Facebook, Airbnb and other companies, whose business models are based on the commercialization of social relationships, have transformed words like “community,” “sharing” or “us” into empty concepts that no longer represent solidarity or a progressive social agenda, but rather form the basis for an emerging platform capitalism. This economic development is accompanied by a global political shift fueled by traditional community notions of identity and affiliation, exclusion and discrimination.
Against this background, An Atlas of Commoning: Places of Collective Production—an exhibition and publication project by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) in collaboration with ARCH+—aims to recapture and redefine the open and emancipatory space of “us” as a concept. The project focuses on urban commons—here commons are to be understood as a set of practices dealing with the production and management of (material and immaterial) collective resources and spaces in general, rather than with the resources themselves, hence “commoning,” the verb takes center stage.
Commoning is a process of negotiating differences and conflicts between the individual, the community, and society. It is a process that involves the spatial organization of the relationships between production and reproduction, ownership and access to resources. A process in which solidarity networks are created and individual and collective rights are redefined. This project questions prevailing social and political structures and searches for new forms of collective, yet pluralistic, governance.
An Atlas of Commoning unfolds a network of ideas for a concept of commoning that aims for solidarity and emancipation, one that doesn’t bring individuals into line within the community but turns unique, the different, and the special into decisive qualities of togetherness.
An Atlas of Commoning: Places of Collective Production premiered at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin in 2018, was shown at the Miller ICA, Purnell Center for the Arts in Pittsburgh in 2019, and will tour worldwide for ten years. The English edition of the publication was published in 2018.
Curatorial team: Anh-Linh Ngo, Mirko Gatti, Christian Hiller, Max Kaldenhoff, Christine Rüb (ARCH+); Elke aus dem Moore (ifa / Akademie Schloss Solitude); Stefan Gruber (CMU)
Editorial team: Anh-Linh Ngo, Mirko Gatti, Christian Hiller, Max Kaldenhoff, Stefan Gruber (CMU)