Associate Professor, Printmaking and Drawing
College of Art and Graduate School of Art
Washington University in St. Louis
"It is the assumption...that a work of art is a gift, not a commodity. Or, to state the modern case with more precision, that works of art exist simultaneously in two “economies,” a market economy and a gift economy. Only one of these is essential, however: a work of art can survive without the market, but where there is no gift there is no art." Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
Regifting: Print, Distribution, and Gift Exchange
A 4-week intensive project exploring the idea of art as gift
With this project we will explore printmaking and the multiple as instruments of economic politics, social connection, and cultural change. Through readings and discussions, we will consider the multiple as a means of bypassing the market economy, of creating our own gift economy. Our methods and works will be determined democratically by the group, and will take the following into consideration:
The market economy is deliberately impersonal, but the whole purpose of the gift economy is to establish and strengthen the relationships between us, to connect us one to the other.
Gifts are defined as both material objects and immaterial talents and inspirations. Talent in art is often referred to as a gift. The art object can therefore be seen as a natural extension of this gift, a gift in and of itself.
Can an object retain or gain value when it is given away for free?
The domain of distribution is one of print’s many championships; the multiple gives print access to the world and the world access to prints.
Prints play a significant role in the commodification of art and the economic system of the art world.
'''What if the art world were based on a socialist system instead of a capitalist one?' the artist Harrell Fletcher muses..."
from The Biennial That's Not at the Biennial, NY Times, Mia Fineman, May 2, 2004
This Container Isn't Big Enough, 2004
The 2004 Whitney Biennial
New York, New York
Hyde, Lewis; The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
Mauss, Marcel; The Gift
Purves, Ted (editor), What We Want is Free: Generosity and Exchange in Recent Art
|Felix Gonzalez Torres
Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.), 1991
Untitled 1992 (Free)
"All For Free"
Bloom, Brett (Temporary Services)
Giving it Away (for Fun and Profit)
Web Links to artists and ideas related to gifting and exchange
Artists' Trading Cards
Bread and Puppet Theater
in the blog New England Journal of Aesthetic Research
The Interstitial Library
The Electronic Museum of Mail Art
at MOMA, Death by Gun
Free Art License
Free Hugs Campaign
Free Words Project
ART/ARCHITECTURE; The Biennial That's Not at the Biennial
Political Activism and Economics
La Revue du M.A.U.S.S.
LINKS TO FREE CULTURE
The father of mail art
Relational Aesthetics: Why It Makes So Much Sense
Cobb, Chris reviews Touch: Relational Art from the 1990's til Now
at the Walker Art Center
Co-Editor The Art of Free Cooperation. Trebor Scholz is an artist, media theorist, and activist. He is the founder of the Institute for Distributed Creativity (iDC). In 2005 he organized Share, Share Widely and in 2006 Architecture and Situated Technologies (with Omar Khan, Mark Shepard). He is the founder and facilitator of the iDC mailing list.