Wk 12 – Art Activity – Ethnography

This weeks activity involved surviving a night without electricity. Obviously, this Bear Grylls feat of survival is highly interpretable. First off, electricity can be found in many forms of todays living. There are obvious things like TV’s and light bulbs that play a role, but there are many underlying roles that electricity plays in everyones life.

First off, comfort is mainly controlled using electricity. Air conditioning, heating, water heaters, fanning devices, water pressure, and even the camera needed to snap the photo all use electricity to drive a series of tasks that result in the daily life we all live in. Drawing the line at where electricity is cut is a tricky situation. Beyond that, many materials rely on electricity to assemble and create them, but I think that is a bit beyond the scope of this assignment.

To put it simply, I decided to run through the night of no electricity at my apartment and made myself turn away from the usual comforts of man and embrace human nature. In the evening, I had my friends over for a barbecue in the apartment complex to start off the evening. My girlfriend and I headed to bed a little earlier than usual after chatting by the fireside with everyone, and ended up having a conversation about life and everything we wanted to talk about as well. It was very nice to not have to worry about constructs such as the latest Snapchat story or time, for that matter. The flow of the evening followed our spirits and energies. We got what we put into the experience, and life was unfolding right before us, instead of distantly away.

We dozed off after cuddling for a bit and did not bother setting an alarm for the next day either.

This experience was fairly simple, as I was surrounded by great company and people that genuinly enjoyed the time we spent together. It was definitely a liberating experience. I put of studying for midterms and my group projects for this night off. I got decent sleep but I was very warm in the middle of the night, longing for my ceiling fan. Living without electricity is more organic, because different machines are put into the background and the human needs and ingenuity to solve issues is put first, as it should be. However, the cycle of life is widely reliant on naps and shorter sleep cycles without electricity keeping us awake well into the evening. People are not conditioned to live like this. I enjoy living without electricity every once in a while but I think that I am more comfortable with it assisting me. I am not as absorbed into my phone as much as other people are, so I think I got a little different experience out of this than other people could have. I find people these days to be rather boring. My definition of true friend is someone you can spend time with doing absolutely nothing and still manage to enjoy yourself. I am not sure why the population is so drawn to constant stimulation, whether it be social media, television, or integrated work.

My ideal level of activity would be at a maximum. I did long distance with my girlfriend for the first two years of college and facetiming her was fun and all, but I would never wish to be seperated again. When I see her now (she goes to Fullerton), I have so much more fun doing different activities with her rather than just talking about them. People have absorbed themselves into sitting on their screens and do not accomplish much with their lives. It is amazing to me how many people can end up obese, poorly coordinated, disinterested with interaction, and boring from the luxury of electricity in their vacinity. I always gain the greatest fulfillment by doing and being.DSC01170


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