Kilometre in Sound

The speed of sound travels using sound waves, these waves can travel 343 metres per second or 2.9 seconds a kilometre, approximately 3 seconds. I wanted to show a kilometre through sound so I played a song for 3 seconds and this is how fast sound would travel in a kilometre.

Other ideas; Initially I wanted to try and show how long a playlist would be in a kilometre so I began doing some math by measuring the bar that is keeping track of the time on Spotify. It ended up being around 6 cm but then I did some math and learned I would need to make a playlist with 16 000 songs if I wanted to create a km. Another problem is, is that all of the songs had different times so I changed my idea to showing how fast sound can travel.

Week One

Sol Lewitt – For All to See


  • 60’s new way of making art
  • Instructions and diagrams are given to other artists and students to make the piece
  • Sol Lewitt acts as the conductor of the orchestra (the artists)
  • Artists recreate Sol’s piece in the museum and move it to a larger area for all to see
  • a realm only understood by the heart

How does Sol Lewitt express the notion that “the idea is the machine that makes the art” in his work? What does the artist’s actual hand have to do with the final work in a conceptual art context?

Sol Lewitt expresses the notion the “idea is the machine that makes the art”, within his work by incorporating a team of artists and students to help him create new artwork. Lewitt lays out the blueprints for the piece and lets the artists go to work. Each line, angle, and the colour is written out by Lewitt. His idea is the machine that fuels these artists to make the art. The artist’s hand in a conceptual art context is not the focus, but rather the planning and thinking that goes into it. This can be seen in the influence Sol Lewitt has on his piece, even though he did not physically create it. Though Lewitt’s hand was never actually touching the piece, his idea was the machine behind the art.

Yoko Ono – Grapefruit Book


  • Describing each artwork step by step
  • Force the listener to visualize the work or sometimes create it
  • Asking the listener to do tasks
  • Painting to be stepped on
  • Laugh piece
  • Fly piece
  • Shadow piece
  • Sun piece
  • Drill two holes into the canvas and look at the sky
  • Step on a painting

Where do you draw the boundaries around the artworks in this video? What are the artworks? What strategies and tools does Ono use to challenge the viewer? Do you like any of these concept-works? Discuss.

The boundary around the artworks in Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit book is the lack of visual aid. Yoko Ono describes each piece to you, rather than show you the image of the piece once completed. The artworks are the creation of the piece, broken down into simple instructions by the artist herself. She describes each step, such as breaking holes into a canvas to see the sky. Yoko Ono uses simplicity as a strategy to pull the listener into their mind and visualize the art creating itself. She challenges the viewer by asking them to do tasks, some more challenging or time-consuming than others. One suggestion Ono makes is to “not say negative things” for several days. I deeply enjoy some of these concepts works because they act as a kind of meditation because they force you to imagine things in your mind rather than let you see them. It breaks down the art into each layer until you have created the entire piece. The works also challenge you to make changes, or try new things and make new creations.

Bruce Nauman “The True Artist Helps the World”

  • Not “perfumey” or pleasant
  • What the hell going on
  • Pieces are cohesive and fill up space
  • Used what was there
  • Observational
  • Humour
  • Minimalist sculpture
  • Neon pieces involving word spirals and sex

Describe two works by Bruce Nauman (include images) where he frames every day actions (non-heroic, banal) as art. How are they “framed” as art, and what does the framing do to our understanding and experience of the actions?

Self-Portrait as a Fountain, 1966 – Bruce Nauman

The work that first caught my eye by Bruce Nauman was Self-Portrait as a Fountain, 1966. The piece is simple, yet it intrigued me right away because of the humanistic nature of the photo. I love the hands gently floating in the air, one eye looking right into the camera. It takes the simple action of the artist spitting water out of his mouth and makes it art. Bruce frames the subject within a black background to give a sense of drama to the piece, but Bruce himself is well lit. His hands act as a type of frame as well, one on each side of the picture. Our understanding of the experience of the action changes and it feels more intimate and charmingly human.

For Beginners (all combinations of the thumb and fingers 2010) – Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman’s piece For Beginners (all combinations of the thumb and fingers, 2010) is another piece that exemplifies how Bruce Nauman frames everyday actions as art. The subject of the piece is simple hand gestures that anyone with two hands could make. The photos are blown up and placed in a gallery. The black and white backgrounds act as a frame for the hands. The framing, size, and quality of the photos change how we feel when looking at the hands, something we see every day. The artist plays with shadow and light to capture your attention. Nauman could have used just one hand but chose to portray both hands beside each other as we have a predilection for symmetry.

Making a Kilometre

Brainstorming Ideas

  • Km of houses ( take a picture of each house within a km)
  • Km of receipts (way too long to make this)
  • Rollerskate 1 Km (uh no thanks way too cold)
  • Drive a Km with Sibling and roommates in the car, tell bad jokes the entire way
  • play bad music for a km ( please god no)
  • record audio during a car ride for 1 km – don’t tell anyone in the car, just see what u catch ( this is kinda creepy maybe)
  • Km of clothing tied together ( that’s really long )
  • walk a km with Peaches ( too cold outside, cant use bubble bag because she wont be able to stabilize herself with 1 front paw )
  • Walk a km with Ferguson in the bubble bag (perfect because Phoebe would rip me to shreds if I tried to stuff her in a bag but Fergie loves it)

Taking Fergie for a Kilometre-long Walk but not a Walk Because He is in a Bag

I chose to take my siblings’ cat Fergie on a walk for my kilometer. It was too cold to take him on a leash and harness plus he is too young for that anyway, so I whipped out the bubble bag and began my journey. I downloaded an app to keep track of my distance and set out with no particular path in mind. I didn’t want to make my kilometer too artistic by going somewhere special or drawing something funny, so I just walked my usual walking path until I reached my goal. I was joined by my sibling and roommate Alex, and of course Fergie. We walked until we reached a point where the path was entirely ice, so we turned around. Soon after, I had reached a Kilometre.


Week 1 Assignments

1 kilometer

My kilometer is made up of toilet paper rolls. It is made up of 29 rolls, each containing approximately 34.5m. I measured 1 individual piece of toilet paper which equals 10cm long. 1 kilometer equals 100,000cm which divided by 10 is 10,000cm which equals the number of pieces in a kilometer. 

Yoko Ono and Bruce Nauman

How does Sol Lewitt express the notion that “the idea is the machine that makes the art” in his work? What does the artist’s actual hand have to do with the final work in a conceptual art context?‘ I believe that the notion that “the idea is the machine that makes art” is expressed through Sol Lewitt’s initial thought process and his ideas, as art cannot be created without them. Although he did not physically paint the wall, and “create” the art, he came up with the entire concept, colour scheme, and size, which is his conceptual art. The idea behind the work could potentially be even more important than the physical piece itself. Sol Lewitt then sends out his idea/plan to be created. The idea of a machine is represented by Sol, as machines use power to build and perform an action. Conceptually, Sol Lewitt used the power of his brain to plan and make decisions beforehand. Although the final execution was not painted with his hand, it is still his art. Overall, no matter what form the art takes, it must begin with an idea. 

Where do you draw the boundaries around the artworks in this video? What are the artworks? What strategies and tools does Ono use to challenge the viewer? Do you like any of these concept-works? Discuss. I do not believe boundaries need to be made around the artworks in this video. Art can be anything you want it to be. It can range from something simple to something extremely complex. It can include anything ranging from your body to a hair on the ground. The artworks in the video are unlike what might be perceived as “regular” art, as they are created through words. Yoko Ono creates art through words to challenge her viewers to think about the possibilities of art. A simple one she mentions is called “Beat Piece”, where all one does is listen to their heartbeat. Perhaps this teaches the individual to slow down, relax, and think about things, almost like meditation. A more complicated one is called “cleaning piece”. To accomplish this piece, one is asked to make a list of the sad things in their life, and gather stones to correspond with the number of sad things they think of. They are told to add a stone each time they are sad and appreciate the beauty in the stones, while perhaps metaphorically finding the beauty in their sadness. They are then asked to make another list of happiness in their life and add stones each time they feel happy. Finally, as part of the exercise, they are asked to compare the number of happy stones to the sad ones. I feel this artwork gives an opportunity to see things in a different light and to dig deep down so an individual can see things more clearly. I really appreciate this artwork, as I feel this is an amazing artistic exercise, as it gives the viewer a chance to examine their feelings through art. This also allows the individual to stop and recognize the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, and perhaps allow us a deeper understanding of our lives. Some of the other concept-works included are called “earth piece”, “shadow piece”, and many others. Yoko Ono reads them out loud and the viewer is expected to accomplish the task based on what is requested of them. I believe this is a very creative concept-work as it gets the viewer involved on a different level, creating an interactive art experience that allows the artist, Yoko Ono, and the viewer to create together. 

Describe two works by Bruce Nauman (include images) where he frames everyday actions (non-heroic, banal) as art. How are they “framed” as art, and what does the framing do to our understanding and experience of the actions? 

Bruce Nauman Double Poke In The Eye II, 1985

In Bruce Nauman’s Piece “Double Poke In The Eye” He created art only using neon lights to bring new meaning to everyday actions. The everyday actions in this piece consist of the 2 faces looking at each other, as well as the hands pointing in different directions as shown through the timing of the different lights.

   Untitled (Hand Circle), 1996

Bruce Nauman’s piece “hand circle” consists of ordinary hand movements, grasping the hand in front of it, to form a circle. This piece illustrates sign language, and most likely depicts intercourse as shown through the positioning of the fingers.

These pieces are “framed” as art, as they are both unique, unordinary pieces. Bruce Nauman took ordinary objects and turned them into something that can be interpreted in many ways. 


For the 1Km project, I decided to demonstrate a kilometre by making it out of a sign. I went out for a walk, took a picture of a ‘MAXIMUM 40km’ sign that was along the road. I then cut it into 40 pieces and separated one from the rest. This one piece of the sign now represents 1km, as it is 1/40th of 40km.