Every now and then, I encounter a situation where I need my children to learn something important, so I’ll shape the lesson in an unexpected way that helps create new memories. Maybe I’ll take my shirt off and stand on the kitchen table, or perhaps I’ll get them to sit upside down on the couch. I need a surprise that tips their mind away from the ordinary and into something more astonishing that will command their attention.

It’s a technique that I can only spend on critical lessons. I’ll only get three or four shots a year, any more than that, and it starts becoming a habit. Like brushing my teeth, I know I brushed my teeth this morning. But it’s familiar and of no consequence, so I don’t exactly remember it. Unlike how I want to remember writing these words, they formalize something that I’d like to ‘remember for life.’

I need something unexpected, Tom Sachs. Naked. At a Table-saw. Hrmm, that’s not weird enough. What if I flip the photo upside down and turn it into one of those old-timey sepia photographs? Yeah, alright, now we’re talking.

*click* Start recording…

This memory is where LCD Soundsystem kicked on, and you rocked back on your chair. With both hands clasped behind your head, you got lost in thoughts about how the unexpected helped mutate a creative practice that was becoming a mundane habit.

*click*

A photo of Tom Sachs, naked at a table-saw. The photo is upside down and has a sepia colour filter.

Originally written for the Sachsian Syndicate.

Previously: TGIM 40 - Cryptocurrencies and NFTs offer a similar utopian promise to artists and creators - that we’ll all get paid and be able to live out our wildest fantasies. We just need to work hard enough and take the right risks.