‘My life is uneventful, but I sometimes have an interesting dream’
Lockdown Week 12
The weather turned cold quite dramatically. I have only spent a small amount of time outside this week. On Tuesday some builders came by the old wood yard behind my flat and took the fallen down wall away, chopped down a grape vine that had to be over 50 years old (by my estimation) and basically cleared all the trees, bushes, and vines that shielded the view from our house.
I was looking at old planning permission dockets recently as (unsurprisingly) behind us is being turned in to a gross block flats. (I’m glad we are looking to move next year). The wood yard was there for 35 years, before that it was a local pig pard and slaughtery. Before that it was a blacksmiths and repair yard that serviced trolly busses.
Our neighbours are furious as they chopped into and basically destroyed the hedge that is on their side of the wall. Despite it being grey and overcast their shade loving plants that lived underneath it have already started to get sunburn. Same with our ferns that live under the apple trees.
The builder guys didn’t even notice the Great Tits who were nesting in the tall hedge. An oversight that is actually illegal in the UK. This week has been an important reminder (alongside the murder of the grape vine) just how callous our society is towards the natural world.
None of this these concerns are important compared to what else is going on in the world. The Runout has only just begun.
In other news, we cleared out a cupboard that has been in the state of ‘Cupboard O Doom’ for a while. We now have a pile of crap that needs to either go to charity shop (all still closed) or up the Tip (3 weeks wait list for a slot).
The first family of ‘Homestead Youtube’
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about people who create and put things out into the world. I distrust and dislike the term ‘Maker’ (See the link for @debcha‘s excellent 2015 Atlantic). I also dislike the term ‘Creator’ that gets used in the Youtube and Web 2 marketing language. I just… prefer the term Artist.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with all sorts of quote unquote ‘Creators’. Helping them with their monetisation and community strategy. A diverse set folks. From Youtubers who are beauty vloggers, to model railway enthusiasts. I’ve coached writers wanting to monetise newsletters, and helped small donation based orgs get organised.
The one thing that all these folks share in common is that they are all ‘Artists’. The material they create and put out in the world is an expression of who they are. Or at least who they are in relation to who they want the world to believe them to be.
One of my favourite Youtube channels is run by the Rhodes Family. They are in my opinion the first family of ‘Homestead Youtube’
I started following them for the Permaculture and the 100 Days of Growing Food series. Then watched them on The American Farm Tour in 2017 (the entire family drove a converted school bus to every state in the US checking out regenerative / permaculture farms), and since their return I have watched them raise pigs on their homestead for the first time.
It is perhaps ‘reality tv’ at its finest. The family choose what to portray and show of themselves. I believe they both work on each episode, one does a rough cut, and the other polishes to a final edit.
It astonishes me that as a family the do so much on their land. Looking after, sheep, pigs, chickens, cows, turkeys, a full kitchen garden AND put out a 20 something min vlog every weekday. AND they are raising 4 beautiful children. Who their audience have seen grow and mature since they began documenting their lives online.
The level of creative and tangible output from Justin and Rebecca Rhodes is astonishing. They have all sorts of online courses their community can pay to get access to. But ultimately their entire business and online expression is underpinned by the fact they are Film Makers.
They essentially push a documentary every weekday. That level of sustained output makes me tired just thinking about it. They must have extremely tuned workflows and a strong devision of labour in the family. Both physical and digital.
I bring all this up by way of laying some ground work to share a video. Because, as film makers every now and again as part of their 5 DAYS A WEEK film making schedule the Rhodes’ they will release a video like this:
It touched me, and judging from the comments on the video it also touched many others too.
What ever you think about online ‘Creators’ we should really see them all as artists engaging in artistic expression. It may help us value other peoples work better, and our own.
Update From The Island
Our little island wild flower garden is looking great, It’s even better since this photo was taken. But this gives you an idea of what it looks like.
Louie and I hung out together for ages in the Museum the other evening. I just followed him around as he was looking at stuff. Interacting with and along side NPCs in Animal Crossing is very relaxing.
There are universes to be found inside of all sound.
Listening as Activism: The “Sonic Meditations” of Pauline Oliveros: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/listening-as-activism-the-sonic-meditations-of-pauline-oliveros
Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded in one hour by @thejaymo
I had a real moment of self doubt before I hit publish this week. This show is quite different from the regular format. Something something to do with the previous musings on all creators as Artists and wanting to do more inside the constraints of the show. How can I evolve and move beyond the format I’ve developed.
But then I remembered that I hit publish every damn week and then immediately forget about it!
Seriously. People sometimes tell me they like an episode of my show and I can’t remember making or anything about it! It was one of the reasons I started collecting episodes together as a zine. I think I need to build a spreadsheet and tag all the episodes to work out what ones should go together in another collection. Perhaps saints and christianity?
Any hoos, really pleased with this weeks episode.
The Ministry Of My Own Labour
Applying for things.
Dipping the Stacks
My online buddies Brian Wilkins and Jess Waters from Peshteran recently released “Nakshatra Haiku”.
“A magical and creative undertaking by practitioners Brian Wilkins and Jess Waters to contact the spirits of the Vedic lunar mansions together in dream. These 54 poems are the products of that contact. They are the songs we brought back from these adventures: maps to infinite lighthouses, ivory clouds, open graves, and the wild places of the imagination.”
It’s wonderful. Buy it.
I’ve been listening to Meditations Mixtape, Vol. I by Ami Dang
Leaving Records lists the key words as “psych ambient vocal synth meditation mantra experimental”
Its as good a review as any.