Week 12 – Art Experience – Ethnography

This is legit, the only picture I took at the camping grounds before I put my phone away, said goodbye to electricity, and hello to nature. 

Hey, guys. The week is over, finally. I have been so overwhelmed this week with everything that I’ve had to do, and with my grandparents in town, and I’m kinda fearing this upcoming week because even more is going to happen.


Earlier this week, Glenn contacted me about a comment I made on our slack team convo for ART110 and asked me if I was willing to write a piece about Dada, punk rock, and Fluxus. I wanted so badly to write that piece, so I said yes, but one thing came and then another, and the piece never got finished. I don’t want to present you guys with something unfinished. I don’t think that would be cool in anyway and it wouldn’t be me trying. So I had to put it off. You guys will get the piece next week, I promise. We can pinky swear if you guys want, but it will happen.

However, the absence of that piece does mean that I had to do some changes to my schedule. Glenn struck a deal with me that if I did the piece I could opt out of the art experience for the week, which involved using no electricity for the day. If I didn’t do the piece, then I would do the art experience. That’s why when Friday rolled around, and I knew that I couldn’t do it on Saturday because I had to go camping, I switched and decided I had to do the art experience.

Yes, is spent a whole day without electricity. No phone, no internet, no stove, and nothing that existed post the time of electricity. I know, how could I ever survive a whole day like that? Well, it would have been extremely hard to do if I was at home, but I actually had a retreat this weekend where went camping out in the middle of the woods. So that made it way easier to just not use anything.

The experience wasn’t hard or anything because I was more pre-occupied with hiking and doing other activities with my friends. I didn’t have time to look at my phone.It was, however, a bit frustrating a liberating. It was frustrating because, I knew that once I got back home, I had so many things to do, and I couldn’t do any of those things at the camp because there was no electricity. But when I really thought about it, I reminded myself, that this was just another thing that I had to do and that I should just get it out of the way. After those thoughts sank in, the experience became more liberating and calming. I basically had a one day vacation.  Even though I slept on the ground, I woke up less through the night and felt better in the morning. I didn’t wake up to an alarm, that’s for sure. I actually woke up because the sun was starting to shine on the camping ground and it was too bright. I guess, as an afterthought, if that happened to me every day, I would be less grumpy and would drink way less coffee. Who knows, maybe of the whole world woke up like that, we would all be nicer people too.

Living without electricity forces you to interact more with people and nature around you. It makes it so that you have to find different ways to communicate and live within your environment. It’s the most organic way of living because you become one with your surroundings. That, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s all that great. There are limitations to not having electricity. For example, without electricity, we wouldn’t have the same diets we have now. We would be living off of simpler foods that could be cooked by an open flame. Some of us would have trouble going the bathroom because there are no toilets. And our hygiene would certainly be worse because we would shower less often, and we would wash our clothes less. Who knows, maybe even our clothes would be way more different, or we would wear less clothing. That’s not a really pretty thought though.

If I really think about it, life with electricity and without it is the same in terms of how boring it can be. Obviously, kids, today will easily point out how boring life without the internet can be, but even when you have the internet and all the electricity you need, you still get bored. I get bored of being on my phone all day, and when I do I go outside. But when I get bored of being outside, I go on my phone again. I feel that humans nowadays need some sort of constant stimulation to be entertained. That stimulation doesn’t always need to come from an electrical device, and can actually come in different ways. The point of stimulation is to keep the mind active because our brains are a muscle. A little bit of everything never really hurt anybody.

If it were really up to me, I would try to balance it all out. I would try to keep myself entrained in many different ways, and not rely on just one single source of stimulation. It’s what we all try to do, but can never really do though, because our lives now revolve around electricity. If they didn’t, we would all be healthier.


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