Just because we paid for something, does it mean we own it?
I'm not so sure that I can agree with that definition of ownership with complete conviction. In many ways, I've been thinking more about shared possession than outright ownership; especially in cases where money has exchanged hands.
I first realised the discomfort I was feeling about ownership, when I messaged Ryan Hewett a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to set the stage and explain that we have three of his works on display in our home. My first drafts all included the word "own" (or some kind of derivative thereof) and it just made me cringe, because I didn't feel like I could call myself the owner of his work.
I had a similar experience recently when I was gifted a new artwork. Whilst I have the benefit of the work being on display in my office; I just can't bring myself to think of me being the owner.
Maybe these are outliers, because it is art and I feel some respect or reverence for the artist. For as long as the artwork is not destroyed, there remains at least two parties to the work: myself and the artist.
I feel very differently about the bottle of wine I opened (and finished) last night. I do have respect for the winemaker and the story that shaped the wine, but now that it is finished, it creates a different sensation. If pushed, I probably would not have necessarily spoken about owning the bottle of wine, but I did feel enough ownership thereof to open and drink it.
What I am most wondering about is how co-ownership, collaboration and shared possession relates to many of the things that we would probably label as simple (and singular) ownership.
When I pay for the utility of a product, I become both the beneficiary of that utility, but also an advocate for the success of the product (and the people behind it). That relationship probably does not inherently need to exist for the business to survive, but it is probably infinitely better when the parties involved are in fact, involved.
I guess this is why ownership feels very exclusive and isolated to me as I type this. Like amassing riches in the shadows. Which is very counter-intuitive when we generally agree that sharing is caring and that some of the most meaningful experiences in life are shared amongst people.