Eugenio Tisselli


The place where the spirit of the gift is felt.

Although the term ‘hau’ is certainly complex and needs to be understood in relation to the specific context of the Maori culture, Marcel Mauss translated it as ‘The Spirit of the Gift’. The notion of ‘The Spirit of the Gift’ is derived, in turn, from a question asked by Mauss: β€œIn archaic types of societies what is the principle whereby a gift received has to be repaid? What force is there in the thing given which compels the recipient to make a return?” (Mauss 1952:1) (Note that I feel uncomfortable with the qualifier ‘archaic’).

The original location has to be New Zealand. However, as with any utopia, the location should be everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

Eugenio Tisselli is an artist, programmer, and independent researcher with a specific interest in developing sociotechnical methodologies for communal practice. In his role as director of the ojoVoz project (an open-source toolkit for the creation of community memories) he has carried out extended workshops with communities at risk of exclusion in different parts of the world. The ojoVoz project may be accessed at

The one above is a photo of myself… not in New Zealand, but in Tanzania. With my friend Mr. Hamza, both of us standing in front of a field of experimental cassava developed by the small-scale farmers of Chambezi. Note that the name of the field is ‘Sauti ya wakulima’, directly inspired by our joint project. πŸ˜‰

Eugenio Tisselli

New Zeland