Following Instructions (2006)

Following Instructions from Yoko Ono
Following Instructions from Erwin Wurm

Laser printing on acid-free paper, perfect bound flipbooks
2.5” x 5”; thicknesses vary

In June 2006 I received an invitation from LENDROIT in Rennes, France, to participate in the FLIP BOOKS! exhibition and contest—two new, unpublished flipbooks could be submitted to the latter. Within a couple weeks, I had decided to create two books which would show me following instructions from other artists. In July 2006, with the aid of friends I was visiting in Philadelphia, I videotaped myself falling (completing an instruction from Yoko Ono) and throwing myself away (completing an instruction from Erwin Wurm). I created prototypes of the books and submitted them to the contest in November 2006. In April 2007 the contest took place, and I was awarded honorable mention for Following Instructions from Erwin Wurm. To date, these flipbooks have not been produced in a large edition size.

After creating a set of twelve flipbooks between 1997 and 1999 that all showed somewhat close-range, videotaped images of my face and head, I was interested in someday creating flipbooks that would show me using my whole body. My earlier set of flipbooks sometimes contained very subtle amounts of “activity” and played with facing away from the audience while always containing at least a moment of eye contact in each book. So in this pair of books I was interested in how to have the audience’s interest held by something other than eye contact and facial expressions. I was also very excited by these artists’ works and loved the idea of creating my own art by completing instructions specified in their art. I chose the “falling” and “throw yourself away” pieces in particular because I liked the idea that I could depict a lowness or failing while at the same time achieving success by completing the goals set forth by the instructions.