Ben Kinmont


Ben Kinmont

On becoming something else (a multiple)

In this project students will create a box of multiples* about the idea of becoming something else.


Mixed media



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See Examples from Galileo High School Students


About Open Studio

Designed by practicing artists, the Open Studio classroom activities aim to connect high school teachers and students with key ideas and issues in contemporary art. See all of the Open Studio activities.

*An artist's multiple is an artwork that exists in an edition of identical works produced or commissioned by the artist. Like prints, multiples offer an affordable means of distributing and selling artwork and often involve various types of collaboration.


Blue Flyer on the Wall
Ben Kinmont's fliers in Kassel, Germany, for Moveable type no Documenta during the exhibition Documenta 11, 2002. Courtesy Ben Kinmont.

There are many ways in which things are in flux. Sometimes one is conscious of the change and it is purposeful. For example, a garden is planted, watered, and tended and after some weeks, vegetables can be harvested and eaten. At other times the change is more elusive, and if it involves oneself, one often doesn't even realize that the change has occurred until looking back at where one started to see what one has become.

The original On becoming something else project was a consideration of such a transformation in the lives of artists. Specifically, it was about how artists began in one field of practice and through the pursuit of that subject, found themselves in an occupation other than art.

For this Open Studio assignment I would like students to consider the different ways in which they are in a state of becoming. What were they like when they were younger? How have they changed while in school? What have they become and how could they represent that change in an object, text, or image?

Participant in Moveable type no Documenta during the exhibition Documenta 11, 2002. Courtesy Ben Kinmont.

Each student will be responsible for producing a work that represents their thoughts and experiences about becoming something else. It can be autobiographical, biographical, or about the idea in general. They will then reproduce this piece in a number equal to the number of people in the class. For example, if there are 25 students and one teacher in the class, each student will make 26 copies of their piece. Next, the students will make or acquire 26 matching boxes according to the consensus of the class. Shoe boxes or cardboard boxes can be used. Once the boxes are ready, each student will place one of their works as well as a certificate of authenticity into each of the boxes. The certificate will indicate the edition size and list each of the works contained in the box, followed by the student's name and signature. When the assignment is finished, one box will be given to each person in the class.

Artist Biography

Ben Kinmont

Born in 1963 in Burlington, Vermont
Currently lives in Sebastopol, California

Ben Kinmont is an artist, publisher, and antiquarian bookseller. Existing somewhere between Conceptual art and "social sculpture," Kinmont's work is based in real-time exchanges such as meals, conversations, and gestures. In 1996 he began his publishing project, Antinomian Press, which focuses on ephemera and archival material, often distributed for free. Kinmont also has an ongoing antiquarian bookselling business, begun in 1998, that specializes in books and manuscripts about domestic economy and food.