Workshop & Talk Ele Carpenter
The Embroidered Digital Commons
The Embroidered Digital Commons is a collectively stitched version of the Raqs Media Collective’s text ‘A Concise lexicon of / for the Digital Commons’ 2003, facilitated by Ele Carpenter. The embroidery of the term ‘Gift’ was started at HV Galleri as part of the ‘Open Sewing Circle’ exhibition curated by Margareta Klingberg, for the Points of Departure Festival, Stockholm, September 2010. The Berlin workshop will discuss the nature of the gift economy today, and stitch the term 'gift' below:
"Gift: Something freely given, and taken, as in free code. Gift givers and gift takers are bound in networks of random or pre-meditated acts of symbolic exchange. The code begets the gift as the form of its own survival over time. In this way a gift is a quiet meme. Reciprocity begets reciprocity. The principle of the gift demands that the things being given be price-less, in other words so valuable as to be impossible to quantify in terms of the possibilities of abstract generalised exchange. The gift must at the same time, be easy to bear and keep, easy to use and there must be no guilt involved in its destruction or dispersal when its use value either changes or demands re-distribution in order to be effective. Gifts open doors to our own possibilities of generosity. In this way they facilitate access to the
things we did not even know we had. And, there is such a thing as a free lunch, although it requires the pursuit of a special recipe.”
(Raqs Media Collective, 2003).