These are the significant catalysts for total change in thought that I can locate. It is amazing to reflect on these things and feel the potential for even more limitless extension. It drops off around the time I went to art school, which is just a rapid series of catalysts. The unifying factor of the catalysts preceding art school is, however, the coincidental and random circumstances that brought me towards them or them towards me.
Kooyanisquatsi - Started renting DVD's from the library. Saw this movie.
Jonestown - I had a root canal done by a dentist with the last name Love. Doctor Love. My mother had gotten work done there and I heard her talk about it to tohers, how it was amazing cause he just played a movie for you while he did his work. I heard Doctor Love was amazing. He was, I didn't feel a thing. Only I was painfully anxious to say anything when they left the History Channel on instead of a luxury dvd. The program on was about the Jonestown Massacre. Being strapped down with peoples utensils.
Hipinion music forum - I started mainlining the deepest obscurities of music from the internet I could find. I happened upon this forum, an endless stream of .rar and .zip links to now defunct file sharing sites. To this day it holds so many dead links, I love it though. I have a weird guilt for having, as a child, lurked one specific person I came to know through their incredible taste and similarly incredible will to divulge their life on a public forum, who died over the course of my real time lurking. I felt like they were a friend. Their links are dead and they are dead. .
Obsessive torrenting and random indulgent blogspot raking came hand in hand. A weird attitude of totally insular pretension regarding the knowledge of the history of underground music came as well. I would guard it and hold it to be holy. Not until my late teenage years would I find anyone to share the shit with. This behavior persists. Obsessive and rewarding and private and sacred.
Mrs. Bullpit - My uncle was Mary Bullpit's accountant. You can and should read about her life here. She died in 2000 and in 2010 my uncle gave me a car she had left him in her will. It was a cadillac deville. This changed my life in many ways- I learned about her own life, which was inspiring and instilled possibility within me. I also then had a car which enabled me to move out and leave home immediately at 16.
Work Ethic - This was a book loaned to me by a friend. It is what reconciled my ill will towards the possibility of meaningful work. I read this and realized there were so many ways of seeing things that I hadn't considered.
(The Clash Vanilla Tapes), Temp House - The Fall, Kooyanisquatsi, Work Ethic book, hipinion music forums, 7up doc, Juan Atkins comp, archive.org, jonestown doc during root canal,
7-up Documentary Series - Another random library DVD rental. Changed my scope of understanding of life.
Saw a Carillion - I went upstate to Sleepy Hollow Cemetary a few days before Halloween with my friend Andrew and saw a Carillion, a multi-ton piano hooked up to giant brass bells. It was on the back of a semi-truck with a flat bed, enshrouded in clear plastic walls. I came to find there were only a few in the world. I was fascinated and think of it every single day.
Philosophy & Theory - I always read a lot of junk but in college it began to effect my ego. I would be so interested in someone's ideas I would reliably get obsessed and read as much as I could about their non-academic lives. I guess it was because I felt so at odds with my own life and felt it wasn't conducive to fostering such genius or clarity. I felt assured enough that I was capable and young enough that I could still take part in shaping my influence, possibly orient myself in the way these authors and thinkers had. But reading about the daily lives of poets and philosophers only depressed me more at the time. It was illustrated each time as a clear path to madness because there is so little space in this world for such devotions. Across the board was struggle. I got no answers or help in my biographical excursions but perhaps it prepared me for further struggle- further committed me to the great inherited trust. Instilled faith and pride in the sense of progresslessness in devoting yourself to the inane and useless task.2013- aaron schwartz wake