Vanessa Blaylock ice skates through a field of presents

VB Friends Gift Exchange

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

I was thinking about a holiday gift exchange. We could put out a freebie area around the tree at Izzy’s Gym and let peeps put out free items for others to collect. But Builder’s Brewery already has their massive, long-running holiday freebie gift exchange.

Builder's Brewery Gift Exchange: Vanessa Blaylock standing in the snow. She is surrounded by trees and holiday presents.

This Time, It’s Personal #

That, and, while the group freebie-fest is a wonderful thing, I was thinking kind of more on the lines of the RL family gift exchange where you draw names and each person has one family member to go find something nice for. You don’t come back with 50 freebies, but you do have the experience of thinking about someone, shopping with them in mind, and picking something you think they’ll like. And someone else does the same for you.

Four years ago, in VB23 – New Clothes we had one pair of shorts and one blouse that we passed from person to person. That’s a bit different from a gift exchange, but what they share is that the’re less about showcasing art, and more about creating and expressing community.

Community #

As I’ve been thinking about the Pedestrian Access project I’ve started to realize that for all the wonderfully talented artists & designers in-world, we often do focus on publicizing our individual talents rather than building community. I’ve seen so many amazing installations at the LEA AIR sims and elsewhere. But I’ve just about never seen an artist create with accommodations for transitioning to neighboring artists. Or with pedestrian access in mind. We’ve become masters of look-at-me, and very often the work is remarkable, yet we’ve paid so much less attention to public access, urban planning, civic engagement, liminal spaces, and the public realm.

The Holiday Freebie Exchange is an analogous event. For designers it’s often here’s a fun freebie: come to my shop and buy something. For artists it’s look at my creativity. I don’t mean to be too cynical here. The Builder’s Brewery, or any other, freebie exchange is a generous and fun event. But it is also self-serving for the participants.

Vanessa Blaylock ice skates through a field of presents at the 2014 Builder's Brewery Gift Exchange

In a family gift exchange, we’re simply going out and shopping for each other. It isn’t about my genius or my shop at all. It’s simply about sharing with friends. Its about community.

Gift Exchange! #

If you’d like to join the VB Friends Holiday Gift Exchange, please message me with your name and perhaps a few hints as to what you might like: dancing shoes, or a new car, or a medium length haircut with fun ombre colors, or deck chairs, or a mesh vinyl miniskirt. And also LMK how much you think we should spend on each other’s gifts. I was thinking maybe L$500, but I’m happy to have it be more or less than that if peeps prefer.

Interested? #

Give me a shout! And also shout if you have any questions or ideas!

Vanessa Blaylock's signature

About Vanessa Blaylock

I was the Choreographer at Vanessa Blaylock Dancers and the Artistic Director at Vanessa Blaylock Company. Today my work focuses on Public Art projects. I'm interested in the mediation of perception and mixed reality performance works. I'm passionate about community and civil rights in cyberspace.

3 thoughts on “VB Friends Gift Exchange

  1. Hey did you already send out names? Sorry if I didn’t finish the form the first time – I began discussing it with you in SL and then we talked about just exchanging gifts directly haha. Anyway, if you are sending out names I’d like to participate. Thanks for all you do.

    1. Not yet! So far it’s just You, Me, and 1 other person who also didn’t do a form but IM’d me and, oopsy, I sorta forget who that is! 😛

      Hopefully they’ll shout again and we can do a little something.

      Some events are very crowd friendly, like our huge Animal Parade:
      http://vbco.dance/vb43/

      Others, as you know, like Solstice Celebration or Gift Exchange, connect with a lot fewer people, yet I don’t think they’re any less important or relevant.

      If you ever read Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual in Art, we can just think of ourselves as a little bit closer to the apex of the triangle.

  2. And also, I’d be happy to help with anything around this (coordinating the list sending or any prods to the group).

Comments are closed.