In the Shade of the Commons

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Book: In the Shade of the Commons: Towards a Culture of Open Networks. Waag Society, 2007.



"a series of sophisticated essays and meditations on the nature of cultural commons.

From a short browse, it is clear that In the Shade of the Commons (wonderful title!) is dealing with some cutting-edge questions that have no self-evident answers. The book’s 22 authors do not merely recapitulate familiar issues so much as provoke us with new and sometimes disorienting questions.

An example can be found in Geert Lovink’s “Introduction to Open Networks”:

What happens once we’ve passed the point of good intentions that openness is the better way to go? Who are the losers and gainers of this concept? Is it possible to break through the mantra that openness in itself is a good thing? …. It is not hard to read the celebrations of inclusion as a rhetoric that hides actual existing exclusion mechanisms. Indeed, all too often enlightenment projects have blatantly refused to look into their dark sides, with disastrous consequences for humankind and blindness and fanaticism of some open advocates fits into this tradition…..

How can we read openness as a new power modality and not merely as an idealistic posture that is bound to fail?"

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