16 Feb 2007

why make stuff?

Heather put me onto this manifesto by Mark Boyd that showed up on Gapingvoid.

You can change the world with a pencil, a piece of paper, a chunk of
charcoal and piece of cardboard, a paintbrush, a crayon, a d-cam, a
blog, a cell phone, a recorder; a projector, some clay and a kiln, some
wood and a few tools, some sticks, stones, and grasses, a stove and
some vegetables, found glass, paper, metal, plastic, a torch, a welder,
a stick and some sand, a knife to carve with, an idea, some mud and
hay, a computer, some seeds, a needle and thread and scrap of fabric,
the list goes on. You can change yourself by using any of this stuff or
any thing else that might come to mind and hand.

Why we make stuff matters. How we make stuff is secondary. Any method,
material or vehicle that allows you to get to what you're trying to
see/feel/say/suggest is equally valid. What we make is not the point.
That we make, that we DO, is.

Making stuff develops the ability to see, hear, taste, smell and feel.
Making stuff is about problem solving, the openness to possibilities,
development of skills, internal and external navigation and resolution,
a sense of exploration and adventure. Making stuff transforms one from
a consumer to a contributor. Making stuff is not passive. Making stuff
involves making choices. Realizing you have choices and making them is
empowering. Empowerment leads to confidence, and the courage to
question and challenge the status quo. Making stuff and sharing it is a
social and political act, which opens avenues for communication. That
can help prevent us from becoming mindless drones subservient to the
mass media, politicians, advertisers and commercial interests that have
constructed the consumer culture for the purposes of distracting and
desensitizing us from reality.

Make it up, make do, make it real, make it personal, make it public.
Make it work, make it accessible, make it cheap, make it fun, make it
serious. Make it loud or soft, make it bright or dim, make it big or
small. Make it obvious, make it subtle, make it to be touched, tasted,
smelled, heard. Make it open to interpretation, open for discussion,
open to criticism. Make it open. Make it from found stuff, made stuff,
recycled, reused and repaired stuff. Make it from scratch, from a kit,
a mix, a box. Make it new or make it old. Make it specific, make it
general, make it purposeful, make it pointless. Make it a question,
make it an answer, make it clear, make it vague. Make it high tech,
make it lo-fi, make it inclusive.

Just make it. When you're done, make more and make different. No need
to explain, justify, apologize, or validate. Make it, and let it go.

Dare to fail big, and attempt to change the world. Resist conformity,
think for yourself and go make some stuff of your very own.

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