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Weekend play report: 15-16 June 2013

Vancouver Draw Down

For this city-wide drawing day, we had the idea of walking or running with the field-marking equipment to spray-chalk new fields for play, which would in turn suggest the games to be played. Many participants had not experienced drawing on that scale, or the seeming “responsibility” for configuring space themselves. But hesitations were quelled through encouragement, and more than a dozen drawings were laid out on the field, with the beginnings of games emerging from them.

One of the games — Petri — offers something potentially new to the pantheon of bocce-like games. It began with Danita spraying a number of circles with the radius of her reach. Through various iterations of tossing balls and other objects, we eventually developed a coherent narrative for the game: the circles as petri dishes and the balls as viral agents. In order to score, your circle(s) must be pure, containing only one type of ball particle. If it becomes inoculated/contaminated by another agent, it does not count. Scoring is also viral, through multiplication of the numbers in each player’s pure circles. For example, if one player ends with two circles, each containing two particles, she scores 4 (2 x 2). If the other player ends with one ball in each of five different circles, she only scores 1 (1 x 1 x 1 x 1 x 1). The potential for exponential, runaway scoring opens up a lot of strategic possibilities.

Play building at the Western Front

Coinciding with Main Street Car-Free Day, pioneering artist-run centre Western Front was celebrating its 40th anniversary with an open house featuring interactive projects in and around the building. League dove into the Front’s stocks of old construction materials to build improvised play tools and structures, including:

  • Cross-country drawing skis, aka Rube Drawberg, aka the most impractical drawing implement imaginable, using scraps of gypsum as the mark-making brakes
  • A cross between teeter-totter and physiotherapy plank, borrowing a beautiful length of old fir
  • “Skaters of the Cross”, a skateboard with 2×4 yoke
  • A drawing wheel chair using a borrowed garden chair, gypsum, surgical tubing, skateboard wheels, and metal beading
  • An elaborate snow-cone holder that grew from an idea to make stairs using stringers cut randomly by different people
  • A drinking machine for misanthropes, which creates an inhospitable zone around the drinker
  • Manual nose manual plank: a single skateboard truck on the end of a 2×8.

Bean Race 2013 progress

Bean Race 2013 report: as of mid-June, the Team Gropp’s is far ahead in terms of sheer volume of plant material, but the kids of League have a slight edge in altitude. Insects or other plant-munchers are proving to be an issue for the sprouts that haven’t yet reached escape velocity.


Upcoming play — 15 June Field Lines + 16 June Play Building

League is participating in a couple of the events that are helping to make this city a place for playful action. Join us to make your own playing field or help build improvised play structures.

Field Lines for Vancouver Draw Down

Vancouver Draw Down

Saturday 15 June

Field Lines at Elm Park, 10am – noon

Now in its fourth year, Vancouver Draw Down is a celebration of drawing in everyday life that aims to reconnect everyone with the power and pleasure of making marks. “This day-long, city wide celebration focuses on the process, pleasure and diversity of drawing, rather than on skill and technical ability.” Draw Down events are led by artists at venues across the city. The full schedule is here.

From 10am to noon in Elm Park, we’ll play with marking the field and work together to invent a game to fit the lines. Here drawing will involve full-body motion, running and walking with the field-marking equipment.

Play Building at the Western Front

Sunday 16 June

Noon – 5pm
Western Front, 303 East 8th Ave (map)

Pioneering Vancouver artist-run centre the Western Front is celebrating its 40th anniversary with an open house on Main Street Car-Free Day. Playful, interactive art projects will be unfolding all around the Front building.

For 40 years, the Western Front has been a presenting challenging art, new music, performance, and new media in a building that was formerly the Knights of Pythias lodge. For this anniversary day, League will mine the building’s storage for construction materials left over the past decades. For the first part of the day we will use these materials to build structures for play, and the rest of the afternoon everyone is welcome to drop in to improvise ways of using these structures for play.