Wk5 – Activity – Ethnography


For this week’s activity, the class of Art 110 had to spend a night without electricity. Lasting from dusk to dawn, no phones, computers, light bulbs, and anything that needed electricity to function could be used. For someone who lives at home, this activity would be doable, but slightly still difficult. Yet, for someone like me, who lives in the dorms on campus, living without electricity seemed impossible since the lights are always on outside of the buildings and in the building hallways. I could not get completely away from electricity during the nighttime, but I made due with what I had.

On Thursday, Septemeber 24 2015, I decided to try living without electricity for the night. I finished my homework in the daylight, ate dinner before sunset, set my alarm on for the next morning (since I have a Friday class), and did everything I needed to do before I turned the lights out. Luckily, my roommate left for the weekend already, so I did not have any disturbances during the activity. I waited for the darkness to follow the sunset, and closed my blinds to increase that darkness in my room.


my room during the sunset

As a night owl, it felt weird being submerged in complete darkness around seven O’clock at night. I felt like I had a lot of energy to do things, but was restricted to do anything due to the darkness. Since I did not have any candles in my room to illuminate this darkness, I decided to simply lay in my bed. As I laid in bed, I thought about how my day was, and how people were not really able to do anything in the night time before the creation of the light bulb. Yes, the candle was used before the light bulb, but the light of the candle was sometimes inconsistent and sometimes did not brighten a room completely. I laid in bed for some time, and decided to close my eyes and fell asleep. Surprisingly, the next morning, I woke up tired. I do not know exactly how long I slept, but I usually do fine with only six hours of sleep. I guess I had more hours of sleep than I really needed. I woke up before my alarm, and to a bright sky.

Overall, I believe that my generation and previous generations before mine, who have lived with the light bulb/electricity, take it for granted. Electricity has been around my whole life, and has been used for everything. We use computers to complete work and to entertain ourselves, use phones to contact other people, and even use it to illuminate places when we are not using electronic devices, like grocery shopping. The generations before us had it harder, and could not always complete as many things we can do in the nighttime. Electricity is very convenient and made me realize some of the hardships my human ancestors had before the creation of the light bulb. In the end, doing this activity reminded me about one thing, that I am lucky.

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