Its not tough to see the appeal. These videos are marvels of calming, hypnotic material, lulling the viewer into a kind of ambient hypnotic trance. Part of this is their overall immersion in nature and escape from the modern-day constructed environment. Aside from Plants shorts, there appears to be nothing in the videos that has actually been manufactured or mass-produced. In what we see of Plants world, every man-made thing is made by him and has clear antecedents in some previous thing he made. Commenters like to describe this as a gorgeous tautology. As somebody composed beneath the video in which Plant made bricks to develop a kiln for firing bricks: “Yo, I require some bricks/What for?/More bricks/OK.”YouTube is an endless well of instructional material, teeming with how-tos and “hack” videos, but numerous follow a formula of wall-to-wall, unidirectional talk. The entire platform is asserted on a presumed parasocial relationship in which viewers are talked at by people who pretend to see them– content developers who face the camera, greet the audience as though they are good friends (possibly with the gratingly common “Hi there, people!”) and after that, often enough, continue to stall, ramble and digress for as long as they can retain your attention. Primitive Technology videos are all doing and no talking. There is no chirpy greeting, no recommendation of being observed at all. Plants technical skills are fantastic, however possibly even more particular, more impressive, is his monastic silence. He does an amazing task of maintaining the illusion of an unmediated experience, in which he is entirely unaware of being observed as he tackles his work. In Plants world, it is possible to bring a job to conclusion without disruption; it is a world without meetings, without alarms, without management. You can envision how this might have felt, especially after the beginning of the pandemic, like an escape into a different, more satisfying type of isolation. And you can envision how, as the cost of living soars and talk turns to the fragility of global supply chains and modern-day institutions, the concept of a person living off the land in a bountiful forest is a soothing fantasy.When in requirement of shelter, we will grapple with a rental market long before getting an ax.Because, obviously, this is a fantasy: The videos are deftly modified and published to the internet, a high-tech website to this low-tech world. They are ostensibly here to offer guideline, however they primarily offer a tech-addled audience with a brief break from the very techno-capitalism that lets them enjoy– the very thing that makes Plants work possible, viable and lucrative.More than 2 and a half centuries after the start of the Industrial Revolution, we no longer consider the unspoiled world as our natural routine or privilege useful worth over symbolic worth. If what Plant enacts resembles what was once our “natural state”– the way we lived prior to innovation and social organizations modified every aspect of our presence– it is now something few of us in extremely developed countries enter routine contact with or would know how to survive, let alone have sufficient rule over the land to fell trees, build structures and flex it to our will.
Other than Plants shorts, there appears to be absolutely nothing in the videos that has been made or mass-produced. In what we see of Plants world, every manufactured thing is made by him and has clear antecedents in some previous thing he made. They are seemingly here to supply instruction, but they mainly supply a tech-addled audience with a quick reprieve from the very techno-capitalism that lets them see– the very thing that makes Plants work possible, viable and lucrative.More than 2 and a half centuries after the start of the Industrial Revolution, we no longer look upon the pristine world as our natural routine or benefit practical value over symbolic value.