Commonism as a New Aesthetics of the Real

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* Book: Commonism: A New Aesthetics of the Real. edited by Nico Dockx and Pascal Gielen, for the Antennae-Arts in Society series (Amsterdam: Valiz, September 2018),

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Contextual Citation

Pascal Gielen and Sonja Lavaert:

"Our book Commonism is about the triangle of ideology, aesthetics and the commons.1 Our tentative assumption is that commonism may be the next meta-ideology, after neoliberalism. We understand ideology not only negatively as a false awareness, but also positively as a logic of faith that connects fiction and reality and can make people long for and work towards a better form of living together." (


"Following half a century of neoliberalism, there appears to be a new ideology in the making, called “commonism”. This book attempts to map these new ideological notions through examples and artistic practices, as well as critical reflection. How are the commons constituted in society? How do they shape the reality of our living together? What strategies and aesthetics do artistic commoners adopt? Is there an alternative and more just future imaginable through the political ideology of the commons? Commonism claims to be better aligned with the ecological and social reality of today than capitalism. Perhaps it is also closer to how social relationships actually function." (


  • 1 Pigeoning Fanzine: Commonism Issue, ‘Le drame incessant’
Pat McCarthy
  • 53 Introduction:Ideology & Aesthetics of the Real.
Nico Dockx & Pascal Gielen

Part 1: Commonability & The Art of Assembling

  • 72 Herewith Your Common PDF
Liam Gillick
  • 75 Common Aesthetics: The Shape of a New Meta-Ideology
Pascal Gielen
  • 91 The Salt of the Earth
On Commonism: An Interview with Antonio Negri Pascal Gielen & Sonja Lavaert (Excerpt [2])
  • 117 Bread Kneads Hands
  • 135 Notes on Artistic Commoning
Rudi Laermans
  • 149 Indigenous, Not Homogenous — An Interview with Elizabeth A. Povinelli
Matteo Lucchetti & Judith Wielander (Visible)

Part 2: A-Legality & Commoning Economies

  • 169 Precariat—A Revolutionary Class?
Lara Garcia Diaz & Pascal Gielen
  • 183 Commoning Art, Democracy, and the Precariat, a Dialogue
Evi Swinnen in Conversation with Michel Bauwens
  • 199 No-Pressure Economies
Nico Dockx in Conversation with Rirkrit Tiravanija, Sedhapong Kirativongkamchon, Paphonsak La-or & Superflex about the land foundation
  • 219 The Value of Squatting — a Nipple Another Exchange Value
Nico Dockx in Conversation with Dennis Tyfus
  • 237 Blockchain: Tragedy in Cyberspace? How the Commoner Could Benefit from the Free-Rider
Walter Van Andel & Louis Volont
  • 253 Induced Legality and the Art of Building Common Infrastructures
An Interview with Santiago Cirugeda, Recetas Urbanas Lara Garcia Diaz

Part 3: Secrets & Commoning Politics

  • 269 When Politics Becomes Unavoidable — From Community Art to Commoning Art
Pascal Gielen & Hanka Otte
  • 283 When Commons Becomes Official Politics — Exploring the Relationship between Commons, Politics, and Art in Naples
Giuliana Ciancio
  • 299 Commons towards New Participatory Institutions — The Neapolitan Experience
Maria Francesca De Tullio (Excerpt)
  • 315 Who Steals the Goose from off the Common? An Interview with Peter Linebaugh
Louis Volont

Part 4: Affects & Commoning Space-Time

  • 331 Uncommon Common — Spatial Denial in Urban Settings of Los Angeles
Harry Gamboa Jr.
  • 345 The Potentials of Space Commoning — The Capacity to Act and Think through Space
Stavros Stavrides
  • 363 Building Bridges — Art as a Space of Rehearsal
Jörn Schafaff
  • 381 Organizational Aesthetics and Emotional Infrastructure
Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas
  • 401 The Commons as a Deliberative CounterIdeology
Eric Kluitenberg