Etches By An Obsolete Youth

Visual Studies Undergraduate Thesis Project at The University of Toronto, 2016

In treating a child’s toy as a medium for fine art, Hassard seeks to eradicate the boundaries between life and art, the artist and the audience, the artist and their work. Using one line from childhood to depict life as it happens, the transient directional quality of the Etch-A-Sketch embodies the passing of time and the imminent end of youth. Never stop playing.

Etches by Obsolete Youth follow the tradition of participation-based installation as theorized by Earth Artists and Burning Man which affirm nothing can substituted for the lived experience of exchanged expression. The Etch-A-Sketches of millennial communal living were once free to played with at a party. All interaction between the the Etch-A-Sketches and its viewer-turned-artist was recorded by the Magic Screen. Using one line from childhood to depict life as it happens, the directional, shake to erase transient quality of the etches correlates with the passing of time and the imminent end of youth that sees children put down their toys and stop playing. After the party the completed sketches have become a record of that experiential exchange. As fine art objects hung on walls and prevented from being played, the commodification of life inherent in individual maturation equates to broken toys. Hassard’s primary interest is on the integration of the audience within the creative process to facilitate the recognition of codependency between life, the artist, and the viewer. 

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