From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Surrealism in art, poetry, and literature utilizes numerous unique techniques and games to provide inspiration. Many of these are said to free imagination by producing a creative process free of conscious control. The importance of the unconscious as a source of inspiration is central to the nature of surrealism.
The Surrealist movement has been a fractious one since its inception. The value and role of the various techniques has been one of many subjects of disagreement. Some Surrealists consider automatism and surrealist games to be sources of inspiration only, while others consider them as starting points for finished works. Others consider the items created through automatism to be finished works themselves, needing no further refinement.
Collage is perceived as an additive method of visual poetry whereas Étrécissements are a reductive method. This was first employed by Marcel Mariën in the 1950s. The results are achieved by the cutting away of parts of images to encourage a new image, by means of a pair of scissors or any other manipulative sharpened instrument.