These are my Cars

Logan Quinn

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

This work, described in a statement composed by Logan (who has Down syndrome) and his sister Hannah Quinn, situates play as a Crip Ritual that brings joy:

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.

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