What practices constitute the commons? What are the conditions of the situated processes of commoning? What and how do we thereby learn? What would constitute a new sense of sharing, distributing, partaking? And, how can we take the idea of relationality seriously and institute structures of reciprocity between art, academia, and activism? To address these questions the round table commoning/communing brings together three projects focusing on urban practices of commoning.
The Practice of Resistance
WIR – was bedeutet das eigentlich? Wann ist der Moment gekommen, dass wir uns die Hände reichen, uns in die Augen sehen und sagen können: WIR! WE – what does that mean? When does the moment arise that we hold hands, look at each other in the eyes, and say: WE!
Wie (nicht) lecker mein Deutsch war
In June 2019, I held the workshop cooking, playing and sharing at the symposium sharing/learning: methods of the collective in art, research and activism by the DFG-Graduiertenkolleg “Das Wissen der Künste”, Berlin University of the Arts (UdK), at/in cooperation with District * School without Center.
I invited guests to explore how to come together spontaneously, creatively and intuitively for preparing a feast without previously knowing the recipe and without a recipe. The main idea was how to make a meal with the ingredients, we would have available, and share it between the participants of the event. Noncooking Knowledge was required. As it usually happens in my proposals, the practice has taken other directions.
Transcription of the Round Table assembling/disseminating
What are recent examples of practices in which ‘assembling’ and ‘disseminating’ reconfigure agencies, resources, affects and information to give rise to new forms of collectivities? This round table brings together Björn Heerssen and Noel David Nicolaus from the interdisciplinary collective Clusterduck, and sociologist Serhat Karakayali to ask about the relationships and interdependencies between ‘assembling’ and ‘disseminating’ as constitutive mechanisms in processes of collectivization. How do agencies, resources, affects and information elevate processes of creating collective feelings? Together we discuss how ‘assembling’ and ‘disseminating’ take shape in each example, leading to different forms of collectivities; what practicable mechanisms, interfaces and infrastructures come into play; and how do these two instances approach possibilities of collective interaction in terms of ‘sharing’ and ‘learning’.
Introducing sharing/learning. The Opening Speech
This text was part of the opening to the symposium sharing/learning: methods of the collective in art, research and activism and was read on 28th June 2019, in English, by two members of the organizing team, as introductory words. The text deliniates the central questions from which the two-day gathering arises, as well as its methodologies and actors. Many formulations originate from previously written concept papers, which were used to present the project for various purposes. These in turn are informed by the many conversations that took place within the organizational team – a group of people whose constellation was shifting along the way – orally as well as in writing.
Kollektive Zeit(en)reise – eine Probe mit den Theaterlingen
Die Theaterlinge sind eine inklusive, generationsübergreifende Theatergruppe, die sich seit mehr als zehn Jahren im AWO Falkclub in Berlin Neukölln trifft. Ihrer solidarischen Praxis folgend, in der sie (un-)gewöhnlich Spielweise erproben und die Stücke gemeinsam entwickeln, soll auch dieser Beitrag in Zusammenarbeit entstehen und Einblicke in ihre Methoden, Erfahrungen und Wissen geben. Aufgrund der pandemischen Situation ist das Zusammenkommen und -arbeiten erst seit kurzem wieder möglich. Dieser Beitrag ist damit auch ein Dokument für die zurzeit erschwerten Bedingungen für kollektiv organisierte Schaffensprozesse und situative Voraussetzungen, die nicht durch digitale Kommunikationswege aufgefangen oder ersetzt werden können.
Collective Practices in Arts and Activism: An Auto-biographical Approach
What are the reasons behind a newfound popularity of collectives within art economies? Could it be that collective practices are a necessary answer to the challenges faced by (creative) workers in late capitalist society? To reflect these questions, we take this text as a starting point to try to critically assess our own personal history as an internet-based research collective.
Transcription of the Round Table instituting/fleeing
The round table instituting/fleeing addresses collective practices as forms of resistance against power asymmetries – as activist strategies. It focuses on the entangled dynamics between fleeing and occupying the institution and the role institutional critique plays in these dynamics. We will map out our different collective practices by posing questions, such as: How can we understand the different ways the institution and the collectives are linked? How to create collectives within the institution? How can collectives flee or occupy the institution? Who can flee and where to? How do institutions appropriate and destroy collective structures?
Die folgende Fotostrecke ist den scheinbaren Nebensächlichkeiten und Randphänomenen gewidmet – dem, was sekundär erscheint, was eine Situation aber ebenso beeinflussen kann wie ihr Erinnern.
Spaces of Collectivity
How is it to act collectively when each one of us brings our own perspective, values, assumptions, and also our own language? How does from the many become ‘one’? What compromises does one need to make on the way? These were the questions we explored during the workshop Spaces of Collectivity. The aim was to collectively experience and enjoy space, while noticing how different our perspectives on it are, and how being able to talk about them, is key to any collective act of visioning, making or caring for space. Maps, as final products, and map-making, as the process of making these, became the tools to visualise and thus be able to better discuss these challenges.