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PBS and John Green team up to give you an Art Assignment

Would you walk 500 miles for an art assignment? John and Sarah Green are about to find out in this new PBS webseries.


Aja Romano


Would you walk 500 miles for a homework assignment? John Green thinks so.

Yesterday, would-be artists got their first look at the Art Assignment, a new webseries from PBS. The host, Sarah Urist Green, is a former curator of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. She and her husband, the acclaimed YA novelist, are co-hosting the series to help PBS reach new audiences—and hopefully teach them different ways to think about art.

The Art Assignment interviews different artists to reveal startling art projects you might not have considered “art” before now. The first assignment starts with a simple enough idea: Pick a friend and meet them at the exact halfway point between you. How exactly is that art again? It turns out that the idea of journeying to meet a friend is a recurring theme in performance art, as the Greens and collaborators Douglas Paulson and Christopher Robbins reveal in the first episode.

“Each project makes geography and architecture tangible and personal,” explains Sarah Urist Green, “demanding we grapple directly with space, and time, and the world we’ve built. It also begs the question: Who do you trust to meet you in the middle?”

Sounds a little more interesting when you put it that way, right?

Should you choose to accept The Assignment, you can document the results and post them online using hashtag #theartassignment.

Screengrab via The Art Assignment/YouTube

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The Daily Dot