office of surrealist investigations

Manipulating Chance



vancouver satellite office

i have been given an opportunity to temporarily open a satellite office in vancouver canada

rather than move my entire office i am putting out a call to borrow office furniture and props in vancouver

vancouver requests

if you can help me out with

a desk

chairs both comfy and office

lamps                                         hat rack

any other suitable pieces for a small investigative office

please let me know


Future site of office of surrealist investigations

OOSI 135

Work in progress on the future semi-permanent office space and studio for the office of surrealist investigations Opening in May and now on instagram @officesurrealistinvestigations because I have too many letters for of updates to come

Speakeasy opening of the office

Craig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-9Craig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-31So, we had an opening, complete with bank vault speakeasy (a sweltering one at that), band, and surrealist activity throughout the night. Thanks to press photographer Devon Lindsay for the photos. Drawing games and investigations ruled the early part of the evening with the odd disruption and illicit throwing of dice. Craig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-6Craig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-5A few plants within our crowd of guests made the evening. Craig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-12 Craig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-11 Craig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-16Then, the fuzz showed upCraig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-14 Craig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-15raided the bar, got a little rough with the patrons, but with some encouragement allowed the evening to continue. Though they couldn’t keep their guns holstered and even got a little smarmy with the mediaCraig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-20 Craig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-24 Craig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-23 Chess and a select stash of scotch helped the night along while shady deals and crooked cops kept things interesting.  Craig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-40 Craig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-39Craig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-17 Craig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-25Great evening and thanks to everyone who helped pull this off and came out. Drop in, the office is open for viewing and snooping till July 11. Other operatives will be in the office Tuesday through Saturday for the remainder of June. I’ll be back in late June and July and the odd Saturday until then. See previous post for details on hours. Craig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-37I can be reached at

Oh, just one more thing

Craig's Opening-Arnica-6.5.2015-26

open for business

The office of surrealist investigations is now open for business. The office is open Tuesday through Saturday between June 5 and July 11 for your viewing and snooping pleasure. For more interaction, the investigator is on duty June 9-12, 20, 30 and July 2-4, 7-11. Come on in, drop by, play some surrealist games and we hope to do more events in the coming weeks. More to come from our opening festivities. For more information or take part in some of the previously mentioned project email

office of surreal signage

the office is getting an office! *office may not appear as pictured

Marlowe office

You may remember this image from an earlier post that I’m too lazy to link to.OSI card The point being that the office of surrealist investigations is getting a physical office space… at least temporarily. From June 5 to July 11 of this year, the office of surrealist investigations will be open for business at Arnica Artist Run Centre. It will have 2 rooms, a main office and a funky vault space and I have a lot of goings-on planned for both spaces and projects on the go in the lead up to the opening, including a couple of projects on the go that I hope a few of you will join in on and even more of you will take part in over the duration of the exhibition. More on that in another post (likely the next post). The office space deals with a lot of things that started this blogspot in the first place. Basically, the office of surrealist investigations spawned from an interest in drawing games, particularly the exquisite corpse, and an odd book I found linking the Black Dahlia murder of the 1940s to the surrealists.

EXcorpse bookI don’t know how much truth there is to this book, but it is an interesting read, and if you have any conspiracy theorist in you (which I have very little), you may find it fascinating. If not, then you might find it humourous or crazy. I’m particularly curious about the mention of Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp’s Etant Donnes and Elizabeth Short’s corpse and the use of the corpse throughout Surreal and Dada work.  I’ll spare you the gruesome details of the Black Dahlia murder and by no means do I encourage you to watch the even more gruesomely put together movie of recent years. I will, however, encourage you to pick up James Ellroy’s book The Black DahliaPictured below is Duchamp’s Etant Donnes translated as the waterfall or the illuminating gas. I’ve seen this work in person and it is a three dimensional work viewable only through a pair of peep holes like those found in a door.


The intrigue lies in the the instructions of Marcel Duchamp regarding this work. Etant Donnes was not unveiled to the public until 1969, a year after his death. That is the very short version for the intrigue, but it is odd how long this work was kept secret unseen until after his death. The pose recalls the pose of the Black Dahlia Murder. Theory that murder emulates ideas of exquisite corpse and dismemberment seen in earlier surrealist/dada works. Being that I have been interested in Surrealist practices such as automatism and drawing games as well as film noir, hard-boiled fiction, drawing in general, comix and narrative, these things all come together within the practices of the office. Mainly, I liked taking the idea of the exquisite corpse and turning it into a multi-authored narrative. At first, linear like the narrative corpse project I got started and borrowed from Art Spiegelman, but changes had to be made. I felt his format revealed too much and was a little too rigid and limited to one medium. Eventually I wanted to get rid of any continuity with character and make the jumps form panel to panel more open. This of course, depends on who is drawing, responding, passing it along. These are the basics of the project, and this is also the point where I want to get more people involved, so stay tuned for an upcoming post for more on this and how to get involved in the narrative.

opening for business

Just received cards from the printers. Looking forward to bigger things in 2015. An exhibition of work and a physical office space. OSI card

Automatic Two

Automatic-2This started off as an automatic drawing and then turned into something. Correction, this started as a note looking for an Ad Reinhardt quote about bumping into sculpture as you back up to look at painting. Non-members Only is a sign I think I saw somewhere in Vancouver. Anyone know the place. Seems it was neon at a club or music venue or something. Then came the drawing.

Kurt Vonnegut Slideshow New Yorker

As you may have noticed, I have some kind of obsession with New Yorker cartoons, which results in me often perusing the New Yorker, but really only buying it for the articles. Came across this great slideshow of Kurt Vonnegut drawings. Some appear to be along the lines of automatic drawing.




Blog at

Up ↑