The Grateful Economy
Predicated on generous collaboration and supplemented with part-time employment, the Grateful Economy is separate from the state and relies entirely on free artistic and critical contributions. It’s not a pyramid scheme, it’s a pledge. It’s the subject of a dream relayed over the phone. I go to the meeting with my Dad, in a circular white stone building. You should never go to someone’s home with your two arms the one length. I’m being asked to bring a gift, but I haven’t a clue what’s appropriate. I feel like I have nothing to give, so I give thanks instead. This seems to work well, as there is barely enough time and everyone else has given quite a lot.
You are someone who needs attention and sometimes you go a bit overboard being dramatic in order to get it. You have a clear presence that gets you attention; however you still use your clothing and behavior to acquire it. After I get home, I have to pay you back and I transfer it all the way back to a name I don’t recognise. I’m absolutely fucked after the weekend. I feel worse for wear. I’m none the wiser for it. I’m on borrowed time. They say it’s cyclical, this gift economy, but it feels like spirals. I don’t feel appreciated, this isn’t reciprocal. I’m going on strike until January.
I don’t go on strike. Instead, I transcribe audio interviews of English people talking about the Labour party. I agree more with people who are harder to transcribe, with false starts and who interrupt the interviewer. I can get the people I don’t agree with transcribed in about half an hour, but their words last all day. I am not very good at transcribing, only managing to earn about three or six dollars an hour. Soon I am given the files no one wants, that are paid the worst. Glitchy zoom meetings and a video recording of a statistics lecture. The Lecturer is wearing a face shield so when he gets excited his words ricochet, garbling the track. When he speaks about being an American soldier, I can barely make it out at all. I flick through more files but the further I go the harder they become. Soon I can’t make out the different accents at all. They are looking for clean reads. They want me to follow British rules of punctuation.
 Dream, date unknown.
 The Artist Support Pledge was established in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It aims to create a sustainable economy for Artists.
 Irish phrase.
 During the IMMA Summer School; Statecraft we had several lectures surrounding “The gift” as a state practice. I failed to prepare a presentation around the gift, and during the final seminar gave thanks.
 My horoscope, ‘Eager Beaver’, available online at; http://universal-tao-eproducts.com/mp/files/sun-moon_aries-leo.pdf
 The weekend, 22nd-23rd August 2020.
 Text messages from Sunday, 4th October 2020; “I thought of getting tinder again but was like nah >> No. I’m on strike until January. Feel like my romantic labour isn’t being appreciated.”
 Verbit is a freelance online platform for sourcing or providing audio transcription.