Evaluative Communities

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= based on research by the Critical Practice art group


Definition

Neil Cummings:

"Evaluative communities choreograph the exchange of values within any given society. These communities are scalable in number, distributed in space (near or far) and variously durational (they can be fleeting, or durable enough to aggregate institutions)." (http://culturesofresilience.org/communities-of-evaluation/)

Description

Neil Cummings, Marsha Bradfield et al.:

"We learnt to value other kinds of values, like care and generosity and began to prioritise cooperation over individuation and attention seeking; we learnt to overwrite scarcity with creative abundance; to value peer-networks, and conflictual and complex evaluative communities were also things we came to value. We set about building a commons of creative resources, and to distribute decision making.

We learnt to appreciate that all values and evaluation take place through social processes that bring actors together into communities of varying scales; from intimate personal exchanges – lovers gifts, to terrifying global scales - international trade sanctions. Communities of evaluation give values their emotional, monetary or material texture, and simultaneously enable these communities and the values they value to be visible. Values, especially abstract values are not qualities of things or people, but momentary judgements – value judgements – given a ‘sensible’, meaning apprehensible form, that can be transacted.

Evaluative communities choreograph the exchange of values within any given group, culture or society. These communities are scalable in number, distributed in space - near or far - and variously durational - they can be fleeting, or durable enough to aggregate institutions. As the values they value persist, the communities themselves become more resilient.

We set about identifying the values we valued and making them resilient. " (http://www.neilcummings.com/content/communities-evaluation)


Discussion

Neil Cummings et al.:

"Building resilience in art and design communities will involve learning to value other kinds of values, like care and generosity. It will entail building peer-networks, and prioritising cooperation over individuation and attention seeking. We will need to overwrite scarcity with creative abundance, build a commons of creative resources, enjoy complexity and distribute decision making. We might also need to re-imagine the University as a social enterprise. Taking our model from resilient ecosystems (where bio-diversity is essential for their reproduction), we intend to research different, varied, even conflictual evaluative communities. We start from the assumption that all values and evaluation take place through social processes that bring actors together into communities of varying scales; from intimate personal exchanges – family gifts, to terrifying international power-trade sanctions. Communities of evaluation give values their emotional, monetary or material texture, and simultaneously enable these communities to be visible. Values, especially abstract values are not qualities of things or people, but momentary judgements–value judgements–given a ‘sensible’ (meaning apprehensible) form, that can be transacted.

Evaluative communities choreograph the exchange of values within any given society. These communities are scalable in number, distributed in space (near or far) and variously durational (they can be fleeting, or durable enough to aggregate institutions). As the values they produce persist, the communities themselves become more resilient. Other values are introduced and purged through feedback loops that test and stretch each community’s scope, relative to other communities in their proximity." (http://www.neilcummings.com/bitcache/cac5042fcef9c478732e17a72d08803638200a6d?vid=2949&disposition=inline&op=view)


More Information

  • Participants in 'Tracing communities of evaluation': Marsha Bradfield, David Cross, Neil Cummings, Anna Minshall, Neil Farnan, Tobias Benedetto, John Hartley, Xiaoxi Kang, Denzi Paran, Karel Doing, Molly Butt, Claire Mokrauer-Madden