Have you ever seen the movie Fahrenheit 451? I'd ask you if you've ever read the book, but alas, I was never required to do so in high school, but I did see the movie a few years ago.
Anyhow, remember when at the end each person had "embodied" a book--memorized a specific book to save the knowledge from dying since all books were burned? Folks were running away from the city and escaping to a woodsy place where they would spend all day reciting books to one another and passing on the words to the next generation.
It struck such a chord in me because I've been entertaining all these ideas about becoming a receptacle for "old world" skills. I've always been a maker in the sense of picking up various craft-like things in general. But also going to art school for sculpture for four years, you learn everything from woodworking to casting, moldmaking, welding, how to form plexiglass, rubbers, latex, concrete, sewing, basic electronics, how to frame a wall, etc. etc. etc. Basically, you learn how to MAKE stuff. All kinds of stuff. And it's totally liberating and exhilarating to begin to understand and become capable of making things that you previously only wondered about and felt mystified on where to even begin to build something like that.
So back to this "old world" skill thing: I've been wanting to become a receptacle for "dying art forms" (or even just obscure ones)--to try to learn things that fewer and fewer people seem to have the skills for. Like caning chairs, upholstering furniture, spinning wool (well, i know lots of people still do this, but hey!). I'm almost feeling a sort of survivalist streak in me when I think about this. So when the whole economic system collapses and we are left to our own devices and no one knows how to actually MAKE anything (or repair anything) anymore, I can pass along the practical and artisinal info that was useful in a bygone era and may yet be useful in the future.
I feel a new art project potentially bubbling to the surface about this. Wouldn't that be the craziest conceptual artwork--to spend the rest of my life absorbing arcane skills in order to be able to "archive" them and pass them along after some horrible thing has happened in the future? It sounds morbid but strangely fascinating. I've bought a few far-out hippie books from the 1970s on how to live off of the land, and it would be wild to jump "off the grid" in preparation for a future without electricity.
I like how crazy this sounds. People would think I'm nuts and abandoning a professional art practice. But behold! Little would they know it was a grand gesture of sorts, a laugh in the face of impending doom and apocalypse, a resuscitating kiss to the dying trade skills.
Pardon me, I'm just having a fun moment. Do you think I'm crazy?
PS--on a completely non-apocalypse-and-doom-craft note, I am completely addicted to lychee martinis. After paying big $$ for them in "asian fusion" restaurants, I have managed to figure out how to accomplish the homemade-and-cheap kind...
--1 shot nice gin (we like *at least* beefeater, preferrably something nicer, but we knows you may be on a budget. and i guess you can do it with vodka if you prefer your martinis that way)
--1/2 shot of lychee syrup (buy a can of lychees in syrup, about $1 at Asian grocery stores)
--2 lychees from said can
Pour the gin and lychee syrup into a martini shaker full of ice. Shake shake shake till nice and super cold. Pour into a martini glass, drop in the 2 lychees for added wonderment, and have a killer cocktail while watching your favorite TV show or something. And a can of lychees goes a long way, so invite some friends. Basically, it's a regular martini recipe only substitute the vermouth with lychee syrup. Yeeeeeee-um!