Co Op Art

  • July 1, 2020


This is a a crowd-sourced painting, to be co-created by participants from all around the world.

The painting is created from hundreds of discrete blocks, whose color and location have chosen by participants. It might take weeks, months or years to complete, it could end up wild or restrained,  harmonic or dissonant,  many-colored or monochrome…

The work will have people from all continents contributing —  all backgrounds, ages, cultures, races, faiths, genders and so on, all next to each other. Groups, collectives, institutions, charities and corporations may also participate. Each block choice also impacts other blocks: 1) directly because a gestural stroke or echoes of your block’s color is to be added to another 2 blocks down and one over; and 2)  indirectly, because people may decide their color by the ones surrounding them.

The work is like a jpeg, each block a pixel, but also like a story, each block a sentence adding to the narrative. (Geographical location, and any other info the chooser allows — for. ex, why the certain block was chosen, or name, age, biographical info, and so on. See The Story So Far below for the story as it’s being written.)

Individuals and communities.  The local and the global. Authorship. The impossibility of seeing the future, of planning –especially in these times — but also the possibilities of a beautiful outcome…

Block Study:

First Set (more below):

Here’s how to participate:

1)  Choose a block in the grid by selecting a letter between A and L (Horizontal), and a number between 1 and 42 (Vertical).  Each rectangle is 4″ x 2″.

2) You chose a color, and I fill in the space. In that same color I will also do a gestural stroke on another rectangle (two down, one over) so that each participant has an effect on another. The will also be smudges and glitches due to the process, some chance some chosen; this is not precision or paint by numbers, and very much about the human hand — or human hands (figuratively).

3) The color choice will be the spectrum: Red Orange Yellow Blue Green Indigo Violet, Black and White. I’ll choose within those zones according to the oilstick palette available. See the photo below of the palette.

3) There is a fee because art has value! Each rectangular “plot” is $10.  A group can collectively pay for one rectangle. See below for easy payment options (Paypal, credit card via Square etc.) Barter/in-kind welcome too – contact me.

4) Those are the parameters to set it in motion. But if a participant wants a variation — ie. split their rectangle into two colors, I’m open to it.

5) I’ll include, if desired, on the blog page and in future exhibitions or catalogs, any info you’d like to provide:  Rectangle Location / Participant’s name (full name, initials, combination thereof; / City, country, etc. / A short blurb of around 10 words max (say a message, dedication or other info).

A: 1, 3,9 B:15 C: 18 D: 24  E: 3, 22, 24,26  F: 8,23,24 G: 22 H: 17  I: 5, 8, 11 J: 3 ,8, 12 K: 18, 36, 38 L: 8, 20 (many more, location/color TBD)

The colors:


The work is meant to be  joyously messy so I’ll be applying the colors in different thickness and edges, and there might some overlapping, but I won’t change people’s color choices or locations. I will visually conduct the work as it progresses though.

The working surface is   84  x  48 “. There are 504 rectangles.

I’ll also be refining the idea as it moves forward. Later I’ll do social media posts of the work as it progresses. I’ll do some live IG stories or Youtube live streams as I add people’s sections real time.

The work (first in a series)  builds on ideas from IOTA (a decentralized painting), and CRISPR SCULPTR (an ever-growing and infinitely recombinant installation.) It also considers the idea of ownership without possession, and infinite possibilities — the same process would never result in the same final painting. It embraces the possibility of disaster, a painting by committee. It is also an analogy for our uncertain times, the impossibility of controlling the future, and also how we, collectively, create our reality, good or bad.



SQUARE (takes credit cards):

Buy now





Email info[at] with your block coordinates, A-L x 1-48: Letter(s)  x Number(s)

Option – include information, if desired, to be published on the page related to this artwork and/or future didactic text or catalog:
Name (first, last, initials) / Location (city, country) / Message dedication, micro-bio, joke, hope, epitaph… (140 characters or less. I may tweet these).

The Story So Far:

In claim order, with (color):
I-13 (b), A-3 (b), E-3 (i), J-3 (v), F-8 (y), J-8 (b), I-5 (o), J-12 (y), D-24 (bk), E-24 (bk), F-24 (r), H-17 (v), E-22 (v), E-26 (b), G-22 (v), F-23 (b), K-38 (b), L-20 (w), B-15 (b), I-8 (g). A-9 (y), C-18 (o), K-36 (r), L-8 (g), K-18 (b)

Calgary, Canada. Shaun M.  Block by: position. Premium price offered. (not accepted). Color TBD. A-1
Los Angeles, USA. A family.Block by: initials. Colors in sequence in the spectrum. AEJ-3
Toronto, Canada. Anonymous.  A married couple. Chosen by: birthdates. Colors: favorites. F-8, J-8
Chiyoda, Japan. Setsuko. Block by: address. Color: favorite fruit (mikan) I-5
Trinidad/Denmark Anonymous. Female. Chose by: letter pattern. Color: violet flame H-17
Sao Paulo, Brazil. Law firm.Block by: record label. Colors: of shoes worn. “A casa é sua” D-24, E-24, F-24
Vancouver, Canada. DM Block by: name. “For Irfan” D-13
Cape Town, South Africa
 W.  Block by: relation. Color: tbd
Malta Michelle Bartolo + Marc Dold “The only way to hold on is to keep letting go”. B-15, I-8
Toronto, Canada.
A doctor. A9, C18, K36
Calgary, Canada. Retired. Block by name & birthdate. Color by sky at twilight, and mid day. L-8, K-18
Raleigh, USA. 
Professional. 25 blocks by artist choice   B-23, 28, 41
D-6,7,8,9, 10, 31 , D-10, E-34, F-16, G-1, 36,35, , H-1, 27,29,30,32, I-1, K-6,8,12 + 1


TBD: 30 more, as colors, locations considered.