Automatism, invented by the Surrealists in the mid-1920s, was an artistic process for bypassing the thoughts of the rational workaday person to get at a hidden core of desires and dreams. It was often collaborative and could take many forms: drawings, poetry, even walks through the streets of Paris. Chuck Clenney practices automatism today, having devised a variety of tricks for waking in the middle of the night so that unconscious dreams can be turned into subconscious paintings. He’s made dozens of dizzying, cacophonic pictures, and many more poems besides. Is it the marvelous made present in everyday life, as the Surrealists so deeply wanted? It is indeed, as any dream made visible will always be.
—Lori Waxman 3/25/17 2:44 PM