The Dilletante in The Conversation

sal with cash

Sal Randalph has done A Good Thing by wrangling Mr Randall Szott to do an interview. Randall until recently ran a great blog called Leisure Arts. All three of us (Sal, Randall and myself) share artistic and theoretical touchstones.

I met Sal for the first time when I was in New York back in November. She took me to a nice little organic place near her studio on the lower east side and I had a bowl of soup and a cup of tea. It was rather expensive and Sal only had a coffee. We spoke passionately (I fear I sometimes ranted) about the things we were excited about at the time: things you might expect like the legacy of conceptual art and Allan Kaprow and re-enactment; but also unexpected stuff, eg: Sal has become convinced of the importance of Donald Judd.

Amongst a million other activities, Sal periodically works on a project called “Free Money“, in which she, quite literally, gives money away to people. They sign up for an appointment and then they meet at a cafe and have a chat, but the first thing that happens is Sal gives them the cash. Then the conversation can go wherever it needs to or wants to. There is no need for the person to hang around, Sal is not “buying their time” or anything.

I should point out that our meeting in New York was not an instance of Free Money.

But it was a great meeting, we were excited penpals who finally connected in the flesh.

After we left I realised we had not “split the bill”. In fact, Sal had paid for most of it, even though her small coffee probably constituted a quarter of the total. I felt strange about this. I worried that Sal might think I was trying to get out of paying my fair share, having just heard of her tendency to give away cash. Like somehow we had played “Free Money” without any advance agreement on the idea.

Neither of us has not mentioned anything about it since, even though we have exchanged several friendly emails in the interim.

See the funny things money does to a man?

3 thoughts on “The Dilletante in The Conversation

  1. Sal Randolph

    Hey lucas! Hm, I didn’t remember I had paid more for our coffee. I tend not to be a rigorous check splitter with friends, so you see after all that intense conversation I clearly felt we were friends and would meet again for many coffees or teas of the future. Fyi, name spelt like “dolphin” rather than “alpha”. But indeed, lets play free money some time. – Sal

  2. Lucas Post author

    hey Sal
    thanks for the clarifications! It was just a musing (an amusing?) little thought/memory about our time spent together. I suppose that because your project draws attention to the money-structures that surround us, I became a little hyper-conscious of these ordinary transactions.

    I think sometimes when money comes into the equation, things can get a little funny between friends. Which is why I too prefer not to be a rigorous check-splitter. Although personally I’d prefer to err on the side of over-generous rather than under. Maintaining my reputation as a generous fellow is maybe more important than a few bucks here and there? Something like that. Do you find people sometimes reacting strangely when you do “Free Money”?

  3. Tom Annear

    Hi Lucas,
    Probably not the most appropriate place to put a ‘Hello, remember me?’ but it might be suitable in that it’s at least moderately interstitial.
    I’m surfacing from years in rural obscurity and rebuilding some dmamged neurons in my social and professional cortex. It’s good to see that your practice is still diverse, obverse, inverse, converse and probably perverse [as ever].

    I saw the Bon Scott show today and went looking for you at the Moores Building, but couldn’t find you.


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