slice he or she received.

Step 6: The Corpse is Continued:

Player 2, prompted by the slice he or she has received, now has to fill another 450px X 200px section (see fig. 3). Player 2 may either construct this section so it abuts with the slice received, or the slice can be incorporated and modified in his or her section. Player 2 should bear in mind, however, that the slice should not be modified to the point that it no longer connects with the section it came from. Regardless of the method employed, Player 2's section will still be 200 pixels high. Any other size will not be accepted by the CMS.

Step 7: And So Forth:

Steps 4 through 6 are repeated for Players 3 and 4 until all four sections are completed. When the last section comes in, the pieces will be assembled into the final, complete Corpse and put in the queue for posting. In due time, the Corpse will be posted for all to see (here's how the example turned out) at which point there will be discussion and rejoicing. Good job, team.


As mentioned before, no imagery is proscribed or prescribed, and creativity is greatly encouraged and appreciated. However, operating, at least somewhat, within the limits of the slice you're given is part of the fun of the game.

For the sake of the Corpse's unity and flow it is important that each player work from the slice received and not make their contribution a complete non-sequitur. (Look at this corpse and see if you can tell who might not have been really trying.)

On a related note, there is much talk among digital exquisite corpse players regarding "seams." A seam is what happens when a slice does not smoothly blend into the 15 pixel slice it continues. Even if some parts of the imagery or color scheme were continued, hard seams are generally frowned upon, though there is some debate on the matter.

For similar reasons, avoid creating a hard horizontal line near the bottom of your slice, which makes it look as though the player following you created a seam.

Time Limits

Please complete your section within a week of receiving your assignment. If you have not submitted a section within a week of receiving your assignment email you will be issued one (1) warning. You will have a further 72 hours to amend your idle ways. If in that time you again fail to submit a section, it will be passed along to a hopefully more deserving soul.

Starting a New Corpse

New players are always welcome! Please sign up to participate.