Art Without Borders

http://www.bertsimons.nl/album/projects/clone/index.htmlBert Simons wants you to clone him.

You don't even have to be a scientist, just handy with a paper and scissors. For this project, Simons has created a papercraft replica of his head for you to wear on your own. There is something somewhat eerie and disconcerting about the results, but what really grabs me about this project is that its participatory. Its not a work of art that you hang on a wall or put on a pedestal, but one that utilizes the interconnectivity of the internet and relies on the kindness (and creativity) of strangers. As progressive art educators, we often talk about "process over product"; what strikes me about projects such as this one, is that the process is the product. He's documented himself creating the Simons clones and asks you to join him in his quest for world domination - er - to work through his midlife crisis.

So much of art is about communication, and yet how often do we reach beyond the walls of our own classroom? Do we just take "communication" to mean the expression of the artist to audience? Simons' project doesn't beg any huge creative challenge to potential participants, but it begins to answer a challenge about the changing nature of technology and art. The internet opens up giant possibilities of collaboration, in ways that are reshaping the world. How are we responding to that and/or utilizing it in the classroom?

I'm going to go put on my Bert Simons head and think about it some more.


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