These Are My Cars

Logan and Hannah Quinn

2020. Installation with toy cars, tabletop, and video.

This work situates play – or the act of playing – as a Crip Ritual that brings joy. Sibling collaborators Logan (who has Down syndrome) and Hannah Quinn composed the following statement together:

“For Logan, this play entails lining up his cars in long rows across his table and driving them in sequences and patterns. This form of play has been given many labels over the years: adaptive behaviour, compulsions, stimming, and sensory processing. Logan calls it play. People who don’t know Logan might think that it is unusual for a 25-year-old man to so deeply enjoy playing with hundreds of dinky cars. For Logan it is a daily ritual, a part of his routine. But just because it is routine does not mean that it is mundane. As Logan says, ‘I love playing with my cars. It is very important. It makes me so happy and calm.’ After a day at work or school, Logan retreats to his room and plays. He carves out a space for himself to unwind, to process some of the day’s events, and to laugh. He has been doing this since he was young. Some people might not like to call it ‘play’, because they think that playing is something only kids should be doing. This highlights how intellectually disabled people are often infantilized and might thus avoid the stims, desires, and forms of play that could further contribute to their infantilization. Logan wants to celebrate these rituals of play. Play, in his way, is Logan’s ritual of joy and self-care. Through the exhibit, Logan would like to share his ritual of playing with his cars with others. By sharing this otherwise private ritual, he invites others to play and to experience some joy for themselves. […]

The visual element of the installation is comprised of selections of auto-recorded videos of Logan ‘at play’ with his cars. Logan has recorded many hours of himself playing with his cars on his iPad. Through watching, viewers have the opportunity to be with Logan as he goes through his daily ritual of playing with his cars and see the videos that he himself has taken to capture this ritual. The audio component includes the sounds and conversations that Logan engages in during these auto-recorded videos. To accompany the audio-visual component printed text outlines some of Logan’s thoughts and feelings about his cars, where and when he plays with them, and why. Logan would like to explain his play ritual in his own words, which is important to him, given that he is minimally-verbal.

Finally, the installation includes a mock-up of his table top (30 inches wide, 20 inches deep), where Logan has placed the cars in the configuration and patterns that he normally places them when he is ‘at play’. The plank of wood mimics the table top that he plays on at home. Viewers can interact with the cars and ‘play’ with them as they like. This gives viewers the opportunity to have a tactile experience of playing with cars as well, and perhaps even feel a sense of calm and joy in doing so.”

Video of These Are My Cars with open captions

Video of These Are My Cars with audio description

Process Images of Logan Quinn and These Are My Cars

Overhead view of Logan playing with colourful toy cars on tabletop

Written Image Description:

Young white man with blond hair and blue eyes, wearing a grey t-shirt, sits with one arm out touching a colourful toy car amongst a dimly lit tabletop full of cars. He moves the cars one at a time across the table. 

colourful toy cars lined up in rows on wooden tabletop

Written Image Description:

Colourful toy cars are shown in parallel rows across a pine tabletop. The cars are pictured on an angle to reveal the different colours, shapes, and sizes.

Logan holds up a yellow schoolbus toy while sitting cross legged at his table

Written Image Description:

Young white man with down syndrome, wearing a black Michael Bublé concert t-shirt, sits cross-legged on the floor holding a yellow school bus in the palm of his outstretched hand. He is grinning and looking off to the side of the frame with more colourful cars in front of him on the pine tabletop, which sits legless on the floor. 

Hannah Quinn’s Twitter: @hanelizqui

Installation view of works by Logan Quinn at Tangled Art+Disability. Photograph by Michelle Peek Photography*.

Written Image Description: 

A person wearing a white and red patterned coat stands in front of a wooden table with several colorful toy cars lined up on top of it. The person has extended their arm, and is gently grabbing one of the toy cars on the display. In the background, there is a digital projection of the video “These Are My Cars”.

Installation view of works by Logan Quinn at Tangled Art+Disability. Photograph by Michelle Peek Photography*.

Written Image Description:

A person wearing a white sweater has their arms extended out over a wooden table of colourful toy cars, and is moving an orange toy car across the table.