TASK parties were invented by American visual artist Oliver Herring in 2002.
In a typical TASK party, there are only a few rules. A designated area is set up in our school cafeteria, and a variety of props, materials and art supplies are set up. Anyone wanting to participate in the party agrees pull one TASK out of our TASK box - a piece of paper drawn at random - and interpret the task any way he/she wants.
Some examples are:
"You are part of a new five-piece band! Find your other group members and build yourselves instruments to play."
"You are such an angel. Make yourself a set of wings and a fancy halo."
"Build yourself a shield to protect yourself from negative vibes."
"Create the latest new fashion for the Paris runway, and wear it around."
"You are the only one left on this island. Make yourself a shelter and the supplies you need to survive."
Once finished their task, each participant must write a new task for others, and draw a new one for themselves.
The great thing about TASK parties is that they allow participants to play in open-ended activities and to interact with each other and with the materials provided. It is a whole lot of fun, and the fact that each participant contributes to the following TASK participants' experience.
Although it may look a bit chaotic, the people involved are working hard at accomplishing their TASK challenges - using their creative thinking, problem solving, collaboration and critical thinking skills to get things done.
These parties are an opportunity for you to express and test out your own weird and wonderful ideas in an environment without failure or success - and the whole event becomes an amazingly fun, impermanent, playful and exciting opportunity to CREATE.
The "preciousness" of individual ideas is eliminated, and the ownership of creation becomes a community event. Each task developed gets to be transformed, recycled or morphed with another developing idea over time.
"This was the weirdest thing I have ever done, but it was really fun." - Taylor, Grade 12
"I felt weird having to talk to people I don't know at first, but then we had a bunch of laughs." - Sami, Grade 10
"I definitely thought this would be more stressful but it was just really relaxed and silly." - Kevin, Grade 10