Ce n'est pas un jouet: This is not a toy.
Why do we forget to play when we grow up? Why do we hurt each other? Everywhere I look I see distrust, miscommunication, and misunderstanding. This is followed with greed, selfishness, and pain. How can play help us to understand each other?
Can play transform us and our world? Play is how we learn and gain trust from each other, so can it liberate us from the cycle of hurting each other?
Through toys and games, I explore the intersection between adversity and play. Play is a serious venture and as the title says, it is not a toy. I invoke Magritte with this title because his work showed us that possibilities are only limited by our imagination. I believe that through play we release ourselves from adversity and open the door to new possibilities. This body of work manifests as a series of series; the statements for each series follow. Unspoken: A series of noisemaker blowtoys that explore the thoughts that we don't say to each other. Each toy is made from a reused blowtoy and train figures with a handmade paper extender. Each piece is handpainted and assembled. The toys measure approximately 5 inches x 2 inches x 1 inch and can be played with in the same manner as party blowtoys. There are 22 in the series. 2012 In Pursuit of a Happy Middle: A series of dice games that explore the chances we take in relationships and how we gamble our lives on these relationships. Each game is an assemblage of readymade and handmade objects. These games range in size from 1.5 in x 5.5 in x 2.25 in to 4.25 in x 8 in x 4.25 in. There are 10 in the series. 2013 The Enemy Within: A series of Xbox 360 Video Games that explore the intersection between games, the spiritual, and the struggle against invisible foes. This series begins the personal narrative of dealing with a diagnosed illness and the private struggle of an invisible enemy. These games are coded in C# and XNA without a game engine. The graphics are digitally created in Photoshop from traditionally drawn, painted and printed charcoal drawings, acrylic paintings and etchings. There are 4 in the series. 2007 & 2014 Spot Games: A series of PC games follow the journey through an illness and recovery. These games take the audience from a loss of agency, to the retreat mental and physical space of healing, and then, finally, a return to health and agency. These pieces are simple 2D games with vector graphics created in Illustrator. The first 4 and are coded in TorqueScript with the Torque 2D game engine. These games have been influenced by Damien Hirst's Spot Paintings and depict a similar quiet purgatory. There is very little player agency. In the fifth game, and the forthcoming games, agency returns. This game, and the future games in this series, is and will be built in Unreal 4 and Unity. There are 5 in the series and 2 more are in the design process. 2015-2016 The World is Flat? A series of strategy games that are about balanced and unbalanced relationships. The creation of the graphics is a combination of traditionally created images and digitally manipulated and/or created in Photoshop and Illustrator. The games and boxes are printed, framed, and the game is assembled with ready made game components. There are 4 in the series. 2013 & 2016 Grin And Bear It: A series of teddy bears explores the things that we say to ourselves to self-comfort. These pieces are meant to be hugged. The t-shirts are printed and the bears are readymade. They are 11 x 5 x 6 inches. There are 10 in the series. 2017
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