100 thoughts on “Stakeout! | The Art Assignment | Deb Sokolow”

  1. Thanks for another great prompt!   I enjoyed making this video even more than the first one for  #theartassignment   

  2. The guy that picked up the book kept walking for the first time because he was in the field of view of someone else. When that someones walked past him and the book, no one was there to see him take the money (as far as he knew)…. At least that's what I think.

  3. There are so many yeti sightings that she's not really a yeti anymore 🙁 I mean she's still majestic but she's visible. Not that I'm complaining; she's lovely.

  4. I wish there was still Video Responses, it's be much easier to find videos. There are a tone for the first one, no so many for this one.  

  5. Also a precedent: the Lumiere brothers' actuality films! While not involved in stalking people, they were intended to record moments as they were, without, hopefully, the camera altering the reality (or actuality) of what was going on in front of the lens. The idea of being observed without knowing you are observed is still there. 

    Loving #theartassignment ! Fantastic and fascinating and fun. 

  6. I did a project like this in high school for art class. I ended up placing little plastic dinosaurs on a map statue downtown and filmed the public's interaction with it. It was quite an interesting experience overall, I don't know if I would do it again though.

  7. Here's my attempt at this second assignment http://www.scarlettesthread.com.au/2014/03/the-worst-spy-in-world-art-assignment-2.html

  8. The Green household is like a big human brain.

    John is the left brain because he's a writer, and Sarah is the right brain because she's an artist!

  9. Here's both parts of my assignment:
    Part 1: Field Work: The Art Assignment #2: Stakeout! – Bubble Gun
    Part 2: Dance Piece: The Art Assignment #2 – Stakeout Pt. 2 – "Forsaken Bubbles"
    Can't wait for the next one!

  10. I am one of those people who would never, ever give any of their books away. Nor other possessions, to be honest, but especially not books.

  11. I have a Walking Project that I worked on in one of my BFA classes that is similar to this. Consisting of putting a 14ft long white canvas next to a mud puddle on a trail. From a hidden place I recorded people's response to a change in their "normal" environment. It was fascinating, because people would not step on it when it was clean. Only when they saw a pair of footsteps did they think they had permission to walk on it. 🙂 http://avantriette.tumblr.com/

  12. Well my friends and I did some filming for this art assignment, and I lost a copy of Paper Towns and my Friend lost a box of Girl Scout Cookies for this. ART!!

  13. The precedents reminded me of Derren Brown's Trick or Treat series- there was a lot of surveyance going on there.

  14. Woah, I really enjoy the show. I have a master's degree in art history and this is, by far, the most pleasant and elegant way I've seen contemporary art being explained. Congrats you are doing an awesome job!

  15. #theartassignment  
    I had a piece in a show in Portland (the ByteMe show at AFRU) a couple months ago that this reminds me of. It was a booth that just said "Tell Us Your Secret" in green stenciled lettering on the side and had a tablet so people could write their secret. The tablet collected their pen strokes and made an anonymized, computerized construction that built up layer by layer over time and ended up being really quite beautiful. Most people wrote small things but a few wrote things I feel I've been trusted with and can't repeat.


  16. Im really conscious now cause a few days ago I picked up a cassette tape from a park bench, haven't got round to listening to it yet though

  17. This is dumb… don't be a freaking creeper. And don't get any ideas from the 'artists' they talked about who STALKED people. That's right, they have a word for that kind of 'art' form… it's fucking called STALKING. Just because a person is in a public space it doesn't mean you get to degrade them into becoming a part of your 'art.' You know what they're probably on their way to? Real jobs. As in, actually contributing to society instead of watching some stupid book on a sidewalk all day. This is idiotic, and I'm not watching any more of these things. I thought since John Green was endorsing it that it would be something actually interesting and intellectual, but I guess he likes to endorse creepers on pursuit of justifying their anti-social creepy behavior as art. 

  18. I'm sorry, but in the assignment list #3 I believe the spelling should be 'interaction' instead of 'ineraction'. Other than that, a great idea and video. Totally going to participate!

  19. Hi! I am an art student in New York City and I am here to tell you what I think about your channel and your videos! In art terms, we call this critique. In Internet terms, we call this commenting. FIRSTLY I really like that you are doing art assignments like this. I guess this falls under "experimental performance art" or "relational aesthetics" and so forth, but lingo aside, I like it because it is something anyone can do. I meet a lot of people who, while they really like art, feel they can't participate in it because they have no traditional artist's skills like painting or drawing. But no special skills are required to meet in the middle and no special skills are required to do this stake out. I think the drawings would be even more fun because a non-artist would approach making art differently, having not gone through some rigorous foundations year somewhere. SECONDLY I like John's presence, and not just because he is youtube famous and I am a nerdfighter and enjoy seeing him, he is also a stand-in for what I am going to call the art lay-person. Art making skill aside, the layperson does not understand how the art world works as a community, as a business, and as a profession, and while they may be very interested in art, may not know about contemporary movements and things going on right now. John stands in for a lot of people watching this video who are asking themselves "how is that art?" and then of course, we, the viewer, get this explained to us. He is the John Watson to Sarah's Sherlock and makes this video accessible to the layperson. Otherwise, it would mostly make sense to people like me, who think "Oh, of course meeting someone in the middle is a kind of art."

    I love the bit where you say the historical precedects because then we get an art history lesson except since it is contemporary art, it's a current events lesson!

  20. I don't know if this is really a question, but I recently watched this and was really interested in how the artist would write out the storyline of a movie and then insert herself into the plot. So even though that wasn't the assignment, that's what I've been doing. I started with the Princess Bride and it's really fun. Can it still count?

  21. Why does she need to put down people who have their ear phones in while in public? You can still be observant while listening to music!

  22. It's weird that so many people walked past the book, I woould have at least looked at it and probably taken it even without any money

  23. This reminds me of Foucault's philosophy of the panopticon — if we consider that higher power or others are always watching, what still inspires a person to take the book with the money?

  24. This reminds me a little of Derren Brown's mind trick: He places a wallet with obvious money sticking out of it down in a busy street… then, he draws a circle around it. Because it looked intentional, nobody dared to pick it up. Search for "how not to have your wallet taken". Fascinating bit of human psychology.

  25. Am I the only one who has a problem with this?  I get the idea behind the assignment but the execution is disturbing.  Stalking is not art, it's an indication of a possible mental disorder and celebrating it as "art" feels very exploitative.  With regard to the people in the video: did any of them sign a release agreeing to be filmed?  I doubt that very much.  The fact that these issues were not touched on in the video is probably the worst part, I could possibly overlook it if that had been discussed.

  26. How is following someone to another country and then following them around and taking notes "stalker-like"? Seems like straight up stalking to me. 

  27. This looks like fun, but somehow kinda sits on the corner of almost creepy to me… I'd be a little scared to do this one… 

  28. I'm a little behind on watching these, but this also brought to mind the artist Jill Magid, who works quite a bit with surveillance and analyzing systems of power going so far as to infiltrate the secret service and other government agencies. Her work is incredibly interesting and very personal. 

  29. It would be cool if you left some money on the side walk, held down by a rock, waited for somebody to take it and follow them.

  30. I'm gonna do this, I'm going to but an old book and place a few random book marks (not money because I live in Australia and we don't have $1 bills) and see if anyone picks it up

  31. Don't you love when you discover YouTube has unsubscribed you and you've missed months of art assignments?

  32. This is very creepy, especially the "historical precedence" examples. The last thing we need is to encourage people to be stalkers. I must be missing the point, but don't people have anything better to do?

  33. I really like the idea. Though I would need to find the right spot to put a book though. I used to spend the whole afternoon in a cafe, looking out the windows and observing the passengers and try to figure out how was their day, where have they been and where are they possibly going. I find it very intriguing and interesting. That reminds me when I was in middle school, my mom saw a little stuffed animal sitting on the mail box of the apartment building in front of us. We saw people getting in and out of the building, but no one paid attention to it, not even the kids. So, finally I ended up picking it up and asked around the neighborhood who owns it. Obviously nobody wanted it, so now I have it as my key ring.

  34. Her art reminds me a bit of Jean-Michel Basquiat's, with them both using dense layers of words and images. 

  35. I've always wondered what would happen if you followed someone in a car, just followed them, to see where they were going, just how far you could go…

  36. I'm so excited to have been referred to this channel. Both to watch and participate, but also to try some experiments of my own. Thank you guys for what you've contributed to my life!

  37. One of my friends and I were taking a walk by the beach one evening about two weeks ago, and we came across this block of wood that was sitting in a parking lot by the beach. It looked very conspicuous; someone surely planted it there. It had a few coloured markers laying with it and a sign encouraging people to write something on it. I just found theartassignment channel today, and realized somebody must've been doing this stakeout project in my town! I regret not writing anything on it, it seemed very strange ahaha.

  38. What a wonderful way to capture qualitative research visually! This is the type of project students in Anthropology and Communications programs should have the freedom to create!

  39. Hey! The Collective from the Philbrook Museum participated in a couple Art Assignments the other week. We had so much fun 🙂 Here is a link to our Stakeout… 
    The Art Assignment: Stakeout! 

  40. speaking from genuine curiosity: is anyone else able to stand the sound of Sarah's voice? or am i the only one who has to push mute while she's talking?

  41. If I saw that book with money in it I would've thought it belonged to a homeless person, so there's no way I would've taken it.

  42. 5:48 If she had put that book down on a university campus, it would've been snatched up like THAT! As somebody who's ready to start their second year of uni, the idea of finding a book with $25 bucks in it is like a godsend. Uni ain't cheap!

  43. I think I might do something that people can interact a little bit more with. I get bored easily myself and it would be cool to make something from what's left.

  44. I remember one time my friend who had brought an apple to school, didnt want it, so we (A group of friends and I) placed it in the twilight section, with a note saying "Please read some better books instead". Good times 🙂

  45. I think I'll document this in writing, and just run after the person to talk with them if the object is taken. The conversation could ad a lot more then just the surveillance, which is impossible to not be creepy about.

  46. Reminds me of my "spy missions" as a kid. I didn't document anything, but I loved pretending to be a spy, hiding, and observing. I would have a pretend mission as an excuse, but now I guess I have a real, adult excuse.

  47. To note that it is not extremeness of path traversed or lengths of trajectories taken, but conflicts and contradictions in one aspect of life and another. Where it would amount to having each leg on separate platforms, as each base turns at a different speed. Needless to say you will end up as a human pretzel in no time. So playing risk and twister at one go, for more bang for buck, could be. But maybe it is sincerity and commitment that will protect adepts even in the harshest of conditions. So chose a path and stick to it would be good advice, but hard to do for chronic vacillators, or the naturally fickle. More and more common in our attention deficit world. Diversity over singularity, specialization over multiplicity, broads versus thins? Unless it is the versus that should be subtracted from the equation? Except if the Norms you get are pot heads, or beer drinking louts at the local tavern. Then the Snafu is deeper than anticipated

  48. At the very least, you owe it to each other to pay attention. I love it when someone gives me their full attention and don't make me compete with their smart phone.

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