Making and Unmaking Collections through Gift Exchange

Sue Uhlig
2021 Research in Arts and Education  
In this visual essay, I argue that the gift economy generated through the Buy Nothing Project is a form of community care. Specifically, I will discuss how members in the Buy Nothing Project helped to make and unmake a research-creation exhibition in a university project space through their commitment to community building. Founded in the US, the Buy Nothing Project is a global network of thousands of hyper-local community groups that eschew a trational cash economy and instead advocate
more » ... ation, community, sustainability, and creativity through a gift economy. The generous gifting from my local group enabled the making of my research exhibition through the contributions of bookcases, tables, ephemera, and small boxes. Several of the Buy Nothing Project members also became participants in the research, and they lingered in the space during the exhibition and related events. On the concluding day during its unmaking, objects and furniture in the research exhibition were gifted back to Buy Nothing members to deepen the connection of community care.
doi:10.54916/rae.119491 fatcat:kj6xgby7urd7takvh2l43vemv4