2D UNIT III: Unity

Project IIIA Identity Sheet

To understand and apply various methods for achieving unity on a two-dimensional surface.

To find visual equivalents for your personal identity.

Project Overview Your challenge is to plan and execute a series of small compositions that illustrate the concept of unity. Using found objects and mechanical reproduction techniques, you will explore how various objects and their relationship to one another can suggest an individual's identity.

Project References


1. Wallace Berman

2. John Baldessari

Vocabulary chance, proximity, unified direction, continuation, unity with variety, identity, facsimile, signature, mechanical reproduction



15 x 20" illustration board, x-acto knife, scissors, rubber cement or graphic arts paste, xerox images, ruler, and found objects.


1. Before coming to class, review the thematic concept of Identity as found on the website. Also read the discussion on "unity" for Unit III.

2. As a member of a 4 - 5 person team, brainstorm methods of creating "order out of chaos." Create a list of at least five methods for creating ordered, visual relationships among diverse objects.


1. Develop a series of thumbnail compositions that illustrate the various concepts of unity as described in the unit discussion.

2. Make a collection (minimum of 15) of smallish (1" - 12") found objects borrowed from your studio gear, your pockets, or your purse. Create a series of compositions by simply arranging objects on sheets of white paper. Produce at least five compositions illustrating the concepts of "chance," "proximity," "unified direction," "continuation," and "unity with variety."

3. Translate your ideas into images using a xerox machine or a digital scanner.

4. After making a series of images for each unity principle, cut four strips of white paper and arrange around each composition, moving them in and out until you feel that the area left showing is a good composition. Don't be afraid to allow certain objects run out of the framed area. Look for interesting patterns of "negative" and "positive" space. Cut the reproduction out in this configuration and mount the best solution to each problem on your matt board. Depending on the overall value of your pieces, you might consider using a gray or black board for mounting.

Critique Ideas Complete the Critique (item #d) assignment and submit as an e-mail message to your instructor. 
Assessment Examine the final artwork to determine whether the artist communicates an idea, whether they use unity principles effectively, and whether the image is organized (composed) effectively.

As students offer interpretations of their classmates' artworks, note whether they can identify a message and point to aspects of the artwork that support that message.

Items for an Identity Portfolio might include:
--a series of self-portraits made from found objects
--written interpretations of various ways we record a person's identity in contemporary society.

Return to UNIT III Overview