I was thinking about a holiday gift exchange. We could put out a freebie area around the tree at Izzy’s Gym and let peeps put out free items for others to collect. But Builder’s Brewery already has their massive, long-running holiday freebie gift exchange.
This Time, It’s Personal
That, and, while the group freebie-fest is a wonderful thing, I was thinking kind of more on the lines of the RL family gift exchange where you draw names and each person has one family member to go find something nice for. You don’t come back with 50 freebies, but you do have the experience of thinking about someone, shopping with them in mind, and picking something you think they’ll like. And someone else does the same for you.
Four years ago, in VB23 – New Clothes we had one pair of shorts and one blouse that we passed from person to person. That’s a bit different from a gift exchange, but what they share is that the’re less about showcasing art, and more about creating and expressing community.
As I’ve been thinking about the Pedestrian Access project I’ve started to realize that for all the wonderfully talented artists & designers in-world, we often do focus on publicizing our individual talents rather than building community. I’ve seen so many amazing installations at the LEA AIR sims and elsewhere. But I’ve just about never seen an artist create with accommodations for transitioning to neighboring artists. Or with pedestrian access in mind. We’ve become masters of look-at-me, and very often the work is remarkable, yet we’ve paid so much less attention to public access, urban planning, civic engagement, liminal spaces, and the public realm.
The Holiday Freebie Exchange is an analogous event. For designers it’s often here’s a fun freebie: come to my shop and buy something. For artists it’s look at my creativity. I don’t mean to be too cynical here. The Builder’s Brewery, or any other, freebie exchange is a generous and fun event. But it is also self-serving for the participants.
In a family gift exchange, we’re simply going out and shopping for each other. It isn’t about my genius or my shop at all. It’s simply about sharing with friends. Its about community.
If you’d like to join the VB Friends Holiday Gift Exchange, please message me with your name and perhaps a few hints as to what you might like: dancing shoes, or a new car, or a medium length haircut with fun ombre colors, or deck chairs, or a mesh vinyl miniskirt. And also LMK how much you think we should spend on each other’s gifts. I was thinking maybe L$500, but I’m happy to have it be more or less than that if peeps prefer.
Give me a shout! And also shout if you have any questions or ideas!