Defining the research blog of “Art as Gift” by peterfuchs
August 28, 2008, 1:09 pm
Filed under: Art as Gift Research blog | Tags:

Queen Nefretiti offering an ornate gift to Aten / via Wikimedia

We do not have a strict, economic definition on what is considered to be a gift: any item, any action can be considered as a ‘transfer without quid pro quo’, but the legal distinction is quite clear regarding of this question: even in the case when the donor (giver) does not get any value in return, the donor has to pay the according taxes in such a transaction. Only in some special cases the donor is not entitled to pay such a tax, like calendar events, donating to a spouse or political parties, etc.

In order to find out what gift is, we should dig deep into social, economic aspects of our contemporary societies. Some posts of this blog will give a limited number of possible explanations, definitions on this issue: from the book The Gift (1923) The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies by Marcell Mauss, to the idea of giving others intellectual property to the public with a radical gesture by hackers in the form of torrents. The four main categories of the research will be the field of (1)Gift-Economy as a social phenomenon, /tag: gift_economy (2) projects related to our contemporary economy either supporting it, or either being subversive to it, tag: art’s economy (3) direct artistic intervention into economic processes and finally tag: art vs. economy (4) art projects reflecting to the structure of the art world itself. tag: projects critical to the artworld.

Libation, the pouring of the best available mead onto an alter as an offering to gods does have the same social roots as nowadays political, social charity, or the “Christmas Event” we commemorate every year for least a month? Does art has any power to influence economic structures, or the way how we perceive them? Anyway, what art has to do with gifts, presents, free culture, donation?

The research blog of the Periferic 8 is trying to find some background materials to answer some of these questions…


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