Edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist. Essays by Daniel Birnbaum and Harold Garfinkel.
The Do It book contains artworks by more than 100 international artists in the form of do-it-yourself text instructions to be completed by the reader. Based on the traveling exhibition and e-flux online project curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, the book also includes a selection of essays and interviews, and offers comprehensive material on the groundbreaking show. Do It began in 1993 with a discussion among friends Christian Boltanski, Bertrand Lavier and Hans Ulrich Obrist. All three had been interested in various forms of instructional procedures since the early 1970s, and that evening they spoke of the instructions contained within their own work. From this discussion arose the idea of an exhibition of do-it-yourself descriptions and procedural instructions. Since 1993, the exhibition has taken place in venues in more than 40 cities worldwide, including Palo Alto, Pittsburg, Calgary, Atlanta, Toronto, Andover, Glasgow, Reykjavik, Helsinki, Bangkok, Copenhagen, Edmonton, Paris, Mexico City and Costa Rica. Meaning has been multiplied as various interpretations of the text accumulated while the exhibition traveled from venue to venue. The online component, which invites participants to upload images of the results of their chosen project, is less concerned with copies, images or reproductions of artworks than with human interpretation.