Week 1

  • Participate in introductions and course information, demo of WordPress in class
  • Listen to short lecture on artist multiples.
  • TO DO: A short post on one artist from the list will be due for a 3 minute presentation on WEDNESDAY of this week.
  • A new work of text-based multiple will be assigned, due for final critique in Week 4. Details to be provided.


Welcome back to school everyone, I’m very happy to have a way to come together to learn about contemporary experimental art practices. During the pandemic, we will engage in weekly exercises, demos, readings and videos to learn some of the historic, theoretical, and technical aspects of working in experimental media forms.

Our virtual course will emphasize ideas, research, regular exercises and practices, and we will work on developing resolved artworks.

Students will perform and create studio exercises at home and in the world – within strict adherence to public health guidelines at all times – using materials and situations at hand. Together we will practice being resourceful and creative within the limits of any given situation. We will explore how to be an artist now – using aspects of performance, snapshot photography, video, audio, and artist multiples – in this unique and challenging historical moment.

Every week we will have Monday and Wednesday class meetings – and then you will do the week’s homework (things to read, write and create) posted under Weekly Assignments.

Due dates are shared on the Weekly assignment pages, and on the tentative schedule found here:

You will need approximately 4-6 hours to complete your work for this course every week in addition to class meeting time.

Schedule your work and you will be able to keep up with your assignments!

All your notes, images and videos must be on the class BLOG – under your name. 

ONLY edit your own page – do not edit anything else on the blog.

I will periodically read and evaluate your work on the BLOG and we will look at examples of works by students together in our class ZOOM.

See course information, and evaluation for details.


Instructions for the world:

Text based prompts, interventions, and multiples

Jon Sasaki

Napkins (Materials Safety Data Sheet)

2011, Multiple, paper serviettes printed with one of three colours of ink. 5″ x 5″


A Clock Set to 24 Hours Into The Future

2014-2015, public artwork for Sheridan College’s Temporary Contemporary, Trafalgar Campus, Oakville Ontario.

“Unlike most campus clocks, this one has been set 24 hours fast, always displaying “tomorrow’s time.” Of course, on a four-numeral digital clock, tomorrow’s time appears indistinguishable from “today’s time,” and therein lies a small bit of levity that is intended to open up a range of poetic interpretations.”

“A clock tower running 24 hours fast is in fact practical and functional in the present, but serves also as an aspirational signpost pointing towards the idea of tomorrow.” From his site Jon Sasaki


(the accompanying didactic panel)

An Obsolete Calendar Towel Embroidered with an Identical, Future Calendar Year,
1970/2065, 1982/2049, 1976/2032 and 1969/2042

2012, ongoing, embroidered found vintage textiles, each approx. 17″ x 28″.

In an ongoing series, obsolete calendar towels have been embroidered with the date of an identical, future calendar year. Beyond giving the discarded object a renewed relevance, it proposes a disturbingly banal vision of the future… that decades from now we will still be pining for some vague 19th century inspired nostalgia… covered bridges, copper kettles, cast iron stoves and millponds… images that were anachronistic wishful fictions even at the time the calendars were first printed.From his site Jon Sasaki

Please Don’t Take This 1000 Yen

2013, intervention in the neighbourhood of Konohana, Osaka Japan.

Upon arriving in Osaka, I observed hundreds of bicycles that had either flimsy locks, or no locks at all to secure them. I surmised there was some sort of honor system in play, and decided to test it a little. The results were surprising to me.

Four signs were placed around the neighbourhood early one morning, asking residents to please not take the 1000 Yen bill attached to it.

Two of the signs remained untouched until I retrieved them late that night. One sign disappeared mid-afternoon, although it probably had something to do with it being posted on the city’s bulletin board without permission. The fourth sign disappeared late in the day, which still impressed me. It turns out it was taken by a random, concerned neighbour who wanted to safeguard it. She did some sleuthing, somehow correctly guessed the restaurant I would be visiting later that night, and returned it (along with the 1000 Yen of course) a few hours before I arrived.

Lee Walton

Momentary Performances

On his website, Lee Walton writes: “For Momentary Performances (2008-2010), I used vinyl text on city walls to announce ordinary moments that will take place. These texts are installed throughout the city weeks prior to each performance. Nearly 20 of these public works took place in Minnesota and Atlanta.

After acting out the script exactly on schedule, actors casually disappear into the city as if completely unaware of the descriptive text. Unexpected public is left to wonder about the reality of the serendipitous occurrence.”

Experiential Project:

The Experiential Project

Art in General, Project Space, 2005

These postcards became the access points for experiential interactions with shop owners, bars, barber shops, sandwich cafes, boxing clubs, and hidden city spaces. When a participant located the hidden starting point, an orchestrated experience unfolded. Participants become performers as more instructions and prompts are discovered embedded  throughout each journey.

“Lee Walton’s “Experimental Project” at Art in General is a sort of walking cacophony. It consists of a packet of cards, each with brief instructions that set you off on a situationist drift or do-it-yourself performance. A few weeks ago, one card sent you to a marvelous Asian store on Lafayette Street, where you were instructed to look “inside large music book on the top shelf.” A slip of paper then directed you to buy a lottery ticket and take it to a parking lot where you were sent to an OTB parlor and then led to a Chinese cardiologist and so on. This week’s instructions read, “Nancy Whiskey Pub. Lispenard at West Broadway. Inside pocket of red jacket.”

by Jerry Saltz

WRITE: Due in Wednesday’s class to present

Multiple by Maurizio Nanuci

You will be assigned one of the artists below. Post 2 examples (image and description) of great text based works – look for instructions, scores, prompts, advertised events, and multiples that use text in a conceptual way.

Describe the artist’s general approach in their broader practice, along with why you like the works selected – how do these objects work in the world? How is the artist’s use of language different from other forms of public text? How do they use materials, fonts, and other formal decisions to activate the text?

You will have 3-4 minutes MAX to present the two works to class.

Adrian Piper

Adam Chodzcho

Michael Drebert

George Brecht

Yoko Ono

David Horvitz

Jonathan Monk

Mendi and Kieth Obadike

Janice Kerbel

Erika Rothenberg

Scott King

Hiba Abdullah

Jenny Holzer

Miranda July

Fiona Banner


Give short presentations

Assign Text piece


Instructions for the world:

Text based prompts, interventions, and multiples

DETAILS TBD in next class.

Make an artist multiple that centres text as a main element – the text should be employed conceptually – you may use it to:

-Give prompts, propose uncommon actions

-Provide instructions for absurd or unexpected things

-Trick the viewer in a pro-social way

-Make minor sentiments majorly declarative

-Document a banal, ephemeral thing in an important or permanent manner

-Play with an awareness of fonts, styles, and with text as a material, or an abstraction

– Subvert the intentions of found text

-Give voice in public to something not usually spoken in public

-Consider some of the strategies empoloyed by the artists discussed in class


You will be able to use 13×9″ high quality paper to make an edition or a series of postcards, a poster or other paper based ephemera. Nathan will complete the printing for you in studio – deadlines to be discussed in class.

Works must be properly finished to a professional level – and documented in an appropriate context to show the intended manner of circulation/presentation of the work.

You may also choose to make a T-shirt, hat, a magnet, a mug – or other printed ephemera that you will need to find and have printed on your own and in time – in order to document the work and present it in class for final critique.

NEXT WEEK MONDAY: Post a proposal drawing/ideas, we will discuss in class, along with a publishing/design demo

Deadline for finished files to be sent to Nathan (or elsewhere) to print: Week 3 Friday Jan. 28

Final critique: Week 4 Wed. Feb. 2

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