Art of Things

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"“The Art of Things” is a cooperative dedicated to the promotion of cooperativism through the production of everyday objects, whether for self-consumption or for sale on the market. When we make beer, soap, magazines, books, or electronic devices, the main objective is to empower our members in practical learning about community production, with all that it implies: development of knowledge, sharing and distributing efforts, collective financing, and finally, in some cases, selling on the open market.

Our origins: “The Art of Things” was created in 2007 to give structure to the first projects with partners from outside the “Society of Las Indias,” and has become a true incubator of products and worker cooperatives. Soon, however, we realized that the “entrepreneur ecosystem” and its dynamics was no good for promoting the productive culture we believe in. Neither speculative logic of “start-up-ism,” nor the dependence and localism of the so-called “social economy” are useful for really empowering people and communities, and giving them control over their own lives.

Following experiments with different ways and proposals, it was the demands of our surroundings, especially those of the members of the Las Indias Club, that led us to a new model: understanding design, producing and, in some cases, selling together, as a social and communal activity, not only empowering but with all the love of knowledge and meaningful work of the hacker ethic.

Our activities: The Art of Things is very different from a “platform cooperative,” as commonly understood. In them, interaction between members is minimal, or happens through an impersonal platform. Our projects emphasize conversation and learning in common. Therefore, our focus is on everyday objects, creating, for example, groups for making homebrew beer. Even in the projects with professional objectives, like the publication of books or magazines, conversation and open discussion accompanies the while development of the project, including not only to the partners in it, but the whole surroundings and its experience." (