Give a little bit (Pilvi Takala & Amelie Befeldt)

Videoinstallation, 2015


Give a Little Bit takes the form of a karaoke video as a means to invite the viewer to play along. The video takes place at a career fair where corporate representatives stand at their booths all day, giving out information to people who have paid an entrance fee. They offer complimentary items such as chocolate and stationary, though these giveaways are not gifts in the purest sense, as the visitor is only awarded them in exchange for their time and attention.

These fairs are also about exchange in a larger sense: they delineate what the worker must give in order to receive something later on in their professional career. Just taking the items without respecting this violates the unwritten rule of the fair, and a visitor who would do so starts to appear like a perpetrator. The fear of someone possibly exploiting the system and a requirement that we follow the rules is often greater than that of common sense. We easily fail to assess the real losses or benefits of someone just taking a free apple because they want to eat it, and prefer to offer it to a person who presents their commitment to our arbitrary system of rules.

Originally conceived as a video piece in collaboration of Pilvi Takala and Amelie Befeldt, Give a Little Bit was developed into a site-specific installation for the Helsinki-based gallery Alkovi. The themes of giving and receiving find resonance in Alkovi’s location, next to the gallery is a Hursti, a local food bank, which gives out food and warm meals twice a week for free to those who are in need. In this context, Give a Little Bit allies itself with the organisation and its attendees.