Here are the images produced:

instruction_1 instruction_2 instruction_3

The drawings of each animal are a lot more detailed than I have anticipated. I was expecting quantity over quality, but I got only 3 animals for 2 of the drawings. People also did not shake their head as much as I expected either. In the end I feel that was a redundant instruction.

The reason why I wrote this in pseudo-Python code is because I was appalled by Sol LeWitt’s instructions; I refused to use English as medium for my instructions. However, the day after I wrote this, I realized that English in fact can convey the same message much better (less confusing and more concise), something along the lines of “start from the smallest animal you can think of, keep drawing a larger animal than the previous eating that. If your animal is too large, start from smallest animal again. Stop when you are bored”.


fpoijsa img010 jfo


  1. Choose a letter of the alphabet and a number less than 10
  2. Start from the letter you chose and shift through the alphabet by the number you chose. Remember this letter.
  3. Gain access to a computer with internet connection.
  4. Google image search “Street map of ” and enter the letter from step 2.
  5. Allow Google to auto-complete your inquiry with the name of a city.
  6. Choose image you believe has a pleasant composition.
  7. Copy the image onto an 8.5×11 copy paper with a 2HB pencil. Be as precise as you desire.
  8. In an enclosed space on the map, draw a line following the contours of the perimeter without lifting the pencil or crossing another line and fill up the space.
  9. Repeat until the drawing seems sufficiently filled up or your wrists get tired.

My instruction was originally meant to use a street map as a basis for composition, which should be obvious to any human that searches up “Street map of…”, but I was not specific on this point. One of my test subjects interpreted it such that she chose any image that happened to appear in the search. As a result, one of the drawings ended up being based on a logo. Step 8 was also written in a manner difficult to understand, so it would serve well to expand it out to several steps to maintain clarity.

Overlooking the above problems, I injected enough randomizing elements so these instructions should produce a different drawing every time, but with similar visual qualities. I did also write the instruction so that a pleasant composition should arise every time, but a mechanical compiler would not be able to make such a value judgment.

Let’s Draw



Have one clean sheet of printing paper and pencil ready.
Turn paper portrait view.
1) Shoes have laces. Move to 5.
Shoes don’t have laces. Move to 7.
else Move to 8.
If bored. Done.

2) Use non-dominant hand.
Draw your favorite animal next to other shape.
Animal is mammal. Move to 11.
Animal isn’t mammal. Move to 12.
Cannot be determined. Move to 13.
If bored. Done.

3) Use non-dominant hand.
Draw rectangle.
Length of rectangle longer than other shape’s diameter. Move to 2.
Length of rectangle shorter than other shape’s diameter. Move to 10.
Length of rectangle as long as other shape’s diameter. Move to 14.
If bored. Done.

4) Clap your hands to a rhythm.
Draw out your rhythm.
Rhythm is fast. Share it with a friend.
Rhythm is slow. Share it with an enemy.
Rhythm is just right. Hum it out loud.

5) Untie Shoe laces.
Grab clean paper and draw circle on page.
Fold paper in half so the shorter sides meet at the bottom.
Circle in top half. Move to 3.
Circle in bottom half. Move to 4.
Circle on fold. Move to 6.
If bored. Done.

6) Glance around the room secretly.
Choose an object as your target.
Object is female. Move next to object and continue to 8.
Object is male. Move around object for 20 seconds and continue to 3.
Unable to determine gender. Grab object. You have won.
If bored. Done.

7) Draw laces on paper.
Imagine a color for your laces.
Color is warm. Move to 11.
Color is cool. Move to 2.
else. Move to 4.
If bored. Done.

8) Cross your legs and shake your feet.
Crumble up your paper.
Straighten out your paper and reposition landscape view.
Choose a corner of the paper and draw a contour line starting from that corner to the other
side of the paper until done.
Think of a number from 1 – 100.
Number between 1-33 included. Move to 9.
Number between 34-66 included. Move to 14.
Number between 67-100 included. Move to 3.
If bored. Done.

9) Think of an animal you would like to devour.
Imitate a mating call to try and lure the animal in.
Successful. Move to 4.
Unsuccessful. Move to 2.
Want to try again. Repeat step.
If bored. Done.

10) Fold paper into plane.
Write your instructions on the back of the page.
Throw it to an unsuspecting victim.

11) Use dominant hand.
Draw the largest spiral you can manage.
Spiral overlaps something on page. Move to 10.
Spiral doesn’t anything on page. Move to 8.
If bored. Done.

12) Fold paper in half.
Paper is too thick to fold. Unfold and trace lines.
Paper is still foldable. Repeat step.

13) Draw biggest shape possible.
Draw smaller shapes until finished.
Hand paper to person closest to you and ask them to sign it.

14) Attempt a cartwheel.
Successful. Describe how you feel on paper.
Unsuccessful. Describe how you feel to another person and draw their response on paper.
Undetermined. Move to a sunny spot and describe your next attempt on paper.

instructions-1 instructions-2 instructions-3

instructions-4 instructions-5


The style of my instructions originated from the tests used to classify difference between subspecies in biology. Each questions contains 3 choices that lead to different choices which each also contain 3 different choices and eventually comes to an end result. Along the way, the test subject’s choices, personality, and preference changes his or her result. What both surprised me and confirmed my hypothesis was the vast differences between results. Although the test itself seemed very long, one result came out to be fairly simplistic.I knew that even if two people chose the same path, their drawings will come out differently through little details in drawing style or positioning, dominance of hand and longevity of patience. If I had a choice to edit my test, I may make some questions a little more ambiguous or simple, so the user is able to apply more of his or her own imagination and understanding of the questions.

fried chicken, beef jerky (and other things)


Please orient the page vertically.

Unless otherwise stated, you must use your non-dominant hand to execute the instructions.

  1. Draw a small square with sides that are longer than the length of your nail.
  2. Draw a rectangle, with a length of that of your index finger, beside the largest shape – leave a small gap between them.
  3. Draw a shape next to the square and rectangle. The three shapes together should have the form of a square. Ensure that the three shapes are not touching.
  4. Repeat 2-3.
  5. Repeat 3-2.
  6. With your dominant hand: Inside each of the empty shapes, draw contour lines until finished. (remember to switch back to your non-dominant hand afterwards)
  7. Outline the figure.
  8. Take a deep breath. Hold it.
  9. Repeat 2-5 until you cannot hold your breath any longer.
  10. Repeat 2+5.
  11. Repeat 6-7.
  12. Write, in capital letters, what you recently ate at the top of the page.

So, it turned out that some parts of my instructions ended up being more vague than I had intended them to be – mostly because I myself was not completely sure how to describe certain steps. This resulted in a huge amount of variation between the drawings, which may or may not have been a desirable outcome. In the future, I should aim to give my instructions more specificity, without completely omitting the element of ambiguity.

At the same time, the intentional vagueness of some instructions – more specifically ‘draw contour lines’ – had worked the way I wanted them to and produced interesting results. What I found particularly fascinating about the ‘contour lines’ instruction was that you can (for the most part) discern those who have more artistically-oriented backgrounds from those who do not, which was exactly my intention.

Some other things I noticed:

  1. Putting things in bold does not necessarily guarantee that people will follow the directions.
  2. Many people tend to follow instructions like interpreters – they simply carry out the instructions line by line, as they go along. This was interesting for me because I personally have a ‘compiler’ mentality when following instructions; I read everything through once, and then perform the tasks afterwards.
  3. Twins are not at all very identical.
  4. People can’t hold their breath for very long.

fried chicken popeyes pizza noodles sandwich beef jerky

beating a dead horse

  1. Talk to the person next to you about anything for 30 seconds. If you can’t find a person, talk to yourself for 30 seconds. The topic can be about anything.
  2. Think of one word to describe what you just talked about.
  3. On paper, draw the word with the word.
  4. Crumple up the paper.
  5. Throw it out a window.
  6. Retrieve the paper. If you are physically unable to retrieve the paper, let it be.
  7. Once you’ve retrieved the paper, open it up.
  8. Trace the wrinkles on the back of the paper.
  9. Once you’re done, crumple it up again and throw it in someone’s face.
  10. Apologize to the person and retrieve the paper.

(the following images are grouped by their front & back)

img001 img002


img003 img004


img005 img006

For this assignment, even though it wasn’t a relevant reading, I found this quote from Art and the API particularly inspiring: “The specific function of modern didactic art has been to show that art does not reside in material entities, but in relations between people and between people and the components of their environment.” I was interested in “instructing” the person what beating a dead horse by repeatedly talking about the same subject would look like. I know I have a tendency to do this a lot, so I thought I would physically manifest this process.

The most hilarious aspect of this was the trouble people had with finding windows, let alone open ones. You’d be surprised at how many closed windows (including insect screen) as opposed to open windows there are around this area–so I expected people to find unorthodox windows. The definition of windows, after all, includes “a thing resembling a window in form or function, in particular.” One person threw the paper out a door, and another person tried to open a window, was confronted with an insect screen, gave up on that step, and moved on.  I was also surprised at what people did with the crumpled paper at the end–two chose not to unfurl it because it wasn’t in the instructions, and one unfurled it by accident (her friend unraveled it).

Mostly, I was interested in how people would interpret “3) On paper, draw the word with the word.” One actually said out loud, “How can I draw this with a pie? I don’t have a pie with me!” which surprised me because it was a miscalculation on my part. I had no idea people would attempt to draw the word with the object the word referred to. But as expected, interpretations varied; the word “pie” was written with many many pies, the word “rubbish” (misspelled as “rubish”) was written with “rubish” all over, and the word “fruit” wasn’t even drawn as a fruit–it was a cup of orange juice, according to the person who drew it. So I think I got this part right for showing interesting variations and thought logic people have when presented with a vague statement like “draw the word with the word.”

I would definitely tinker with using an actual pen (probably a marker) instead of a measly pencil. You could barely see the traced wrinkles on the back. I would also introduce more aspects of repetition; in retrospect, the point of the project wasn’t emphasized well. Repetitions could include talking to multiple people to fill the paper up with more drawn words, or just draw more word associations from that single topic. After all, the resulting drawing itself wasn’t very interesting–it was just the process that was interesting.