You see, I really like this new-to-me website called brainpickings, which is as far as I can tell very much involved in tracking down and reviewing incredibly interesting books on all sorts of subjects in all kinds of areas. A lot of interesting art and graphics books especially.
This last entry is of Kate Bingaman-Burt‘s Obsessive Consumption project - "a wonderfully illustrated visual record of personal consumption running since February 5, 2006." It seems that each time Ms. Bingaman-Burt purchases something she draws a visual representation of it, its price and where she bought it. The pictures are charming and creepy; sometimes flipping back and forth between the two.
I gots to wonderin' about my own consumption. I live a pretty modest life, or so I think. I watch the pennies and don't treat shopping as a competitive sport. Even so, I still find myself surrounded by Stuff. Clutter. Junk. Kinetic Cacophony. Part of this is because of my admittedly less-than-stellar housekeeping talents, but I wonder just how much of this collection of debris in my life is simply because I'm mostly unconscious about it. I sometimes feel as if I'm swimming in an ocean with a layer of trash separating me from the Sun. And I need the Sun. Every once in a while I can get my head through a crack in the debris and enough sunlight gets absorbed to make it to the next crack. But my mind is never far away from the debris or the next crack. What would it be like to focus on it?
An impossibly long time ago I took a class on Art History and Criticism at UCLA extension, and the final project was to create a piece of performance art. We had one week, and I, as a mother of a preschooler and in a troubled marriage thought that in one week I barely had time to sew a button on a shirt, much less put together a piece of performance art.
So that's what I decided to do. Not to go into the whole insanity of the project (which was pretty danged cool if I must say so myself), but a major part of this project was to keep a running record of EVERY THING I DID. The date/time/length/action. For a week. I got really good at focusing on what I was doing.
A big part of why I started this blog was to bring focus to my creative life. I very strongly connect my creative life with my organizational life. I wonder if everyone who considers themselves creative does this.