The impetus of a project - almost the designer of a project - is the site and the situation. The projects shouldn’t have stylistic quirks that connect one to the other (as in a family). The project comes from the site and hence fits into the site. But it doesn’t have to quite fit in all the way; it could be having a dialogue with the site, an argument with the site – the project can subvert and/or reinvent a site.

The mode is to go under a site, so that the site isn’t as stable as it used to be;
to attach something onto the site, like a leech, so that the site isn’t so closed anymore;
to replicate elements of the site, so that the site isn’t so unique – so sure of itself – anymore.


Vito Acconci


Collaborative installations can be a good way of bringing attention to issues you care about and to the school art program. Large scale installation projects attract parent and community audiences. The unusual format of an art installation also attracts TV and print media to cover the event.

Several years ago for Dia de los Muertos a high school in Chicago created a commemorative altar for all the programs that were lost in a system wide budget cut. An art teacher at an elementary school created a dramatic whole school installation in which students gave their opinions about judging their learning on the basis of standardized testing.

Consider making the familiar unfamiliar. Consider giving your students the artistic skills to make a powerful aesthetic statement to their communities.

A great source of information, images, and ideas
Installation Art by Nicolas De Olivera, Nicola Oxley, and Michael Petry
Publisher: Smithsonian Institute Press