Remember paint-by-numbers? Contemporary artists Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher have reinvented that strategy of art-making with their project Learning To Love You More. Anyone and everyone is invited to act as an artist and contribute by completing numbered assignments and posting photo, video and journal reports of their experience online. July and Fletcher built their assignments to simply “guide people towards their own experience,” such as:
#2. Make a neighborhood field recording.
#15. Hang a windchime on a tree in a parking lot.
#30. Take a picture of strangers holding hands.
#36. Grow a garden in an unexpected spot.
Not only does this project directly insert mindfulness and personal reflection into our busy and distracted lives, many assignments ask us to engage positively with others, and overall it uniquely yields a community of viewers who are also artists. Some assignments are delightful, some are contemplative, and some are remarkably meaningful.
This clip shows Miranda July working with the 8-12 year olds at 826LA East to complete assignment #62: Make an educational public plaque. Topics chosen by students include, “How to dance”, “How to Be Optimistic,” and “How to feed a dog.” Their educational plaques were then posted on Sunset Boulevard.
The only bad news in all of this good happening: After 8 years and over 8,000 participants, LTLYM has finally closed it’s website to submissions. The assignment now (with all their inspiration as a guide) is up to you!
Peace Grl Out.