Notional Space, the name we give to our living room when it is transformed into a gathering place, is a gift economy project. Our aim is to provide a place where the people who are building community – artists, activists, nonprofits – can come together with those who are hungry for community and eager to support those working toward a more beautiful, meaningful, just world.
Frequently, this takes the form of “house concerts”, where you have a chance to see and hear outstanding performers representing a wide variety of musical genres. So I’ll discuss the gift economy dynamics in that context; but this analysis applies to any of the give as you wish events we host.
What’s the diff?
Many people wonder: what’s so “gift economy” about these events, when they are giving money to be in the audience? How is this any different than any other commercial performance, where one buys a ticket to hear the music? It is easy to overlook the distinctions and it’s easy to see this as just another exchange of money for service; but this is to miss an important dynamic in these evenings.
Continue reading ‘We Pay, They Play. What’s So “Gift Economy” About Notional Space?’
Published 23 October 2012
Art & Culture
Tags: Alone Together, Anton Lipovetsky, art, Arts Club, civic obligation, community, culture, Jenn Griffin, Margo Kane, participation, Public Square, Revue Stage, SFU, showing-up, Simon Fraser University, The Unplugging, theater, theatre, Vancouver, Vancouver Foundation, Woody Allen, Yvette Nolan
Show-up, people. Just fucking-show-up.
Tonight, Yoo-Mi and I were privileged to attend a performance of Yvette Nolan’s smart, gripping new work, The Unplugging, at The Arts Club Theatre Company’s Revue Stage. The play, set in post-apocalyptic Canada, explores the emotional need for community, the compulsion to generosity, and the go-to sustainability of traditional ways of living. It also illustrates the dangerous ways in which these virtues are challenged by the venality of a culture that has convinced itself that survival is a zero-sum game. The dialogue is tight, the production simple, direct, and effective, and the acting (by Jenn Griffin, Margo Kane, and Anton Lipovetsky) stunningly superb. By all rights, the 198-seat theater should have been packed.
Instead, there were twenty of us comprising the audience.
Continue reading ‘Show-Up’