Occasion, 2000; ILK at Pirate Gallery, Denver, CO
Occasion intended to strip-away those automatic behaviors of gift exchange, revealing ways in which we uphold our connections in a very coded manner. A series of verbal requests and orders was given as a requirement to receive my gift as I stated, “please do not thank me for the gift, wait until you get home to open it and never discuss the item inside.” Audience members encountered their own habitual and scripted responses to gift transaction through my unexpected and restructured social custom. As well, I created a dispersal of objects that spread throughout the community. When audience members opened the gifts, they found that the gift I gave were every gift that has ever been given to me, and an addressed, stamped and unsealed ‘thank you’ card written to the original giver of that gift. This allowed for the new recipient to understand the significance of the object and send the ‘thank you’ to the original giver. Consequently, audience members are offered the chance to widen the space of the gift sentiment. See video documentation below.