Here's a look at the first episode of the The Art Assignment, a new venture produced by former IMA contemporary art curator Sarah Green (with hosting help from husband and author John Green) that challenges viewers to create their own art after engaging (via short video profiles) with some of America's foremost contemporary artists.
In each episode, Sarah and John visit with an artist (or group of artists) and ask him/her/them to issue an "art assignment" to viewers. As Sarah told us last fall, she intended to give artists a certain amount of freedom to set the parameters, but wanted the totality of the assignments to be "accessible and diverse," including "challenges to create videos and sound pieces - and not just paintings, drawings and photos."
The first episode features Douglas Paulson and Christopher Robbins of Long Island's Flux Factory - and as one might expect from the name, their assignment is informed by Fluxus practice (psycho-geography, prescribed performance of ordinary activities, detourn-ing everyday life). Here are the exact directions, from The Art Assignment's YouTube page:
1. Pick a friend, and calculate the exact geographic midpoint between where the two of you live.
You can use http://www.geomidpoint.com/ or other websites to calculate your midpoint, or even - gasp - use a paper map.
2. Decide on a date and a time to meet there, and don't communicate until then.
3. Document your experience. You can do this however you'd like, using photos, video, text, drawings, or anything else.
4. Upload your documentation and share it online using whatever social media platforms you prefer, being sure to tag it with #theartassignment so we can find it. Your response to the assignment may be included in a future episode!