In 1919 the French conceptual artist Marcel Duchamp coined the idea of a "do-it-yourself" artwork, otherwise known as an artwork created through a series of operational instructions. In works of this sort, a set of rules (or "constraints") are given to participants, who then interpret the project guidelines in their own creative ways. DIY artworks tend to be open ended, depending largely on participant willingness to engage and mobilize the ideas behind the projects themselves, breaking apart many of the conventional ideas about what art is or can be.

Smash Challenge is a DIY project that takes literally the idea of breaking the boundaries of art. Participants are asked to find something to smash and then perform a public action, documenting the process along the way. There are 4 instructions:

  1. Find something to smash.
  2. Select a location -- the more public the better.
  3. Recruit a friend to take a video of you as you smash your object.
  4. Take a photograph of the smashed object, attempting to compose as beautiful a picture as you can with the finished work.

Contributor Images 2018 (Spring)
University of Washington Bothell

image credit: Laura Frankland (2018)

Participating Artists: Maura Bennett, Laura Frankland, Cindy Phanz, and one anonymous contributor

Contributor Images 2017 (Autumn)
University of Washington Bothell

image credit: Mark Bacani (2017)

Participating Artists: Mark Bacani, Justin Berkbigler, Tera Fiechtner, Arjay Ibanez, Kuei Kao, Kai Wing Tse, Jasmin Williams,

Contributor Images 2017 (Spring)
University of Washington Bothell

image credit: Melissa Gueiros (2017)

Participating Artists: Gabriella Axelson, Melissa Gueiros, Nicolas Hauser, Laura Nguyen, Chloe Rock, Uyen Tran, Audrey Zahina, and several anonymous contributors