Sensory Deprivation Tank, 93
Before preparing for bed most folks disrobe and put on some comfortable clothing, their pajamas,PJs, or pajama jammy jams. Then they crawl into bed, insert ear plugs, mouth guards, headgear, put on sleep masks, moisturizing sleep gloves and maybe lubed up booties too. Then they turn on a humidifier and ambient noise machine. This whole process can take upwards of an hour, with some mixing in a warm bath, rub one out, drink a glass or red wine, and/or pop a sleeping pill or two. Last they turn out the lights, close their eyes, and wait for the Sandman. Before entering this reoccurring state of altered consciousness, people count sheep, take deep breaths, make lists, remember all the shit they need to do, and stare in infinate darkness.
It's estimated people 1/3 of their life sleeping, constituting of 8 generous hours every night. It's as essential as breathing and with out it people go insane, their bodies breakdown, and could lead to death. Sleep is measured by various levels of REM rapid eye movement. Dreaming and out of body experiences occur in deep stages of sleep. As for the freakish feeling of falling and the jolt jump, this could be attributed to switching levels of sleep. Unfortunately it is estimated that 150 million people worldwide suffer from sleep problems thereby effecting 17% of the populations in developing countries. Fatal Familial Insomnia is when someone literally can not sleep. Although it is difficult to gage, it is estimated a person could go 6 months without sleep, and oh what a shitty 1/2 of year this would.
A suggested cure for sleep disorders is sensory deprivation. Although naturally occurring, it wasn't until 1954 when John C. Lilly a neuro-psychiatrist invented the sensory deprivation tank. His initial tests involved the use of psychedelicalics, specifically LSD, however with or without drugs sensory deprivation is a form of mind-expansion. Sensory Deprivation is when a body is cut off from their senses such as sight, touch, sound, smell, and taste. A sensory deprivation tank is essentially a coffin-like black hole filled with water. You enter a pitch black chamber completely naked and wearing only ear plugs. The salt water allows you to easily float on your back. Although 100% creepy it only costs $90 for an hour.
Whilst floating in the dark, it is not uncommon to think of death, and there is only one documented death reported where some idiot took a bunch of sleep pills and drowned. There is the fear you may simply fall asleep and drown or you could be locked in this thing forever. More commonly people do it to hallucinate, it's much like sleeping and stare at you eyelids, only to discover all sorts of things. Some see faces, ink blots, light-up squiggles, and fuzzies. You inner subconscious is unleashed, much like automatic drawing therefore allowing thoughts and visions manifest. Before entering the tub one must be free of all perfumes, make up, locations and beauty products, participants shouldn't be freshly shaved or tanned, while people with abrasions and menstruating women are not permitted. So if you're looking for a little mind altercations, just rub a dub dum in the sensory deprivation tub.
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100 Objects of Popular and Material Culture is an blog exploring the manifestations of human consumption and commodity-ization. The purpose of this experiment is to explore material and popular culture in contemporary society by using objects and concepts to prompt wider questions and reflections. So by emulating The British Museum's and Neil MacGregor's format of A History of the World in 100 Objects I plan to satirically analyze and reinterpreted 100 material culture objects over the course of 2014. Material Culture is the study of our culture's consumption of stuff; namely the manifestation of culture through material productions where people's perceptions of objects is socially and culturally dependent. With this, objects reflect conscious and unconscious beliefs on the the individuals who fabricated, purchased, or used them, and by extension the society where they live. So examining materiality, cultural truths and societal assumptions may be discovered. As anthropologist Arjun Appaduai states "in any society the individual is often caught between the cultural structure of commodity-ization and his own personal attempts to bring a value and order to the universe of things." Objects and commodities make up a much larger symbolic system consisting of want and need, socio-economic status, fashion, etc. Often times form follows function whether the commodity, market, and or consumer forever evolve around one-another. Philosopher Pierre Bourdieu's theories of capital flow full circle; where regardless if you are a minimalist or a hoarder the world is made up of things and everyone will leave their footprint on the earth. So by humorously analyzing marketed objects and concepts, hopefully this blog will provide further incite into ideas of over-consumption, a disposable society, consumerism vs. anti-consumers, planned obsolescence vs. sustainability, as well as the greater good of mankind and future generations.