CoLab Inside/Outside

IMAGE: OJBKFM designed and facilitated by Otabenga Jones & Associates. A public outdoor radio station broadcasting live as a part of Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn, a walkable month-long art exhibition of four community-based art commissions presented by CreativeTime and the Weeksville Heritage Center


This week is CoLAB week. We will be exploring ways of collaborating and connecting with other people even as we are socially distant and interacting with the various locations we find ourselves in.

  • Below is a list of six prompts.
    • Each of the prompts is scalable (depending on your interest and motivation they could each take several minutes or several days to complete).
    • Do the prompts in any order.
    • Do as many of them as you can.
    • Do all six and achieve CoLab glory!!!!

Menu of Prompts:

Do them in any order. Can you complete the whole set?

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Prompt 1: Write a letter giving advice to your future self 

(Post documentation of the letter and envelope to your blog)

Think about where you’re at now, what do you want your future self to remember in the future, maybe post-pandemic?

  • What are your goals as a person, maker, artist, and student?
  • What do you want the future you to know?
  • What do you want to learn?
  • What are you thankful for?
  • What is important for you to adapt to change?

Mail the letter to yourself. Either where you are or where you will be. 

**Look at some of Lenka Clayton’s project using letters:



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Prompt 2: Conceptualize, Design, & Document your Pandemic Aesthetic

(Post documentation of your outfit to your blog)

For this prompt we want you to think about where you’re at and what you look like. 

  • How are you dressing yourself and what objects and/or spaces are you engaging with?
  • What does the pandemic version of you look like?
  • What daily practices are you participating in? What would these actions look like as an outfit?
    • Do you brush your teeth more?
    • Are you still, or moving?
    • Are you thinking, writing, braiding, stretching, planking?

Now, conceptualize and design an outfit or uniform that describes your pandemic aesthetic. What does it look like if you decide to wear the space that you’re in? This could be a drawing, collage, or actual outfit that you wear. 

**Please watch Artist Mary Mattingly Owns Up

**Check out work by Lucy Mcrae: Artist and Body Architect 

**Look at Studio Orta’s Refuge Wear


Prompt 3: Interview someone you haven’t talked to in a while.

(Post a edited recording, transcript, synopsis, comic, storyboard or reenactment of this interview)

  • Make sure to document:
    • Who did you interview? 
    • What is your relationship to them? 
    • How long since you last talked? 
    • Where are they at? 
  • Choose a topic for your interview. What are you interested in?
    • Come up with a series of questions to ask. 
  • Keys to a good interview
    • Have a point, or three. What are you trying to find out?
    • Ask a combination of simpler and more complex questions. Ask for a story, ask about a time and place, ask for reflection.
    • LISTEN
    • Ask questions around your topic.
    • Be interested in what you are finding out.
    • Find out something you don’t already know.
    • Ask follow-up questions to delve. Repeat part of a previous answer to form a new question.
    • The interview is a conversation. Be a part of it.  


**Check out Story Corps


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Prompt 4: Exquisite COLAB

(Post documentation of the process and product of the collaboration)

Collaborate with someone else (or several someone else’s) either near to you or far from you. Create a piece together. Respond to one another’s work.

  • The piece should have at least 4 steps. For example:
    • 2 people: you make something, they add to it or recreate it, then back to you, you add to or recreate, back to them, they finish
    • 4 people: each makes something based on a theme or prompt. Which is then combined together. OR one person makes something, sends to the next, who adds, then sends to the next, etc.
    • Ask 4 different people for a prompt and create something based on that.
    • Take a picture, send it to someone and ask them to recreate it, then send their picture to someone else, etc. 
    • There are many other iterations of this, the main idea is to have multiple people and multiple steps. 
  • The piece(s) can be any material or process, but depending on the location of your collaborators consider the logistic. I.e. if you are working with folks that live with you you might build or draw something together. If you are working with people that live far away you may need to do something digital.


**Check out Learning to Love you More project:

**Check out 42 choreographers’ exquisite corpse that Angie posted earlier 

**Check out Combinatory Play – Pablo Helguera on PBS: The Art Assignment

  • This gives you another strategy to think about combining things into one.

**Check out the Complaint Choir

  • Consider recreation as format 



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Prompt 5: Using a window as your blank canvas, create shapes and symbols that interact with the outside world. 

(Post documentation to your blog)

Think of what message this could deliver, and who will it affect.

  • Does it require words? can it only be imagery?
  • How does distance and perspective play a role?
  • Is it effectively viewed from both inside and outside? Is it different depending on where you stand? 

**Look at Pejac and also Here

** Portraits through windows 

**Artist working with silhouettes  and symbols



Prompt 6: Go outside, draw a line and record it as far as you can.

(Post documentation to your blog)

Do this by using any variety of tools or mediums: photography, writings, miscellaneous materials/objects, audio recordings, video, etc. 

When doing this, think about the impact of the line.

  • What is the trace you are leaving?
  • What does that mean to your surroundings?
  • Does this line exists physically or is it imaginary or proposed? 

**Here are a couple artists that have worked with expanding a line in performative works:


Remember these prompts are for you to claim, interpret, and bring to your specific context and perspective.

How do you make them your own?

Good luck! We look forward to seeing what you come up with,

Sydni, Diego, and Brett