"Let’s create a Kooker – a wild and wacky creature from a mysterious, playful world, far away... Thinking about the body and using the imagination, teens will collaboratively create a large scale puppet/ costume using found and recycled materials. Feel free to bring any discarded materials (ex. old clothes, bottles, cans, random trinkets lying around, etc) to repurpose into this creature. This is a play, imagination, and materials-based workshop. "
I facilitated a collaborative "Kreate a Kooker" workshop with 13 teens at the Museum of the Arts of Design. The teens did not know each other previously, and had the task of collaboratively transforming a simple grey dress into a Kooker. They were given an assortment of recycled materials that they could play with. They began by sketching different "kooker" ideas, and decided that they would proceed by each building an part of the creature. While creating their individual parts, organic collaborations began to ensue. "Why don't you try using this wire? I used it for my piece, and it gives it good shape." "Oh, I love the eye you're making. I made these leaves that could be cool eyelashes." Towards the end of the session, the participants came together and collectively built the final creature, which they named Bartholowclops.
It was my first time facilitating a collaborative Kooker-making workshop, and enjoyed the process of seeing the teens begin to form connections through collaboratively creating a wacky creature. Many of the teens were not self-identified artists, but dove into the new materials with creativity and imagination.
Special thank you to Lewis Shore for co-facilitating, and the MAD Museum for hosting.