Our class took inspiration from the work of early conceptual artists, among them Sol Lewitt and Yoko Ono. We began by reading excerpts from Ono’s Grapefruit, which provides a series of instructions or “event scores” that stand in for a physical work of art (see below). Like a math problem, these pieces require the viewer to participate in realizing the work. The artwork, then, exists somewhere between artist and viewer, complicating traditional roles of producer and consumer. The goals of our math class were not quite so ambitious. But Grapefruit did make a fun jumping off point for our linear graphing practice.
This activity reinforces (rather than introduces) some basic graphing concepts: slope, y-intercept, parallel and perpendicular lines, etc.
MATERIALS: Graph paper, colored pencils, rule
1. Students drew graphs using instructions inspired by Ono’s Grapefruit. See my instructions here.
2. After drawing graphs based on my instructions, students made their own drawings, and proceeded to write instructions for someone else to execute them.
3. Finally, students traded instructions with one another and completed a new drawing.
Excerpts from Yoko Ono's Grapefruit