There is no such thing as a cheap t-shirt.

View From Behind the Machine(s): Ritual

Recreating the same product in endless repetition is a ritual. Ritual as a practice is the deadening of life: the abandonment of living in order to stabilize, legitimize, and make consistent the end product of the day, every day, guaranteed. Days accumulate, and so do the t-shirts.

The way in which garments are produced in the current age is ritualistic—the greater implication of this, however, is that it is dead. There is no life in recreating the same product over and over again. (If God did that we would all be drones.) But we’re here on earth making choices for ourselves, freely. And we choose to build perfectly square boxes, call them factories, and pump out with perceived efficiency things that are reliable, time tested, consumer approved: white t-shirts by the boat load.

It’s so boring! I’m not saying that I am not enjoying this experience, performing in a museum, meeting new friends, learning about a different culture, exploring a new city, all these things are great! But a decent portion of my day, spent making white t-shirts, I am thinking about how excited I am to one day have the opportunity to spend the same amount of time on my own work, creative work, progressive work, not always consistently successful work, unritualized, living work that gets expelled from my creative spirit like breath from my body! Oh man! I want to do that: to live! Is it crazy to think that I am the only one who feels this way? Is it possible, perhaps, that the millions of individuals set to machines like drones, sewing white t-shirts and blue jeans, maybe they would like to live as well? And express their aliveness through the things that they create?

I don’t think that’s such an outlandish idea…

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This entry was posted on October 10, 2012 by .
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