Propositions for Twenty Unmade Works of Art

1
Open a map of one country Open a map of another Using one set of small objects—like erasers, matchsticks, pearls, hairpins, pits, or seeds—artificially connect cities on one map to another

2
Collect expired or revoked passports in the approximate number of the inhabitants of your country

3
Record the musical interlude opening every television channel’s evening news broadcast Piece together the musical interludes without any dialogue from the news anchors

4
Spend one full day at an airport Leave behind sketchpads, writing materials, or recording devices Observe your surroundings with care, regardless of fatigue or boredom Return to your studio and make a work in any genre Title it “Nothing to Declare”

5
Use spray paint, nail lacquer, or acrylic to reorient the colors of a chess piece into the colors of your country’s flag The white pieces become one color, the black pieces another, the base of the chess set another Let dry and play as normal

6
Plan a silent party for a roomful of people Inform invited guests ahead of time about the party’s only rule: speaking is strictly forbidden At the end of the night, provide sheets of paper on which guests can write or draw a note predicting their death and their burial wishes Install the notes anonymously

7
Do not use any electrical or digital appliances (including phones, computers, ovens, etc.) for an entire day Spend time composing a poem about each appliance without ever using its name in the poem

8
Procure court sentences for juveniles dating back at least three decades. Read them out loud Title the performance “Minor Crimes”

9
Create a performance using a rosary (or any other string of prayer beads) and the meditative refrain “A rose garden was promised, a rose garden was never promised”

10
Make a work directed by the instructions or wishes of a spam bot

11
Using only textile, construct a work relating to land dispossession

12
Select films made at least 50 years ago Make photo enlargements of the extras in the background of major scenes

13
Create a work using items in a local grocery store most susceptible to robbery Title it “Island of Prosperity”

14
Build and maintain a termite farm Print maps of colonized regions on Kraft paper or Balsa wood and allow the termites to feed on them for several weeks Photograph the new maps

15
Make a work based on the hazards of your job Be specific and unsparing

16
On the night of a major planetary event such as a solar eclipse, make the subject of your work an intensive care unit

17
Travel across a town or region and interview people on the street, in shops, in office buildings, and in parks about their attitudes toward sex and gender roles† 
† based on Pasolini’s Comizi d’amore or Love Meetings

18
Procure five speeches from the most current year of the annual summits of world leaders Have them read by performers in various costumes from the animal world

19
Film, write, draw, paint, score, sculpt, or build a scene based on a tenant-landlord situation

20
Create a new dictionary or database of new connections by hyper-linking words to the “wrong” images or definitions For example, a picture of an airplane linked to the definition for “mother.”