Creative destruction: Smashfest to be held on Black Friday

Nov. 27, 2013 @ 12:22 PM

On Black Friday, people shop for deals, and retailers hope those bargains lead to other purchases and a larger profit margin. The Scrap Exchange, a nonprofit creative re-use center, is inviting the community to vent some post-Thanksgiving and post-Black Friday steam by purchasing goods from The Scrap Exchange store and smashing them against the wall.

One goal of Smashfest is to encourage participants to question the consequences of consumption, and for Friday’s third annual Smashfest, The Scrap Exchange is offering new ways to strike that symbolic blow against the empire. Participants can throw goods at a concrete wall and slab located outside of the store’s entrance. Or they can use a sledge hammer, or break large items like mirrors using a suspended, tethered bowling ball.
The store has been pulling aside items such as bowls, mugs, plates and mirrors for purchase and for smashing, said Lindsey Miller, outreach and events manager for Scrap Exchange. Participants in the past two years have come to Smashfest for a variety of reasons, she said. For some, “this is a different activity from getting out and wading into the Black Friday mess. … People aren’t really allowed to do this in life, and this is a place where it’s safe to do that” – meaning smash things.
Smashfest participants also can choose not to smash what they buy. And if they choose to smash, they can use the pieces to make something. Jeannette Brossart, a mosaic artist, will be at Smashfest demonstrating mosaic techniques using glass and crockery that participants smash. After the Smashfest, Brossart will be teaching community workshops in mosaics, culminating in an exhibit at Scrap Exchange in February. That exhibit will include art made from Smashfest remains, and work from Brossart and other artists that stress the importance of literacy.
Smashfest has other creative elements in addition to the visual art. From 4 to 6 p.m., percussionist and teacher Shannon Morrow will lead families in a Junk Jam, in which participants make music using drums made from “upcycled” goods. Beginning at 6, local musicians The Charming Youngsters, Pink Flag and Ronnie Capps will perform.
During the smashing, A/V Geeks, a local archival film group, will project films related to consumerism on the concrete wall where goods will be smashed.
The Scrap Exchange collects a wide range of discarded goods and sells them to keep them out of landfills. Smashfest was conceived as an event to get people to think about the waste and excess goods that consumption produces –  and to offer the sheer primal joy of smashing something against a wall.

Go and Do

WHAT: Third annual Smashfest
WHEN: Friday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
WHERE: The Scrap Exchange, 923 Franklin St., Durham
ADMISSION: Free. Money from items purchased for smashing will benefit The Scrap Exchange.