‘Out of the Box’
“In symbolic exchange, of which the gift is our most proximate illustration, the object is not an object: it is inseparable from the concrete relation in which it is exchanged, the transferential pact that it seals between two persons: it is thus not independent as such. It has, properly speaking, neither use value nor (economic) exchange value. The object given has symbolic exchange value.” Jean Baudrillard
Operating on Baudrillard’s theory of the gift as removed from capitalist exchange, we create a curated environment where objects live together with common symbolic value. Art, design and product, placed together without boundary or hierarchy.
Out of the box functions both as a way of viewing, without the typical distinctions of design, art, product imposed on the object, and a declarative statement of purpose as a gift. As concealed objects to be exchanged each piece will become symbolically, if only temporarily, equal.
Our constant stream of online purchases has changed our relationship with unboxing. The acts of discovery and surprise in opening the gift are gone. The recipient knows what is in the box before it is opened because she has seen a picture of what is inside. In this purchasing there is no symbolic equality, only contemporary evolved consumption.
Curation here, an eclectic boundary crossing selection, replicates the surprise and curation of gift giving. Without the hyper-selective consumption, the worldwide digitized marketplace has enabled we gain: surprise, unexpected choices in what we possess.
Using symbolic evaluation of objects based on the relationships we can reevaluate what we should want and what we have.