Last spring a friend and fellow art teacher sent me a link to a You Tube video entitled, Caine's Arcade. It features a nine year old boy named Caine and the fabulous cardboard arcade he built over the summer in his father's auto-parts store in east Los Angeles.
The story is told by Nirvan Mullick, an independent film-maker who was his first customer. The detail, dedication and ingenuity in the cardboard arcade are remarkable as is Caine's dedication to his project in spite of initially having very little audience for his work. The film features the flash-mob event organized by Mullick to suprise Caine as well as interviews with his dad about the building of the arcade and images of his many game creations.
What really excited me about the project was how accessible it is to kids and families. Cardboard and tape seem to be universal building blocks of childhood. In his interview Caine's father said he was glad the arcade kept his son busy and engaged during the long summer days. He encouraged and supported the project without getting too involved. When Caine wanted to go buy a special part for a particular game, his father challenged him to make one and was surprised and delighted by Caine's inventive solution.
Watch the origial Caine's Arcade video for yourself here:
Then move on to the second video:
Anyone can participate and it is a great reminder of ingenuity and creativity that can be found by building with simple everyday materials.
During classes at Art at the Center we have been building and experimenting with ways to create with cardboard and some of our discoveries are pictured below.
We encourage you to gather your boxes this weekend and enjoy some time over the 3 day weekend creating with cardboard with your children, family, friends and neighbors.
Please post pictures here to share and inspire other builders!
Kathryn Horn Coneway is the director of Art at the Center, a studio for children and families in Alexandria, Virginia. To learn more about our classes and programs visit www.artatthecenter.org