We are encouraged to buy everything. None of us makes things any more. That’s the way of the world. When we were kids, we’d spend hours with homemade toys, like paper boats and airplanes made out of spring-loaded clothes pins (which we’d crash into walls, chairs, and cereal box cityscapes with glee because they flew apart in such interesting ways upon impact.) and we had loads of fun. These days, everything comes from a store. I know people who have never cooked a meal from scratch, filling their freezers with packaged pre-cooked fare from places like M&M Meat Shops (a Canadian frozen food chain) and bringing home take out.
One of the things I love about Nuit Blanche is the DIY Lo-Fi approach of many of the smaller projects. Regrettably, I didn’t see too many of these as I spent most of my time at Nathan Philips Square this year, but this young man embodies that approach in a small way. His newspaper hat hearkens back to a childhood spent making things out of ordinary household objects and, given the context, it says party in a far better way than the glowing made-in-China contraptions that various street vendors were hawking during Toronto’s annual all-night art happening.