The Gift Giving Virtue

    The origins of this piece are rooted in the internet's ability to reshape the canon of world history. Almost exclusively, the history of the earth is told and retold typically from a white male perspective. The world from this point of view is are easily assessable to most people in the public domain, are heavily promoted to form the basis of most courses of study in the western world.
    I wanted to make books written mostly by typically marginalized groups easily accessible for all. The curation of these books chosen by myself with the assistance of colleagues of all ages, genders, races and nationalities, crosses a large range of subject matters meant to enhance the reader’s understanding of the lives and philosophies of perspectives from all around the world. The amount of pieces of literature, art and other knowledge created by marginalized groups must be promoted and integrated into the canon of history, and I think the internet has the power to do so.
   It is only in the recent present that all people regardless of their social standing communicate from their point of view using the same platforms online. In the past, people addressed spectators on a high pedestal or more recently through television. Today, we routinely see people from all social classes and backgrounds regularly interact with historically unreachable power holders such as Presidents and Kings via social media sites such as Twitter or Instagram. When a platform to speak becomes available to typically marginalized groups it changes power structures and helps to widen perspectives of people in positions of power.
    When more voices are easily accessible, more people consume work from more diverse perspectives, and we as a society could have a more accurate picture of human history, ourselves, as well as more empathy for walks of life we don't ourselves experience.
    The Title comes from the concept of the Gift Giving Virtue from Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche. In the text, Nietzsche explains that generosity and knowledge will serve as the new meaning of earth in the age of declining spirituality and technological advancements. The Gift Giving Virtue is a coin with the self-fulfillment that is obtained through giving on one side, and generosity of spirit that fosters another person to inspires her to become what she is on the other. Nietzsche uses the sun needing people to shine on as an example of this reciprocal nature between the giver and the receiver. My intention with this piece is to enhance the freedom of another human by giving the invaluable gift of spreading rare pieces of wisdom from around the world.
  This piece was originally to exist in physical space with printed book covers and QR codes next to them that took you to links with free books written by several different perspectives to attempt to tip the scale of widely consumed narratives. The recent outbreak of COVID-19 and practicing of social distancing has changed the way we as a society are living and communicating, and so I wanted to change this piece from a physical installation to a Google Drive Link in order to make these narratives even more accessible to people around the world as we practice social distancing. In the near future I plan to build a physical site for this piece. Take your time to pick digital copies of a books written by a perspective you may not have considered before, as you continue to #stayhome.

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