Wk12 – Art Experience – Ethnography

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IMG_1205.JPGWhat did you think the experience would be like?

-I thought the experience was going to be easy but refreshing nonetheless; I think I was a vampire in a past life since I adore the dark, and usually gravitate towards darker spaces, so I got a little cocky and thought that I had this in the bag when I saw the assignment.

Was it “easy” or “hard”?

-I’m not going to lie, it was definitely harder than I thought. I knew I could simply “cheat” and have one light on or something but the Earth is something that I genuinely care about and I wanted to be truthful in my post and experience so I actually stuck to it and it was a little strange and unique to say the least.

“Frustrating” or “Liberating”?

I think after the initial shock / fear one has as the sun starts to go down and everything gets darker and darker goes away, it is a very relaxing experience. At first it is a little unnerving because we’re so accustomed to grab the nearest piece of entertainment in order to not be swallowed by the feeling of being alone or bored, however, once you embrace the peace and quiet, it is very soothing. The only frustrating thing was showering because it was extremely dark and I almost slipped a couple times since I couldn’t see lol.

Did you get better sleep? Are you usually sleep deprived? What would it be like to sleep well every night?

I usually stay off my electronics a couple hours before bed regardless of any power outage (or art110 project 🙂 ) since my mom told me years ago that it can interfere with sleep since they stimulate the brain so that wasn’t really an issue; I didn’t get that great of sleep that night however because 1. I like reading before bed because it makes me sleepy however, there was no light that allowed me to do so and 2. since I was bored and couldn’t be with my family in the living room because there was light, I went to bed early, without being sleepy, so I tossed and turned a lot in bed.

How is living without electricity more organic or harmonious with nature?

It’s more harmonious since you are accepting and embracing nature by letting it decide of when it is time for your body to power off and when it is time to rise rather than disregarding that with a man-made invention that sometimes causes us to overwork and put too much stress on the human body.

How is living without electricity more limited? Is it boring?

It is more limited since you have to appreciate and take advantage of when there is light more since the sun sets quick. As someone who is not addicted to being on my phone, or social media for that matter, it wasn’t all that boring – just a little different Since there was still light before the sun set, I could still do things, there was just no internet. Before the light from the sun was gone, I rode my bike, finished some of my homework that wasn’t meant to be done on the computer, exercised, spent time with my mom – things I usually do on a regular basis so that didn’t really feel strange. I used the darkness and the “no electronics/ light” policy to my advantage and practiced my flash photography skills on my DSLR camera (not sure if the flash counts as light so… maybe I did cheat); this was something I had been meaning to do for a while so I took this opportunity to take the images shown above, though they are not very good since I had no light to see my screen lol.

How do you think people survived without constant stimulation?

-I think that because they were not used to over-stimulation, life to them might have not seemed as boring as to someone living in our world. I don’t think many people notice change unless it affects you and the way you live, so for them, I think if they were to one day be taken from their environment and placed in our society but with no electricity, they would not notice the change since they can continue living their life as they had previously.

What would be your ideal level of life activity and connectivity?

-I think that what it is now is fine. Growing up, thankfully, social media and the internet wasn’t as huge as it is now so the whole internet craze is still something that I’m trying to adjust to. Due to this, the majority of my free time is spent outside being active and spending it with others, away from all of the technology that we have now, so an experiment like this is not new to me.  I’m 18 now and I didn’t get a phone until a couple months ago (thanks mom and dad) and it is crazy to see how little people engage with each other nowadays because they are so busy looking at their phones. I remember as a kid, my block would be filled with kids running across other people’s lawns and playing tag and dodgeball in the middle of the street once school was over for the day and it makes me sad to look outside after 3:00pm now and see that there are no little kids playing outside but rather, they are running to their iPads and computers to sit on the couch and watch videos. So I think the question should be, what’s my ideal level of life activity for others since I think I’m one of the last old school people who actually goes outside after I get home and talks to strangers for fun 😦

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MY LOCATION: MY BACKYARD
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