|Learning to Love You More is both a web site and series of non-web presentations comprised of work made by the general public in response to assignments given by artists Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher. Yuri Ono designed and managed the web site.|
Participants accepted an assignment, completed it by following the simple but specific instructions, sent in the required report (photograph, text, video, etc), and their work got posted on-line. Like a recipe, meditation practice, or familiar song, the prescriptive nature of these assignments was intended to guide people towards their own experience.
Since Learning To Love You More was also an ever-changing series of exhibitions, screenings and radio broadcasts presented all over the world, participant's documentation was also their submission for possible inclusion in one of these presentations. Presentations have taken place at venues that include The Whitney Museum in NYC, Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, Aurora Picture Show in Houston, TX, The Seattle Art Museum in Seattle, WA, the Wattis Institute in San Francisco CA, among others.
From 2002 to its close in 2009, over 8000 people participated in the project.
Started in 2002, Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July’s online project, Learning to Love You More, reaffirms the notion that rules are a good thing. As they explain it:
“Sometimes it is a relief to be told what to do… our most joyful and even profound experiences often come when we are following other people’s instructions. When we are making crepes from a recipe, attempting to do a handstand in yoga class, or singing someone else’s song. Sometimes it seems like the moment we let go of trying to be original, we actually feel something new.”
Visitors to the website (which you can find here at – www.learningtoloveyoumore.com) are invited to accept an assignment, complete it by following the instructions and send in a report via text, photo, video, etc. Reports are posted online in a catalogue of over 5,000 the last time they counted.
The formula they’ve developed delivers rich, captivating, meaningful content. It drives people to action in all sorts of ways. What helps make this model of soliciting creative contributions successful:
- Assignments which provide rules and structure for contributions.
- Authorship is shared, the artists maintain curatorship but content is entirely made up of participant work. Participants are also free to curate their own exhibitions of assignments.
- The modest but gratifying reward of getting published and being part of a community.
After 7 years of assignments, contributions, exhibitions, screening broadcasts and involvement of over 8000 people, the site finally closed up shop. All assignments and contributions are still available for browsing on the site, and you can purchase the book there too.
Assignment 55: Photograph a significant outfit
Assignment 34: Make a protest sign and protest
Assignment 39: Take a picture of your parents kissing
Assignment 50: Take a flash photo under your bed
*All photos taken from the book