Automatic writing workshop with ITAB, Louise des Places and Jonas van Kappel

What happens if you rely only on intuition and the subconscious as a breeding ground for poetry?

During a one-day workshop in May 2023, members of Index Teen Advisory Board (ITAB) took part in an associative writing practice led by Louise des Places and Jonas van Kappel.

Automatic or associative writing is a technique for putting unconscious thoughts on paper, allowing the body to write continuously without judgments or constraints. Rooted in medieval mysticism, it was appropriated by the French surrealists in the 1930s to quickly create authentic material for their art. The technique can start from different points of departure, such as a memory, a meditation or breathing exercise, after which all thoughts are written down directly on paper within a set time and without thinking about grammar, spelling, sentence structure or meaning.

In the workshop, ITAB members practiced various surrealist art techniques, such as exercises with streams of consciousness, word- and object-associations, installation-making and the method of automatic writing. Immersed in a fictional memory during a guided meditation, they imagined themselves a visitor to the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme (1938) in Paris, after which they reflected on their experiences in a sensory and associative way.

Right now at Index, a small exhibition subverts the bathroom space, presenting a collection of traces from the material created during this workshop.

The ITAB members who participated and whose work is on view are:

Niko Enroth Henriksson
Anton Pettersson
Jagana Khasdorj
Tora Hallberg