Sometimes it is a relief to be told what to do.


I'm currently cataloguing "Learning to love you more" by Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July. It's published results from their community art project which was based on their idea that they would set assignments, and someone else would do them.

"Sometimes it is a relief to be told what to do. We are two artists who are trying to come up with new ideas every day. But our most joyful and even profound experiences often come when we are following other people's instructions. When we are making crepes from a recipe, attempting to do a handstand in yoga class, or singing someone else's song. Sometimes it seems like the moment we let go of trying to be original, we actually feel something new – which was the whole point of being artists in the first place."

Part of what I'm liking about the book is being able to see different interpretations of the same assignment. The results are creative, mundane, brave, open, funny, serious, bossy, and honest. The other part is the recognition that yes, sometimes it is a relief to be told what to do.

It's the reason I was able to train for Ironman: just follow the coach's instructions. It's the reason I'm a member of 'Friday Photos 2012' on Flickr (although I've been away so I'd sort of forgotten about it!) It's the reason that I'm on my second 101 things to do in 1001 days list. It's the reason that I signed up for the crazy #GISHWHES scavenger hunt in 2011.?? Although…perhaps it's just an excuse to do some slightly crazy yet legal and environmentally safe things and blame someone else?

I hope the people who took part in the project were as pleased with the results as I am.


One thought on “Sometimes it is a relief to be told what to do.

  1. seanfish says:

    Just had a look at the site. My group project is like this. It’s hugely improv-driven, yet at the same time there are numerous constraints put on that "improv" by the composer(s) of any one piece.We’ll have phases where we’re all very hoha with one another as we wrestle with the boundaries of the work we’re doing – and then we feed that shared rage back into the process.This family must have had an amazing journey:

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