Rachelle's "Fill Yourself With Wonder" class finished up this week, and thanks to it I now know what the inside of a video camera looks like (shiny, with a really cool eye piece).
One of the first big projects was a group memory map of New York City, with drawings and magazine pages, photos from home and some stuff gathered from around the city. It was cool to see everyone's collective experiences, frightfully weighted toward Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, laid out in one place.
Memory maps are easy to make these days, now that we can all tag Google maps to our heart's content, but there's something still sorta charming about a handmade one. Some of my absolute favorites, if you loosely define memory maps as any remembrance of a place, are these photocollages that some prim Victorian ladies made in England back when photography was still new. They're way less stuffy than anything you'd expect to come out of the 1860's, and even kinda pretty.
The next week, instead of making something, we destroyed stuff. A lot of stuff - video cameras, walkie talkies, laptops, phones - all with lots of circuit boards and batteries and resistors inside. Some of it was super hard to break apart, but some of it was actually kinda beautiful, and there was lots of jewelry just waiting to be made from the bits. I'm still dreaming of bright blue resistor earrings.
Everything wrapped up with a challenge - to make something you can wear from a cardboard box. And though "a cardboard box" is the easy solution to that one, you can actually make some pretty intricate stuff from it, like Soma's rather delicate cardboard fascinator, up above. (PS - fascinators are wild things you put in your hair, google them, you'll be impressed.) You'll also be glad to know that the corrugated paper box was invented right here in Brooklyn.
All of which is to say that even the stuff you think is junk can probably be turned into something pretty neat.