League collaborated with The Everything Company to host a small event at the Bomford Studios, a temporary building in which Cedric, Nathan and Jim Bomford are constructing their monumental artwork Dead Head from recuperated building materials. The Everything Company is a project of the artists Chris Dahl, Jason Gowans, and Michael Love, who see art-making as a playful process of work, and have been hosting a series of speakeasies in interesting locations around Vancouver.
The main event of the night was a bicycle delivery service to Vancouver. For 45 minutes, we received texts from individuals around the city, requesting free bottles of gin, and for the next two hours, teams of cyclists raced around the city to deliver bottles. The game was a mimicry of the Hell’s Angels “Midnight Express,” an after-hours alcohol delivery service that operates in Vancouver. The courier teams’ progress was tracked using a smart phone app, and the team that delivered the most bottles received a special prize.
Apart from the delivery service, we played games around the Bomfords’ skeletal building-within-a-building. (Look for it to be launched on a barge in Burrard Inlet in 2014.)
The next day was League’s regularly-scheduled play date, unfolding for this day only in two locations. Participants were asked to B.Y.O.Bocce: that is, bring objects that were lobbable, pitchable, or tossable, with the idea of using them as the starting-point for games of precision.
The starting-point was thinking that games such as bocce, bowling, curling, golf, and marbles all use objects and terrain that have peculiar characteristics which must be taken into account in order to really master the game. The locations have uneven surfaces and friction, or the objects are wobbly, for example. We imagined that any of these games would be quite different if played using objects with other unexpected tendencies, such as softness, size, bounciness, fragility, lightness, permeability, etc..
We played versions of bocce using different targets selected by participants, expecting that the various objects we tossed, rolled, put, or kicked towards it would have not only different flight patterns, but also different potential for displacing the jack or other objects. In addition, one of the park locations was uneven and slanted, and the in the other the grass had been uncut for some time. Our strategic choice of weapons was affected by the factors such as distance, wind, and terrain, not to mention individuals’ different throwing or kicking skills.
Upcoming League activities
- Vancouver Draw Down: Saturday 15 June, 10 am to noon at Elm Park.
For this city-wide drawing day, we’ll play with marking the field at Elm Park. Our version of drawing will involve full-body motion: running and walking with the field-marking equipment, and working together to invent a game to match the lines.
- Western Front 40th Anniversary: Sunday 16 June, noon to 5pm at the Western Front, 303 East 8th Ave, Vancouver [map].
As part of the Western Front’s anniversary celebrations, we will mine the building’s storage for leftover construction materials accumulated over the past decades. The first part of the day (12-2), League group and drop-in participants will build structures for play, and the rest of the day everyone is welcome to drop in for improvised play using these structures.