I'm drawing on lots of stories and histories for this project. Ötzi has a gravitational pull for me - the work feels overdue and the ideas I've been orbiting for a long time.
Fellow intern and fantastic roommate Alex urged me to check out Station Eleven from the library. I'm partway through it now and the worldbuilding is hugely similar to what I see for the post-industrial kit. In Station Eleven, a SARS-like flu burns across the planet and we're left in a rotting world, following a troupe of actors and musicians as they travel. The really excellent bit is that each character is carrying meaningful objects - instruments, snowglobes, all relics of a past age. A brilliant book that is pulling me forward in my understanding of tools-as-experiences.
At the recommendation of another friend, I'm finally watching Cowboy Bebop (gold medalist: theme song championship). A nearish-future space jazz (not space opera, take note) that includes the sort of junkscape creativity I'm itching for.
I've ordered The Man in the Ice on the recommendation of a video on remaking Ötzi's flint knife. Apparently it's a good book for getting the specific measurements and details of all his gear.
Documentaries Iceman Murder Mystery and Ötzi "The Ice Man".
A book called Cræft, which I've read, is still inspiring me to think in big ecological loops. The part of the book that rocked me the most is the section on beekeeping. What I took away from the story is that medieval and ancient beekeepers would capture swarming hives in small baskets, allow them to grow for a year or two, then scoop out the wax and honey, killing the hive. Doing it this way allows the captured hives to swarm, and relies on the health of the surrounding woodland. Compare that to modern beekeeping, in which bees are artificially sedated and regularly harvested in sections. I much prefer "Open Loop" ecological interaction over a narrow "Closed Loop" techno-agricultural control scheme.
When I was a wee grasshopper, my friends and I would ask our parents to get weird old machines from the thrift store or from the abandonment section of the attic, and we would take them apart. I still have some excellent magnets from an external CD drive I took apart when I was maybe eight years old. Even though I didn't understand much of the function of anything I found, it was so fascinating to me that everything could come apart and be used in a different way. Everything is a Material, you know.