• Fear or Comfort?
• You're Different
• Darren
• Darren and the Circus
• The Surreality of It All
• Voice of God
• Relevance of a Tweet
• A Day With Tweetdeck
• Digital Detox
• Sound of Silence
• Aaron
• Artist and Barista
• 5350
• Resurrection
• Sicilian Sculptor

TTOK[sic] thoughts from the artist

Digital Detox (01/14/20)

In 2020, most of us rely on some form of digital tool as part of our daily routine - whether that be our phones, tablets, computers, TV. Even on vacation and just days in nature, we don’t isolate ourselves from some form of digital “distraction.”

After 22 years working in a computer related job, I decided that my first full day “off” would be truly “offline” - a 24 hour digital detox. The concept sounded so simple and easy. Not!

I woke up at my normal 2:00 am start of the day (yes, always been an extremely early riser), and immediately went to check my phone and login to computer. Wait a minute, today is DD day - so what do I do?

Since others were still snoring, I couldn’t crank up the tunes - yes, my detox day did NOT mean I would go without music, but I did take digital into consideration, and would fire up the turntable with some analog vinyl. (a debate on sound quality to engage in later)

So again, what to do without any form of digital application at 2:00 am - hmm, shower, laundry, dishes. OK, now it’s 2:30 am - this isn’t as easy as I had thought it would be.

All excited, I remember I have a wireless headset that I can plug into the turntable - Dave, that’s digital, put the headset down.

I’m looking around aimlessly wondering how I’m ever going to make it without digital toys for 24 hours - a timeframe that now seems like an eternity.

Duh, I’m an artist, and what am I surrounded by? Canvas, oil, acrylic, glass, metal - boxes and tables loaded with parts and pieces for sculptures - and wasn’t this my goal all along for leaving 22 years sitting behind a computer. Yep, there was my answer, and so I started working on something that I had put on the back burner for years.

I walked out to storage, picked up several boxes of old salvaged computer parts - motherboards, heat syncs, cables, fans - and started work on my “digital totem,” a piece that has only survived in sketches, and jellyfish induced dreams. Not that I could start sawing, screwing, drilling bolting, and soldering pieces together at, now 3:00 am, but I could get the flow of the sculpture started.

By 5:00 am, Fitbit told me I needed to walk - crud, digital, did I just fall off the wagon simply because of a device glued to my wrist. I have teeth that pick up radio stations and alien chatter, am I really going digital free for 24 hours. Get over it Dave, exercise is good for you.

So off onto the streets for a long walk - I just told myself I wouldn’t check my heart rate or number of steps, just walk till the sun came up.

Once back at the apartment, others were getting up, and since I was forcing them on my self-imposed digital detox - there would be no TV this morning. Though they understood my “challenge,” I have never seen them get ready for work and rush out the door as quickly as they did.

That left me, once again, to the silence of a digital free environment - nope, turntable began to spin, music began to fill the space. Thankfully those speakers are hard-wired!

Music seemed to make the time go by more quickly, or was it the fact that I was now occupied, and obsessed with getting some work done on my new sculpture. Rustling through boxes of computer parts, I thought it was sort of ironic I was going digital free working on a sculpture that was nothing but pure digital components - ironic, or antithetical?

I had made it to noon without any major distractions, FOMO only kicking in sporadically as I wondered what friends were doing, where they were going to lunch, what was I going to do for lunch? Damn, I should have planned that part, could have scheduled lunch with somebody ahead of time.

Door opens, and I was saved by a friend, greeting me with “you’re not naked, painted blue, and running around the complex howling at the coyotes, so you want to go get lunch?”

Yes, lunch would never taste so good after today!

I tried dragging lunch out as long as possible, but my friend actually had a job to go back to, so back I went to work on another few hours of sculpture. But anybody that knows me knows I bore quickly of all things, and even though I had made progress on my dead digital totem, I was frantically trying to come up with something else to do.

Maybe I’ll paint. No, not in the mood. Maybe I’ll clean out the garage. No, boxes of materials already neatly stacked, labeled, and indexed - btw, that index is on the computer so I have no clue what is in the boxes without referencing the Google Sheet.

Hey, maybe I’ll strip naked, paint myself blue, and chase the coyotes around in the neighboring field? Nah, police were already out for that last week.

It was now around 3:00 pm, I had made it half-way through my DD day, I sat and looked around, contemplating whether I would go back to my sculpture, or maybe just move computer parts from one box to another.

Maybe a good long nap, that could kill 20 minutes of the afternoon - but that would keep me up longer into the evening torturing my friends further on my digital detox quest. I overheard one of them mentioning over the weekend that they might have to spike my WTRMLN WTR with something to put me to sleep in order to get on the computer and watch TV when they got home from work. Nap out of the question.

As I was sitting there wondering how to entertain myself for the next couple hours, (did I mention I had long run out of music since I only own a dozen or so albums on vinyl, everything else is digital) I glanced up - Dave, look around, that is a wall of books, and not the Kindle versions. I looked at a section, realized I had bought several books that I had never even opened - damn I love the works of Basquiat.

I spent the next few hours roaming through the photos and text of several dozen photo books on art and architecture - that would make some great “pre-sleep” brain impressions, which in turn would encourage the jellyfish to do their thing and create some wild and crazy dreams once I was asleep.

At long last friends were getting home from work, dinner and conversation commenced, and I could get back to a semblance of normal on my digital detox day. I asked whether my friend had posted my CFGart postings on Twitter and updated my Instagram feed - only to get a smile and a “really?”

Around 8:00 pm I downed a glass of tart cherry juice, and crashed. As I dozed off into a dream-filled night of sleep, I heard the TV come on, cats dancing on YouTube, and a friend asking another friend “he made it all day without TV, phone, computer?”. “Yep, and with no sign of police or fire,” as they laughed up a storm.

At 2:00 am this morning, I woke up having made the full 24 hours of digital detox. As I went to turn on my phone and TV, and login to computer, I hesitated just a bit, wondering if all that was really necessary. Nah, just fire up the music, put on the wireless headset and put in a few hours work on that sculpture sitting on the workbench.

And now, as I am posting my digital detox adventure, I noticed a tube of blue body paint sitting on my desk. Hmm, I hear the coyotes out in the field too...

#digitaldetox #digital #detox #wireless #bodypaint #woad