In his book, Play Matters, Miguel Sicart maintains that playfulness and play are different. He believes that play is an activity as opposed to playfulness, which he states is an attitude.
“An activity is a coherent and finite set of actions performed for certain purpose, while an attitude is a stance toward an activity – a psychological, physical, and emotional perspective we take on activities, people, and object.”
Sicart suggests a theory that play doesn’t originate from an object or an activity, rather it is something brought by people to the ‘complex interactions’ of daily life.
I thought I would take a bottle of bubbles and ‘play’ with them. My intention originally was to see if they would freeze as I blew them in sub zero temperatures, but I later discovered it has to be at least -10 to achieve this. I let the bubbles out all the same and captured them on film which I later frame shot to watch it disintegrate into the air. On another occasion I took my bubbles to a nature reserve, but the wind kept blowing them away. A few landed on the deck of the reserve and as I took a photograph, I realised I could see myself in the reflection of the bubble. It prompted the playful within and I video recorded myself waving – it mirrored where we are at the moment in this COVID-19 pandemic, waving from our individual/family bubbles, waiting to be let out again.
Sicart’s words resonated with my actions. Initially it was a play activity which prompted an attitude of playfulness and resulted in a waving reflection within the play object I started out with – the bubble.
Waving from our bubbles – an appropriate illustration of the social impact COVID-19 has had on daily life.