Arts and the Commons

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* Conference Proceedings: Free Libre Technologies, Arts and the Commons. University of Nicosia Research Foundation. An Unconference about Art, Design, Technology, Making, Cities and their Communities ; 30 May – 1 June 2019. Phygital Project, Nicosia, Cyprus



This text introduces a reading of how community focused social arts pracces relate to ideas underpinning the free soware movement, the politics of the commons and maker cultures. It arises from the key concepts proposed by the Unconference Free/Libre Technologies, Arts and the Commons as well as the wider University of Nicosia Research Foundaon’s participation in the Phygital project (Phygital 2017-2020). Phygital is itself a play of words between the words physical and digital , and as a project it explores the processes of groups of people engaging in do-it-yourself (DIY) activities through access to digital fabrication tools in community centered makerspaces. In its Cypriot iteraon the project is informed by how commons orientatedcollecve hacking and making approaches relate to social art pracces, and will take a physical dimension in the form of a makerspace hosted in the premises of the Lakatamia Community Centre.

Drawing from the experience of the Unconference and what the people who were there allowed to develop this text invesgates the melding of free and open source technologies, social art pracces and the commons drawing from the research and acvies of the wider Phygital project in Cyprus. In addion, the noons of community and the commons are explored in order to consider the wider social context and theory that influenced both the rise of the social art method of pracce as well as the formaon of the free and open source software movement. Both in the Unconference and in these proceedings these threads are interwoven in order to reflect on increasing debates around makerspace cultures and the politics of making, on the commons in times of digital realisms and bottom-up collaborative structures, and on how we think of commoning pracces inrelaon to social art and free technologies."