Wk 12- Art Experience- Ethnography

What was human life like before electricity & the light bulb?

Pretty damn lame. I’m assuming. I honestly was not very excited to do this activity when our professor told us about it, but it didn’t turn out to be so bad. The purpose of this activity was to spend an entire night without electricity so we can imagine what it was like to live a thousand years ago when humans did not have light and electricity. I know that now it is something that we take for granted. I have always had electricity in my life since the day I was born and have come to rely on it heavily. Most humans today do.

So for my night without electricity, I did a couple non-electric related type things. I took some pictures of what I was going to do before the sun went down to show you guys and then turned off my phone.

I spent most of the night outside in my backyard so I wouldn’t be tempted by any electricity in my house. I live with my parents and my 3 siblings who use a lot of electricity. The TV is usually always on, music is always playing somewhere and they are always on their phones. So being outside was my best bet. I started about an hour before the sun went down and spent it playing with my dogs.

Playing outside with Chachis.
My silly little Jerry.

After playing with my dogs outside for a while in the dark, I decided to get this candelabra we have in my house and light it so I could do some painting outside. This wasn’t the best idea. Painting by candle light is not very easy as the lighting is not very good. I know some of the best artists in history could only make their masterpieces in candle light, but I just wasn’t able to see clearly and didn’t get very far with my painting and gave up.


My next activity was trying to read a book by candle light. Also not fun. I got this Bad Feminist book on my birthday last month and thought today would be a good day to start reading it. However, reading in the dim light is the perfect recipe for a headache. I didn’t even make it past the prologue.

Bad Feminist in bad lighting.

After my failed attempts to keep myself entertained in the dark, I decided to go back inside. A few hours had past already so I just decided to end my night and go to sleep. It was probably the earliest I have gone to bed in a long time. It took what felt like forever to fall asleep but the bright side of it all was that I woke up the next day feeling extremely well rested.

No electricity = bed time.

Overall, this was a very frustrating activity to do. I mean it wasn’t too hard to be without electricity but it was a little boring doing this activity on my own. I knew it was going to be a little tough going in to it because I rely on electricity so much. The bright side to this dark activity was that I did get some amazing sleep. Maybe I should refrain from electricity after the sun goes down solely for this purpose haha. Living without electricity is also more organic and harmonious with nature since I did have to spend a lot of time outside. But it is more limited and boring because most of the activities we are used to doing require electricity. I really don’t know how people survived without constant stimulation. I truly wonder what they did…


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