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“Play Thing is a musical installation made both to entertain and to challenge a viewer. Every nook of the structure pushes viewers to find their place within it, whether by tempting them to pay a quarter to smash an explosive phallus, or else by daring them to try out an untrustworthy tricycle. A constant flow of risk and reward permeates the space while moments of painstaking craftsmanship, coupled with the chaos of a playful viewer, up the stakes of interaction.
I came to Bard College a luthier having never taken a class in studio art. Until quite recently I have found little reason to be an artist, and at times I still question whether I should continue devoting my time to what can seem a pointless endeavor. Play Thing has been instrumental in helping me realize a purpose for my art. I aspire to create a place free from the pressures and expectations of the outside world, where one can act on excited whims and be rewarded for them. I hope to create happiness and thoughtfulness, fun and apprehension. I hope to spread dissonance and harmony, confusion and clarity. I hope to inspire but not to direct. I have worked hard to find my place as an artist, and now I challenge viewers to find their place within my art.”
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Herbert, James Edwin, "Play Thing" (2018). Senior Projects Spring 2018. 364.
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