Danica Phelps, 2016

The phase of the lifecycle of any project that we refer to as “transfer” considers the exchange of resources for goods or labor. This phase utilizes the following types of transfer:

Given or available without charge.
Given willingly to someone without payment.
Mutual Aid
Support or assistance given and reciprocated with regularity.
Taken and used with the intention of returning it.
Exchanged (goods or labor) for other goods or labor without using money.
Provided a sum of money in exchange for goods and labor.
Taken without permission or legal right and with no intention to return.

You likely use monetary and non-monetary transfers to get your projects done. When discussing transfer, we look at the specific exchanges you undertake for each project. If you are interested in the ways that you might holistically support yourself, please see Chapter 9: Support.

Danica Phelps is an artist whose project Income Outcome, involved creating a system for making drawings that document all of her income and expenses. We conducted an interview with Phelps, who spoke about the origins of this system, which began in 1996 and continues to this day. Phelps said:

I often had very little money. I often had less than $100. So when I finished graduate school I had no expectation at all that anyone would be looking at my work. I assumed that it would take a long time before anyone would even care about it at all, or that I would have the opportunity to show anyone. So [Income Outcome], actually started as a very personal project of keeping track of how much money I had so that I wouldn’t run out as easily. I am not very good with money. So I started drawing everything that I spent money on and then putting it up on the wall, so that I could see it all. And that had a few advantages like trying not to run out of money and also experiencing what I spent money on more. So if I only had $20, and I spent $4 on a bowl of soup, then the drawing would become worth a lot more [for me]. It was almost like I was generating something that had more value by drawing it.

In her artwork, Danica Phelps focuses on transfers that are paid, using a sum of money in exchange for goods and labor. Danica uses the capacity, “express,” which we define as being “reliably able to create works that convey an idea, a feeling, or a personal meaning. I spend a lot of time identifying the sources that form my beliefs, and assess whether my sources are credible. I see myself in a state of continuous transformation, seeking to identify the root causes and historical conditions that form my beliefs and knowledge.” Do you have visual systems for documenting paid transfers or other forms of transfer: free, gift, mutual aid, borrowed, bartered, or stolen?

Download the full chapter: Transfer as a PDF

Download Teacher/Facilitator Guides

  1. Future Project: Transfer (worksheet)
  2. Past Project: Transfer (worksheet)
  3. Historical Consciousness (worksheet)
  4. Standard Deviation Activity (activity)
  5. Basic Project Budget (worksheet)
  6. Community Economies Budget (activity)
  7. Make a Barter Agreement (activity)
  8. Sweat Equity / Gift / Mutual Aid Agreements for Shared Space (activity)
  9. Forms of Transfer: Make the Work (assignment)