Why does this matter?
Through this project, we hope to help youth and adults see objects and the world as being full of possibility.
We do this by creating moments of surprise, curiosity, joy, and learning, both through our vehicle’s presence (which catalyzes shared social experiences) and our activities (which encourage participants to work with their hands as part of a process of genuine creative experimentation, individual exploration, and self-discovery). We also want to serve and honor our local communities in one of the most transformative ways we know—through art.
The vehicle itself plays a central role in this interaction. We think the bicycle is an excellent tool for grassroots public art. It is accessible and ubiquitous (used by young and old, rich and poor, across cultures), has a low environmental impact, and is of a scale that enables more balanced interactions and feels more approachable than an automobile or a building. Its mobility enables us to go to people, addressing issues of disparity of access by providing arts workshops in underinvested neighborhoods.
Beyond environmentalism and creative re-use, recycling toys to make new toys is an exercise in both imagination and choice. By providing youth, in particular, an opportunity to modify “junk” toys into objects that they feel express their identity and personality, we also intend to encourage them to challenge dominant ideas about gendered toys. We are especially concerned about the impact that toys can have on the interests, goals, and future careers of young girls, and hope this project helps prompt thinking and conversation around what we learn from mass-produced objects and culture.
Throughout this work, our project aims to inspire youth to not simply accept what is given to them but to open their minds to the possibility of change, large and small.