Art Assignments

Here is a list of assignments derived my my own projects. based on the idea "if my art pieces had been made to fulfill an assignment, what would the assignment have been?:

Depict a future that you would like to see

Depict a past you wish had occurred

Create an interactive walk through a part of the city.

Perform an action for a durational amount of time – long enough that the length of the action changes its meaning

Perform a piece that is measured or determined by ‘body time’.

Create a contemporary version of a historical work – using a historical work as readymade.

Use history as ‘readymade’

Create a performance that requires at least 10 people to perform at once

Create an exquisite corpse online, using at least 10 people from different cities

Create a response to a historical work of art

Depict a historical work of art in today’s cultural terms

Create an artwork that is a gift – or involves an alternative economy

Create or excerpt a section of video and manipulate it in a way that inverts its meaning

Take a familiar performance from an ‘every day’ context, and do something that turns it into ‘art’

Engage with an animal in a way that presents that animal as a metaphor for an archetypal or mythological paradigm

Create a speech act that doesn’t use words

Remake a famous video or artwork – using your own biographical data as subject

Juxtapose – or simultaneously present -  the public and the private

Do something for as long as you can until your body cannot do it any longer.

Do something that only your body can do

Present a historical text in a contemporary manner
Have a stranger(s) tell your story

Do something socially (not morally or ethically) uncool in public. Over an over again.

Invert intellectual labor and physical labor

Hire someone to be you as an artist

Apply political actions to your personal viewpoint

Integrate highbrow modern or contemporary art into a contemporary pop culture context

Explore the relationship between animals and art

Re-do a performance from the 1970s or earlier – with contemporary electronic technology

Use the art around you as a facilitator for a non-art action

Incorporate two diametrically opposed aesthetic/theoretical  philosophies

Do performances based on children’s games, recontextualizing them in a gallery or other space, with adults, and possibly with no clothes.

Reveal everything

Conduct intimate performance exchanges

Barter your artwork for the things that you need for survival – (clothing, food, shelter)

Some books on art assignments:

Draw it with your eyes closed

Learning to Love You More, by Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher

Rob Pruitt's "101 Art Ideas You Can Do Yourself"

The Fluxus Workbook

Adam Overton's amazing performance wiki, Upload, Download, Perform

Mark Bradford's project (famous artists make art assignments for high schools students)

There are a few books out there with good art assignments (see above), but I wanted to hear from you - teachers and students - about what assignments you find particularly successful or memorable. Or, even if you dont' teach, but are an artist, what assignments do you still remember? Please make comments below!

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