This blog currently functions as documentation for a month long project entitle Souvenir. This blog is a reverse documentation, as the first entry talks about the last days of the projects. An easier documentation format is currently in construction.
To read about the project, click the Souvenir game rules Link on the upper right. To start at the beginning, click the older link at the bottom right corner. This must be done a number of times and is cumbersome. Many apologies.
Alternatively, this project can be read backwards. Once you have read the game rules, it should be fairly clear.
Taking down Souvenir as OPENSOURCE was both a relief and a deep disappointment. Getting the garbage reduction system in place represented the greatest effort in the project. Once the systems were in place, we were either on track or feeling deeply guilty for accumulating unnecessary souvenirs.
To recycle my souvenirs I collected during the show, I had to unwrap each item. I placed all of the items from the five day control in on one side of the room and all of the souvenirs from the 25 days of the project on the other side of the room. There is nothing like taking hours to unwrap trash to make you feel like art and life are futile. About halfway through the unwrapping, I realized the cumulative detritus from the show was going to be less than the five day control, during which time we collected our trash, but did not alter our behavior. Sure enough, the garbage pile from the entire run of Collected was less than the first five days.
We are going to have a family meeting and decided what patterns we want to keep up, even though the show is over. I know I am off paper towels, paper cups, plastic drink bottles, and plastic grocery bags.
I do love recycling. It feels just great to blithely chuck bottles, paper, #1 and #2 plastic, and cans into the recycling. It is almost guilt free. On the the other hand, I feel no pleasure in throwing away things I cannot recycle.
There are three more days until this experiment at OPENSOURCE is done. As a family, we will step outside the game rules and go back to whatever become normal after seriously altering our shopping, eating, cleaning, and to some degree thinking patterns. So now we get to see what sticks. Will we keep any of the patterns that allow for reduction or will be just go right back to easy living? I am going to keep making paper. Paper, it turns out, is very slow to biodegrade and comprises a huge amount of land fill. So, if you want a piece of paper, let me know. I have more card stock than I know what to do with.