Because the makerspace was delayed until this weekend and I have been absolutely swamped this week finishing an independent research project, I have not had a lot of time to think about what my contribution to our mini-Burning Man community will be. I thought I’d use this blog space a bit more informally than I have in previous weeks to think through resources that I have at home and what I can do with them.
Last week, seeing that the quarantine would likely last some time and frustrated by sharing my desktop computer, my boyfriend and I decided to build him a PC to use to create videos and other instructional resources for his kindergarteners (and also play games, if we ever have the time). So I am left with a lot of packaging materials—styrofoam, cardboard, plastics, and cable ties. Normally, I would find somewhere to recycle these materials, but since I’m shut up at home for the foreseeable future and my usually spots are closed right now (if you’re in the Oneonta area, the Otsego County Reuse Center can recycle clean white styrofoam!), they’re just kind of hanging around until I take them out as garbage. So it might be fun to “upcycle” those materials into something new.
I have to admit that I am a little skeptical of the concept of Burning Man, personally. While I do believe there are some incredible art installations done there and I believe folks have transformative experiences there, I can’t get past my preconceived notion of the whole thing being kind of a hedonistic venture for well-off folks who can afford to take a week off of work to “escape” from their hollow capitalistic existence… and then return right to being businessmen the day after. I have also read conflicting information about their actual ecological impact–yes a philosophy is to leave no trace at the playa, but that apparently leads to attendees just dumping everything on the nearby roads instead. Boy, I think the quarantine is making me more cynical!
I’m also reminded of the Burning Man episode of Malcolm in the Middle–highly recommend to anyone who wants to see a fun take on the event, though it is, I think, several seasons into the show and may not make sense to those unfamiliar with the characters.
So in thinking about what to create, I am having trouble working around that wall. I think now more than ever, however, what we all need is a bit of joy and whimsy in our lives. So my vision for my contribution to the makerspace this week, I hope, will be something that makes folks smile or laugh in some way. That’s about all of a direction I can think about at this point.