Conceptual Cluster 1: Relations and Agency
Minimal set for all kinds of travel 2011
I have designed that set for the exhibition which aim was to offer a gifts for the visitors and exchange it with them. There were about 30 artists invited. One artist could bring one gift for one person.
I thought that: Taking the gift is a challenge, especially nowadays when people get things without considering if they truly need it. Everyone would like to get something nice from the artist, that is why I thought it should not be that easy to posses it.
Minimal set for all kinds of travel is intended for the volunteer who decides to make an effort of spending 5 days using only items from the kit. The volunteer is allowed to use only: a simple piece of felt for sleeping needs, which is also a carrying bag,a small blanket, a mug, a spoon, a pencil, a sketch book, a herb tea and 3×5 portions of different kinds of grains. The volunteer is allowed to ask for boiling water and a place to sleep. The volunteer can travel, hitch hike, visit friends, discuss or remain silent for all the time. It is forbidden to use credit cards, mobile phones, computer, etc.
Unfortunately none of the visitors felt strong enough to take the challenge and responsibility of having my gift. They were interested in it but afraid to face the disavowal. The efforts they need to put into possessing nice art piece surpass their expectations.
First volunteer was a renowned Polish artist – Marek Chlanda – who have taken this challenge for 14 days and created a series of partings under the influence of this experiment.
The act of using the set gives an alternative, examine the other ways of living in the society, it offers being instead of having. The meaning comes out in the process of using it, in action not in the object itself. It gives the impulse to extract from structures and start to create new sense, to act otherwise. It makes user to be aware of acting with ‘intent and purpose’ and gives chance to create critical difference and take social responsibility.
Minimal set for all kinds of travel drift also to the contexts of the gift economy, gift culture where goods can be given without any immediate rewards. Gift culture is anthropological term used to describe the societies in which participants donate their goods for the common welfare. The research about gift cultures began with the polish anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski in 1922. Later on term spread on the other fields like economy, science and creative commons, open source software and many more.