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.