worm tea

Marcel Mauss’s gift economy is a sort of mutualism born out the necessity of reciprocation. The worms don’t simply transform a material but actually give a part of themselves, they open-up their homes, packed full of microbial inhabitants, all dressed-up in their Sunday and kitchen full of all the ingredients required for preparing a memorable meal for unexpected guests. This is the initial gift, the act of giving that makes a request for a social relation (in an ecological sense between human and non human), which is always companion to the act of receiving (of course to not receive would be a rejection of the social bond), and finally followed by a series reciprocating acts which reaffirms the bond and establishes an interdependency between two entities. A social contract emerges that is not based on the ownership of objects, rather the notion of private property dissolves in favor of things that are loaned, shared, and circulated amongst evolving relational assemblies: intersubjectivity shifting into interobjectivity.

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