HANDS ON: Allan McCollum

The following activity ideas can be used to engage audiences in a hands-on approach to processing the ideas presented in the artist's film segment. They were compiled from our Educators' Guides and Screening Toolkits. Activities include not only visual art strategies but writing, research, and other disciplinary methods. Additional resources and strategies for teaching with films and working with contemporary art can be found in Teach.


"Drawings Templates and written protocols," 1988. Photo by Eric Baum. © Allan McCollum. Courtesy the artist.

Select a mass-produced item and collect examples of it over the course of a few days. At the end of this period, begin making slight changes to each of the items, in order to create unique objects. Create an installation of these unique objects in order to tell a story about the process or the idea behind collecting the item.


SEGMENT: Allan McCollum in "Systems"

"Whenever I design a project, it's in my head while I'm designing it that I would be able to show someone else how to do it," states artist Allan McCollum.

Create a set of instructions for a work of art, and ask three different people to carry them out. Compare the results, and discuss how and why the interpretations of the instructions varied.


"Natural Copies from the Coal Mines of Central Utah," 1994/95. Enamel paint on cast polymer-enhanced Hydrocal, variable dimensions. Produced in collaboration with the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum, Price, Utah. Installation view at John Weber Gallery, New York. Photo by Fred Scruton. © Allan McCollum. Courtesy the artist.