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History of Instruction-based Art & Performance by Mind Map: History of Instruction-based Art &
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History of Instruction-based Art & Performance

1919- Marcel Duchamp

"Unhappy Ready-Made"-instructions for his sister's wedding gift to hang a geometry text book on their balcony so that the wind could "go through the book [and] choke its own problems..."

John Cage

1950-60: classes at the New School laid groundwork for Happenings and Fluxus

encouraged use of chance

performance scripts, instructions for creation of objects, ideas exhibited as verbal directions (tension b/w ideation and material realization, yet founded upon physical action)

Yoko Ono (didn't study with Cage), George Brecht, George Maciunas, Allan Kaprow, Jackson Mac Low...


reaction against aesthetic ideology of Abstract Expressionism, value of the artist's hand, and central position of the subjectivity of the maker.

Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Dan Flain

instructions and anonymous fabrication

impose a distance between the artists and the realized artwork


valorized ideas rather than their physical instantiations, accepted unrealized concepts as works in their own right. artworks could be embodied in statements

Sol Le Witt, Doublas Huebler

Questions: What is the artwork? the idea stated in a set of directions, the actual words or instructions themselves, or the set of all realizations? What is it to follow a rule?


Douglas Dunn class

Forti, Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, Deborah Hay

performance as object