Inspired by the 1998 episode of Disney’s Recess, “Economics of Recess” and based on real-life experiences: The Economics of Recess is an exhibition and on-going project set on the intriguing world of food manufacturers’ marketing and advertising techniques directed toward children. As well as food Sovereignty in fast-paced and controlled food economics as well as environments. The exhibition is most concerned with the marketing strategies of collectable toy campaigns that -as a consequence - encourage and cultivate hyper-consumerist, hyper-capitalist and classist behaviours in the child’s play pattern as well as on the schooling playgrounds. The work in this exhibition depicts how these collectable toy campaigns catalyse a form of playground currency, and a trending epidemic, disrupting the social order of the school playground. Additionally, the body of work seeks to convey a rather conspicuous reflection on food packaging, globalization and patenting of food ingredients, as well as the agricultural monopolies from the corporate umbrellas of the food manufacturing world. Moreover, the body of work aims to convey and present a cohesive body of work that further encourages sustainable thinking in child-directed snack promotions - from both an environmental, nutritional and economic outlook.
This exhibition is particularly concerned with the time-specific epidemic of the Tazo - The global name of the toy used by the food manufacturing branches under PepsiCo. Umbrella (Pogs in Australia). An archaic artefact of bygone generations expanding from the late 90s through the mid-2000s. Known for its highly effective circular shape - highly imitative of that of worldwide currency, the coin - and for its sculptural, modular and materialistic-based characteristics. The Tazo (Pogs) was and remains a staple of playground currency and collectivity, that retained polychromatic colour, design and art from a vast array of pop memorabilia - mostly cartoons, with the exception of other brands pushing their products. This circular antiquity presented an opportunity for competitive play that mirrored global games like Ddakji (Korean), Menko (Japan) and Patacó (Catalonia), and furthermore, embraced and developed a cult following to this day. Whilst the Tazo (Pogs) had a significant impact - arguably an enjoyable one - on most people's lives, it is the same nature of the materiality, collectivity and marketing campaigns of this toy that brought irreversible malnutrition to global communities, as well as harm to the surrounding ecologies due to landfill, pollution and littering.
This exhibition invites you to perceive and re-live the days of the Tazo (Pogs) in the form of an unaccessible front shop, an untouchable memory that encourages you to self-reflect and instigate a deeper conversation around the materiality of promotional material targeted at our children, and how we as a society can challenge these companies to eradicate greenwashing practices and exercise transparent, eco-centric and encouraging methods of food manufacturing for our generations to come.
Respectfully made in Brayakaulung country and presented in Maribyrnong/Wurundjeri & Boon Wurrung country.