Mapping the Commons in Athens

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* Research project: Mapping the Commons, Athens (Χαρτογραφώντας τα Κοινά Αγαθά, Αθήνα)

URL = http://www.emst.gr/mappingthecommons/index.html


National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, From 1 to 8 december

A workshop by Pablo de Soto and Jose Perez de Lama, hackitectura.net

with the collaboration of Jaime Díez Honrado and supported by cartografiaciudadana.net

Curator: Daphne Dragona


Description

Daphne Dragona:

Mapping the Commons, Athens is a collective study, a contemporary reading and an open cartography of Athens and its special dynamic. In a difficult financial period in which the contemporary metropolis seems restless and vulnerable, the Hackitectura collective in collaboration with an interdisciplinary group of young researchers and students seeked for, examined and documented the points of the city where a new form of common wealth can be located. Seeing beyond the “public” and the “private”, new types of commons were mapped which were based on collectivity, sociability, open and free access, gift economy or peer to peer practices. During a seven day workshop a different image of the city was thus formed full of promises, but yet fluid and unstable. Although the new common resources and places that were located within the urban environment are outcomes of the knowledge and the ideas that the multitude of the metropolis possesses and shares, at the same time it was noted that the new common wealth can not easily escape cases of exploitation and appropriation.

Contradictions and questions occurred while examining and processing the material of the workshop: How can the commons be secured? Why do they sometimes serve the interests of a new “creative” city? What role do they really play in times of a global financial crisis? How can the citizens re-appropriate the commons, and form through them a new type of resistance? The online collaborative map that was created and the audiovisual material accompanying it, aims through representative examples and case studies to comment on such issues, making clear the need for a re-invention of a new common experience and memory, which can only be born through collaboration and sharing." (http://mappingthecommons.wordpress.com/about/)


Summary

José Pérez de Lama & Pablo de Soto:

  • Inventing Alternatives: Commons as Exodus from late Capitalism (Επινοώντας Εναλλακτικές: Τα κοινά αγαθά ως έξοδος από τον ύστερο καπιταλισμό):

"The recurrent concept of the commons elaborates on the same idea, that is, that in nowadays world the production of wealth and social life are heavily dependent on communication, cooperation, affects and collective creativity. The commons would be, then, those milieux of shared resources, that are generated by the participation of the many and multiple, which constitute, some would say, the essential productive fabric of the 21st Century metroplis. And then, if we make this connection between commons and production, we have to think of political economy; power, rents and conflict.


[mapping]

However, due to our tradition of the private and the public, of property and individualism, the commons are still hard to see for our late 20th Century eyes. We propose, therefore, a search for the commons; a search that will take the form of a mapping process. We understand mapping, of course, as proposed by Deleuze and Guattari, and as artists and social astivists have been using it during the last decade, as a performance that can become a reflection, a work of art, a social action.


[a new Athens?]

Athens, a global posfordist metropolis, in the middle of the economic crisis, periodically struck by social rebellions, will be the object of the mapping project. We propose the hypothesis that a new [view of the] city will come out of the process, one where the many and multiple, often struggling against the state and capital, are continously, and exuberantly, supporting and producing the commonwealth of its social life.


[tools]

The workshop will develop collaborative mapping strategies, using free software participatory wiki-mapping tools. The final production will feature as its central piece an interactive online video-cartography, complemented by secondary data bases and analogue-paper productions." (http://www.emst.gr/mappingthecommons/index.html)