“Commons?!” #1
  • workshop
  • reading
  • discussion

Commons: “A sight line, a horizon close at hand, a space to invest in, an open possibility”
Text by Judith Revel (in French), Producing subjectivity, producing common ground. Three difficulties and a sort of long post-script about what common ground is not. Contribution to the session “The shared as a process of subjectification” from the seminar “From public to common” (Produire de la subjectivité, produire du commun. Trois difficultés et un post-scriptum un peu long sur ce que le commun n’est pas. Contribution à la séance «Le commun comme processus de subjectivation» du séminaire «Du public au commun») Wednesday 15 December 2010 at the Maison des Sciences Economiques, Paris. Getting right to the heart of the matter from the very beginning, that was the risk we took with our workshop when we chose this vivid text by Judith Revel – there will always be time later to come back in more detail for a historical or analytical review of the concepts of “common” and “community”. This eminently political text (written to be read aloud, in a militant context) brilliantly manipulates the key concepts like the “multitude”, “differences”, “governance” or even the opposition between “private” and “public”. By reaffirming “what common ground is not” it upsets the widely used definitions of “common” that are founded on nature, metaphysics, law or even property, and offers in their place an active, dynamic approach that is constantly being (re)composed; the motor for a power to act with our constantly rearranged differences. And a stimulating starting point for the discussions in this workshop. (Thank you to Francesca Martinez for having recommended this text. You can see the recording of Judith Revel speaking, as well as the debates that followed here - in French).


“Commons?!” A reading and discussion workshop open to all!
“There is no common world”, wrote philosopher Bruno Latour, “we must compose it.” Yet our media, politics and intellectual environments are overrun with words like “common” “commune” “commons” or “community”, from calls for participative democracy to ecological debates, from critiques of neo-liberalism to social networks. A great many artistic practices and cultural discourses lay claim to it, often with the added urgency that the widespread crisis context creates, a crisis of resources, the environment, the economy, social relations, and on and on. Beyond the populist and instrumentalised rhetoric that would make art the source of an ability to “live together” with its soothing, therapeutic properties, or worse, a consolation for the failure of social policies – artists, intellectuals, and activists question the “tactics” that allow us to mobilise the power of what is “common”, something to be constantly (re)composed by the hands of dynamic and shifting communities.
Before le Printemps des Laboratoires (18-19 May 2013) dedicated to these questions, les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers invites you to join in a bi-monthly reading workshop that will take a selection of texts and together question the definitions and social practices related to the terms “commune”, “common”, “commons”, and “community”. How have their meanings changed through political and intellectual history and what tools can they constitute for “us” today?
+ dates + tuesdays 19/02, 5/03, 19/03, 2/04, 16/04, 30/04, 7/05
+ horaires + 7pm to 9pm