Components of toy happenings so far…
1) Found regional objects (“junk”).
For Billfork (Spring 2012) and Lion’s Roar (Fall 2012) this came from sites of torn down houses and structures in Herman Park each. For Bigfoot, outside the protection of Frank and Herman Parks, the objects were found at the Plateau of Raw Art (site of old high school). Ruins are a key link. The smaller art event called Falmouth (Spring 2013) also contained some junk objects, most of which were old bottles. Same story there: came from nearby site of old house. Billfork and Lion’s Roar had a lot of bottles as well. Then there’s the basically unpotentialized Whitehead Crossing with its 55 or so bottles laying around in a pile.
And *then* there’s Rust Spot with its cache of metal stuff. 😮
2) Marble Race Track
The first marble race tracks of happenings set up in Billfork and Lion’s Roar were linear, with the end separate and unrelated, let’s say, from the beginning. For Bigfoot, end loops back into beginning potentially, or they are directly up and down from each other at least. This mimics the idea of Opus 19, where the bottom of the track is directly below the top. If you had some kind of pulley system, the race could potentially be made perpetual.
The marble race in Bigfoot was somewhat bigger than in Billfork and Lion’s Roar as well. All use 0-27 gauge model railroad track, of which I have probably 70-80 pieces by now.
3) Toy avatars
Billfork had no toy avatars except for the marbles (which count, despite the opinions of the Mmmmmmm’s). Lion’s Roar contained a couple, or at least I especially remember order barking Sue. The Sharieland art event (Fall 2013) excels here, with a good number of toy avatars involved in building and maintaining a central road through the rocks and sand of Erath on Earth Creek at Heart Lake. Sharieland is also where Billy J. Thornberry made his first appearance in a toy happening in the role of Lazy Sideburns Man, famously destroyed by Hater the Cow there. Of course he later reappears in Bigfoot as iron smelter Taum Sauk and also, briefly, as LSB’s twin brother Daisy at Whitehead Crossing, deemed The Leader (Spring 2014: 1 2).
Toy avatars appear quite early in my blogging experiences, way back in 2008 at TILE Creek, which can count as the first toy avatar happening. But there it was pure toys, with no junk and marble track (except for a couple of rustmobiles, i.e. old tin cans). I suppose we can call it the Jonesborough Happening. Nothing really has gone on there since then.
I keep stockpiling toys, which can be found very cheaply at flea markets and such.
You have to have a right combination of the above 3 to make a true art happening in my opinion. And that’s what occurred at Bigfoot.