Instruction-based art

From the 1950s on, artists have been working with instructions. Especially during the 1960s, Fluxus Artists have developed numerous “event scores”: in written instructions they ask participants to do something, to act within a certain frame, as in George Brecht’s event scores, Allan Kaprow’s Activities (for example Match, 1975), in works by Alison Knowles (for example Make a Salad, 1962, or Pick up a number from 1-10, 1966) or Yoko Ono such as Cut Piece (1964), Wish Tree (1981 – ongoing), or many other instructions she collected in her book Grapefruit (1964). Recent examples for instruction-based artworks are the expansive and ongoing series do it curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist from 1995 on (Obrist 2013), Miranda July’s and Harold Fletcher’s Learning to love you more (2002-2009), or Sibylle Peters’ Playing up (with FUNDUS THEATER/Theatre of Research, 2016). Instruction-based art offers playful possibilities for a diverse range of actions that can engage individuals or groups of people, including the One-on-One Encounter as one possible constellation.