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Arthaus – Watie White – Interaction with the personal

Watie White

The great money give-away episode! At Arthaus11 event five on Wednesday evening, our surprise presenter was the renowned artist Watie White. I shall be posting on his delicious presentation separately, but must tell you about one specific part of the evening… Watie talked about how he had come to realize his art was inherently tied to and improved by interaction. As part of and as an extension to this concept, he took his presenter honorarium ($75 in this case), stuffed it in a neon yellow envelope and drew a name from a hat… and Amy Mather was given the task of giving away the envelope. Her broad directions were to give it to someone she didn’t know; if for a transaction then for one of minimal or no monetary value (for example, a tip for a cup of coffee); not to a recognized charity; to take place within one week and otherwise unconstrained.

It is surprising how onerous and challenging is the act of interacting with someone and giving them something of overt socially recognizable value… what happened Amy?!

7 Comments

  1. Hello Folks,

    I gave it all away, at the Pizza Shoppe! On Dec. 15th, I attended the Golden Spokes Awards with my BF. The Golden Spokes event is an annual event recognizing volunteers at the Community Bicycle Shop of Omaha. While there, awaiting my free pizza, I noticed a man and his 7 kids sitting together at the front where they emceed the event. The kids were very attentive to all the speeches and I thought…they must have that envelope!! So, after a short bit of time, the man and his seven kids got up to leave. I had to maneuver around the table I was sitting at, dash out the door where I exclaimed “I know this sounds weird, but I am suppose to give this to a stranger, I choose you, Happy Holidays”. He took the envelope and smiled and said “Thank You”. I promptly walked back in and had another beer.

    It was pretty cool!

    -Amy

    • I like that the moment to give came on you somewhat spontaneously and you acted swiftly! I also like the insouciant beer, post give away! How did you feel, Amy, about having the money to give away and after you had handed it off? Relieved, warm and fuzzy, ambivalent, thrilled… ?

  2. julie says

    I love this! Truly in the moment– and possibly a magical moment for this family to talk about for a very long time! Way to go Amy!

  3. Amy, I’m glad you went with your instincts and intuition on this; you gave it away much more excitingly than I would have done. Nicely accomplished!

  4. Trilety says

    Nicely Done Amy! The running after them added a good amount of excitement to the story. Now, I just have to settle into appreciating your gesture and never knowing who the recipient is. . . that may have been liberating for you actually. Thanks to Watie for the great idea of distributing the funds!

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