Spaces of Commoning: Urban Commons, Artistic Practices and Visions of Change

Spaces of Commoning: Urban Commons, Artistic Practices and Visions of Change

Participants: Anette Baldauf, Stefan Gruber, Moira Hille, Annette Krauss, Vladimir Miller, Aras Ozgun, Mara Verlic, Hong-Kai Wong.
In the context of aggressive waves of privatization, enclosures, policing and surveillance, the commons have resurfaced as a key concept in the discussions of alternative societies, new social movements and the transformation of public space. The research project “Spaces of Commoning” wants to explore where and how the creative insights and energies developed in and around the commons debate is able to reframe questions that neither nation states nor markets have been able to address, and thereby possibly overcome some of the major problems that have burdened prevalent concepts of public space. The debate on the commons claims to provide new entry points for a radical repudiation of neoliberal politics and to inspire the envisioning of alternatives beyond capitalism. While the past twenty years have been signed by a growing retreat of radical visions for alternative futures, the debate on the commons insists that another world is possible. Ironically, in the course of their vast proliferation in recent years, commons have provided not only a new entry point to anti-capitalist critique and activism; they are now also used as a force of economic growth. In other words, capital is promoting the commons in its own way. The pervasive spread of forms of secluded living, but also exclusive variations of educational, health or food commoning indicate how smoothly the alternative value systems of the commons is integrated into the workings of capitalism. Can this old idea of the commons still provide a new strategy to disrupt capitalist appropriations and ever accelerating cycles of gentrification? Can it help us to articulate and bring together the many existing struggles that currently recognize the power to challenge the mantra of capitalist accumulation and profit-driven growth?
Spaces of Commoning: Urban Commons, Artistic Practices and Visions of Change (Research Project)
Summer School COMMONING THE CITY (June 22nd – 29th, 2014)

 

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