Saturday, December 08, 2012

Holiday Gift Swap Next Sunday at Force and Flow


From the folks at Force and Flow (1102 Dean Street #4, between Franklin and Bedford):


Holiday Gift Swap
Sunday December 16
12:30 – 5PM
Why spend money on gifts when you can exchange?
On Sunday the 16th, bring a couple of (nice) things* from home which you no longer want or need but which someone else might love, and come exchange them for others’ goods which you or someone you know will treasure. Wrap them up real nice and gift them: save yourself some dough, save the environment some trash, and make space in your life for new things = all good.
Here’s the short story of how this birthday celebration and “artistic response” came to be:
Friday night, around 11PM, I left the MoMA and my role there as “performer” in the Meta Monumental Garage Sale. Some of my colleagues stayed on even later, packing piles and piles of unsold shit into boxes. All this stuff, from trash to treasure, had been donated in the name of art, then priced at unusually high garage sale prices to be sold to those whom were willing and able to pay. At a salary $20 an hour, I could hardly afford most of it.
And now the Cinderella moment: the exhibit closes at 8PM and the golden carriage is a pumpkin again: all this stuff is worse than worthless, it’s a liability, costing hours of labor to pack it up, ship it to a warehouse to be sorted and shipped again to a storage unit where it will sit, at a cost, for who knows how long.
But this was conceptual art, with a statement about economics and value, and in that sense it did it’s work on me: I had two weeks to think about economics, and value, and the ridiculous amount of shit we have. I’m sure I will continue to ponder the economics of using highly trained performance and visual artists to work a register and to throw stuff into a box for a long time. The short-term pondering led me to this Gift Swap: if we’re going to make a statement about economics and value, why not consider the economics of waste and pollution and the value of human resources and personal connection?
So I’m inviting you to bring a couple of things from home that may once have been valuable to you, but which you no longer need, or which you know would be much more valuable to someone else and would make you feel good to pass the joy on. Then come and exchange them for something that could be perfect for your friend, cousin or even yourself. And come to enjoy the company, too, and to take pleasure in the excitement of finding not just something special, but a story, an interaction, a connection.
I’ll have some paper and scissors and a few pens so that you can wrap up what you get real pretty right on the spot. If you have wrapping paper or tape that you can donate to the occasion, that would be great. If you want to drop stuff off ahead of time, feel free.
Oh, and it happens to be my birthday, which makes the whole thing extra economical: a celebration and gift swap in one. If you have nothing to bring from home, or if you’re feeling the holiday spirit, just bring a snack or drink to share and take an item from me as my gift to you.
*things to bring:
-books, dvds, cds, housewares, kitchen ware in good condition, artwork, plants… clothes only if they are in great shape. I mean, you get the point: it’s not your typical clothing swap, so you can be creative, but bring something you or someone you know might like to get as a gift. And bring your friends too, the more the merrier.



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