Component #1: Price Point
Community is understanding that my seaweed and your seaweed are linked. That there is an Internet of seaweed. That it is organic, and when I touch you or eat you I am celebrating the fact that the systems which make me make you and everything else. But I didn't just realize this after dropping a bunch of acid and that's it now, all done. I know that there is a price for this. We need to pay our way into being connected the way we want to. Being a member of a community may be free, but where we stand in this network is based on an on-going process of reciprocal negotiations. If I choose to buy it all out, " can move to the next level.
Component #2: Artistes
In Our Community, there are a lot of Artists. This is good because they will pay a lot of money to make interesting things. That is why we can have a mall in Williamsburg now. Artists are store-owners which render the ideas that flow within the community into models: patterns of thoughts, behaviors, emotions, prejudices, or reactions. Artists' models are based on everything from dirt to slices of pizza to henna washes to trinkets. This interpretive class furnishes the community with its currency. A photograph of a neighborhood scene is an invitation to the viewer to cherish that moment and location as something distinctive and valuable.
Component #3: ArtisansBusiness people traffic the models which artists create. Because they understand the price point of Our Community, they know what some people will pay for what other people make. They know how much those people make and can afford to pay these people. With this and that and all other things in mind, they start businesses with various distribution channels that look like seaweed if you study their patterns closely.
Component #4: Artifacts
Tangible objects are the substance of Our Community. Artifacts are passed around among community members and accumulate value within themselves. Artifacts such as apartments, vegetables, and 45 rpm records are what attract outsiders into Our Community; that is, the allure of the artifacts themselves, or the promise of amassing them. People will pay big bucks for good artifacts. There are certain kinds of people who like to refer to culture rather than create it. These are typically the types that get into artifacts the most.
Component #5: Artifice
Symbolic value is the measure of the worth of artifacts. How much you lust for what I have or how beautiful you think I am will determine how much I have to fake what I cost. Some objects are worth more than others because they embody certain glamorous characteristics; a signed first edition, for example, which is functionally equivalent to the same text published as a mass-market paperback. My photographs aren't cheap.