A lot of adventuring happened this summer. A lot of thinking, reading, running around in the hills, and jumping into the water. And you fell by the wayside. But I never stopped thinking about you. And I missed you. So here I am again. It's thesis time. Which is great. And hard as heck. But I'm going to try and bring you in real quick like. I'm still developing my thoughts, the space I'm occupying, it's liminal points, but I can try and bring you in.
I am setting out to bring people back in touch with the land. I believe that a distance from the land, from nature, is both a root cause and effect of the hyper-connected, dematerialized world we live in today, a world that is struggling to stay alive, productive, and in some ways relevant in the face of the massive taxation of resources we extract. That's my goal. I'm still setting out parameters on how this all goes down. Are they tools to use, affording a multiplicity of settings, allowing users a degree of agency in meaning making? Are they discrete objects? Am I setting out processes and conditions? I know I want to work with waste streams - incorporating, folding them back into use, creating structures, objects, tools, and/or systems that opportunistically reengage with the post-industrial by-catch of late capitalism.
I'm calling my thesis The Long Con. We inherently live in conflict with nature, and we, as a culture, play the short game with nature. Our thirst for increasingly more, increasingly faster, burdens nature. We disrespect natural resources. We are running out of nature, our of the current resources at our disposal. Our economies are short-sighted, plastic, perhaps sustainable but not resilient. The Long Con acknowledges that we live by the tolerance of nature, so our relationship still remains a con, a sort of pulling one over on nature to allow us to live, grow, and thrive. And we can learn to play the long game, The Long Con, by perhaps working with objects that facilitate an updated way of looking at the past akin to traditional modes of seeing and interrelating, of balancing inputs and outputs, of seeking not balance, but dynamic resiliency.
The time is rapidly coming close to a point where I need to know what I'm doing more than I know right now though. I'm trying to wrap my head around conceptual art, infrastructure, architecture, ecology, zen, philosophy, speculative fictions, psychedelics, and rapid prototyping. I'll keep you involved from now on. I am finding it easier these days to articulate what my thesis is not, rather than what it is. I think that up till this point, establishing liminal points, outside boundaries, has been effective, but I think that going forward, it is becoming increasingly critical to articulate my thesis in positive terms, that is, what my thesis is and what it contains.
Both more and less thinking is required right now, to a degree. The thing to do is keep moving forward, to keep making work.
And I'll leave you with these things that I've made so far in my thesis work:
a mapping of regions / spaces / territories, placing myself in the center, the tension holding organism of a set of territories with no active "center"
a bench made from re-used lumber and shipping pallets, and string cut from plastic bottles and melted with a heat gun to make joinery