Exchange in Social & Cultural Spaces


Just sent this to Pippa Koszerek but thought, I want to put it out there too, just to bounce some ideas about:

I saw something in the paper today about Mary Portas and her high street campaign. It’s her column about high streets. Anyway, the idea that struck me was shops as social spaces. Last week I met with a dancer/choreographer, Heather Caruso of who manages for clothes store Anthopologie. She has created performances for their store in Edinburgh and is probably going to again this year.

I have been thinking about the diminising number of libraries, community centres, post offices… social spaces, vs the increase in digital reality. I am about to do an augmented reality project in Fogo with Samsonov Familia. I have been talking about Google glasses with Gary Merry and Matilda Brooke. What if we do lose touch, literally, with real people? I know that technology changes life, but I have only relatively recently come to see just how magnificent human connections are.

Anyway… ideas. Mary P was saying the future of high streets is in that they provide social contact. I think there is mileage in that. The way that Theatre By The Lake in Keswick is never dark and is less a carefully defined “theatre” and more an inclusive social/cultural spaces. This interests me. With shops, the idea of trade, commerce, value, bartering, exchange combined with social i.e. vital contact that has weight beyond “just” trade is interesting. Like, a throwback to when currency didn’t exist and everyone was closer to the products being exchanged and to the people exchanging.

Finally, been reminded lot about Mauss’ theory of gift exchange and how social structure via obligation is constructed through items changing hands.

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