meta-meta is an expansive interdisciplinary project, comprising a book of my instruction pieces (published by Washington Project for the Arts) and an exhibition that brought the book to life through an installation that functioned as the mise-en-scène for a series of public programs and experiments.

The project, which was initiated at WPA through a research residency in 2021.

meta-meta: installation and presentation: Over the course of seven weeks, meta-meta unfolded in WPA’s Project Space, the same space where my inquiry began, as an Artist-Organizer-in-Residence in 2021. I presented a reconstruction of my residency in the form of an installation that served as a site for re-activations of my instruction pieces and a laboratory for new experiments organized through a series of public programs devised in collaboration with artist Harrell Fletcher, musician Joshua Coyne, and scholar and critic Colby Chamberlain.


meta-meta: book of instructions (2023) delves into the my utilization of instructions as a medium, tracing its evolution from his initial explorations of strategies of care through his ongoing research into human responses to environments of excessive authority and control. The book, which functions as both documentation and a game manual for future activations, consists of a curated selection of 70 (out of more than 800) instructions, arranged variously by theme, affect, and project through a Table of Contents that mimics the design of a periodic table.

This arrangement showcases not only the morphological changes of instruction within my practice as it traverses through the book, drawing parallels to the tradition of artist instruction books. It also situates itself within the broader artistic canon exploring how instruction-based practices, while employing conceptual developments of the Fluxus movement, continue to evolve in response to contemporary discourses.

In this respect, the book’s inquiry extends beyond documentation and game play. It shows how instructions can be effectively employed in projects that scrutinize the relationships between hosts and guests, immigration bureaucracy, issues of censorship, and formation of knowledge, revealing the complex nature of power imbalances in various contexts. It also traces the evolution of instruction-based artworks, from a simplistic means of audience engagement caught in the dichotomy of submission and control, to a potent form of personal resistance and reclamation of agency in response to the inherent tension within this duality. Furthermore, it explores the linguistic capacity of instructions to serve as forms of knowledge and experience, thus articulating the emerging relevance of this medium as a main means of communication with language models and machine interfaces.

meta-meta: book of instructions is annotated with edited transcripts from a series of correspondences and conversations between me and experts in various fields, each exploring different topics relevant to the artist’s interests in instruction-based work. These experts include artists Harrell Fletcher, Alexandro Segade, Constantina Zavitsanos, poet and writer Raphael Rubinstein, curator T. Jean Lax, and critic and scholar Hannah Higgins. These exchanges cover a range of topics, mapping the field of instruction-based practices from its historical connections to artistic movements, and exploring its role in performance, power dynamics, political manifestations, and pedagogy.

meta-meta public evenets: The book presentation was accompanied by a series of public events that situated his engagement with instruction-based practices within a broader context, including: a workshop with Some People Press/Harrell Fletcher to develop new conceptual strategies for economizing social practice and mapping both tangible and intangible exchanges; a musical performance with Joshua Coyne derived from a score that will be recomposed by the audience in real time; and a conversation with scholar and critic Colby Chamberlain, taking a deep dive into the publication’s organizational logic and its design as a game manual for future activations.

Collaboration with Some People Press/Harrell Fletcher 

The meta-meta store was set to launch as part of my collaboration with the artist Harrell Fletcher and his Some People Press initiative and its affiliated writers.  The store presented objects (books, various ceramics pieces, posters and on demand instructions), including ones created in collaboration between Harrell and me during this exhibition. These items introduce a time-based economy model and can be exchanged for performing tasks that benefit Some People Press or through direct donations for the cause of the project.

Some People Press is a participatory art project focusing on autobiographical writing and publishing based in the Columbia River Correctional Institution in Portland, Oregon. Offering weekly writing workshops inside the prison, the project provides material, professional, and emotional support to writers. Completed autobiographies are assured editing, design, and global on-demand publication. Structured as a small business, the project aims for a self-sustaining economic model.

Performance with musician and composer Joshua Coyne

During the second program event Composer Joshua Coyne and I presented “during celebration: fragments, arrangements, and interventions.” Building upon our shared interests in works that incorporate chance and encourage active audience participation as fundamental compositional elements, this concert event will showcase an aleatoric piece developed live before the attending audience. Using a violin combined with techniques and technologies that enable complex layers of sound, Coyne’s composition will adapt in response to my actions and interactive prompts from the audience. The piece’s construction will unfold in real-time, anchored in the dynamic rearrangement of score fragments throughout the performance. This approach seeks to recontextualize mid-20th-century avant-garde practices, offering a reinterpretation of traditional ideas about musical linearity and predetermined composition.

Lecture-performance with Colby Chamberlain

The closing event of meta-meta exhibition, scholar Colby Chamberlain and I host a conversation that contextualized the my instruction-based practice with its historical precedents. By detailing the principal elements of the publication, namely the instruction table and the 65 instructions contained within, the conversation immersed the audience in diverse methodologies for acquiring, structuring, and articulating knowledge by focusing on parallels between Fluxus founder George Maciunas’s charts and my instruction table as organizing systems for instruction-based practices. Maciunus and I both utilize design aesthetics and advance a structured categorization of instruction art forms—including word and graphic scores, manuals, and scripts—that reflect both artists interests in autodidacticism (and, perhaps, our experience of cultural relocation) and their ability to organize acquired knowledge with an unconventional yet insightful logic.