Special Projects for AREA#14: Kids!

Pixel Puppet Playground

While expecting their first child, Chelsea Cossu invited her partner Stefano to experiment with the playground  in their neighborhood play lot. She then videotaped the shadows cast by rubber balls rolling across the playground equipment  projected on the rubber turf below, creating the illusion of a pixelated screen. There is more to this image than nostalgia — we recognize that “play” is socially defined and mediated by specific technologies. The playground, like the screen, becomes a space of play and creative adaptation, as well as a space of highly regulated activity, built-in constraints, and commercial activities. Chelsea submitted this video for AREA’s online special projects, with the following short description: “Soft recycled tire ground, pre-constructed tower platforms, and a sunny day made our shadows look like pixels from early animated games. The playground is very different from those we remember, we guessed that the games we remembered were very different now too. As childless adults we were alone there, misusing the tower made for climbing, and the ground made for soft falls, into a pre-constructed game from our childhoods, making the playground look like an animated video game of hands rolling balls.”

Pixel Puppet Playground from Chelsea Cossu on Vimeo.

Growing Up With The CPD

A series of audio interviews exploring the relationship between young people and law enforcement in Chicago. The project is initiated/facilitated by Francesco De Salvatore. Featured are Patrick C. Blanton, David Dixon, Julissa Garcia, Neto Perdomo, Eliseo Real. They are members of the Young Fugitives, a performance group consisting of 12 artists from Chicago. All images by Jazmin Corona

Please scroll through the tracks below to hear all the interviews.

Organize! Interview with Torii Crider

Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY) organizer Torii Crider shares her insights as a youth organizer. How are people identified as children in different contexts, and what does being a child mean  — as an experience, as a political category, as a position in society and in organizing circles. Torii also shares insights on organizing and the specific motivations behind the work of FLY.

Kids AREN’t Allright

This project opens up a critical dialogue about who and what is understood as being “a child”. Rather than assuming this is a natural or obvious designation, we explore “child” as a socially constructed category. What is the politics of this construction? Who does, and who does not, count as a child?  How are representations of the child used in political campaigns and in social movements?  Kids Aren’t All Right is initiated by Erica Meiners. Please click here for Erica’s introduction.