What is a 'do it'?

Get to know the concept behind the globally inclusive arts project

By Google Arts & Culture

Precious Okoyomon, do it, 2020 (2020)Serpentine Galleries

do it opens art up to everyone, everywhere. But what exactly is a do it? What forms do these works take?


A “do it” is a DIY instruction shared by amazing artists, musicians and designers, that you can easily try at home. They can all be quickly completed without preparation or special skills - and can be interpreted any way you like. 

Do it_Thumbnail_Yoko Ono_orange

The project was conceived in 1993 by curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist and artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier. Artists were asked to create instructions for their audiences to make themselves, rather than finished works. For example, in 1996, Yoko Ono invited viewers to make a wish...

Do it_Thumbnail_Tracey Emin_orange

Over the years, do it has invited to you collaborate with instructions from many leading artists so you can perform like Gilbert and George, or make work like Tracey Emin.

Do it_Thumbnail_Gilbert & George_orange

Since 1993, it has grown into a global collective art project including some of the world's most famous figures and, most importantly, you!

Gilbert & George (1995) by Gilbert & GeorgeSerpentine Galleries

Here are Gilbert and George in 1995 giving you their 10 Commandments.

Do it_Thumbnail_Virgil_orange_size01_1 (1)

Now, do it Around the World, in collaboration with the Serpentine Galleries, is bringing a brand new selection of instructions to the globe over social media and digital platforms.

Hans-Ulrich ObristSerpentine Galleries

Obrist, now Artistic Director of the Serpentine, says, “do it has always been global and local, public and private—spheres of life that for many have coalesced in recent months. I was so touched to learn that people around the world have turned to do it at this time."

“Whether through paint, words, music, food or another medium, artists of all kinds guide their audiences to change their worlds. do it is an open invitation for anyone to let art expand their horizons, not just as a passive observer but by doing something themselves.”

Do it_Thumbnail_Instruction (2003)

The project is all-inclusive, so you (and even your pets!) can get involved...

Here are some examples of some responses or attempts as inspiration...

Animal Do It (1)

Animal Do It (2)

Can you do better? 


Already done with the latest do its? Why not explore a selection of do its from the past 27 years selected by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Independent Curators International - run for President with Eileen Myles or bake a delicious gratin guided by film director Agnes Varda. 

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