“Commons?!” #2
  • workshop
  • reading
  • discussion

Tactics of Commoning
Text: "Mic Check! Notes on How the Mo(ve)ment Talks and Learns From Itself During the American Autumn", by Mark Read, published in the frame of the "Dispatches from Occupy Wall Street" project by the Journal of Aesthetics and Protests (autumn 2011). http://joaap.org/webspecials/read.html. According to French philosopher Judith Revel, the common is an agency, an acting potency in a contant state of becoming, composed by a multitude of differences that combine in a particular context. But what are the tools, the concrete practices at work in this becoming? Which tactics of commoning emerged from the recent movements born out from the economic, environmental and political crisis around the world, from the "Arab Spring" to Occupy Wall Street, from the Indignados to environmental activists and to all minorities currently organizing themselves as counter-powers? How can they become tools for an alternative governance, and to invent a new "political grammar"? Mark Read's text captures the OWS mo(ve)ment, while analyzing a set of methods for collective discussion and action. Our reading group (in French) will adress these methods in comparison to other activist or artistic* examples, in an attempt to map various possible tactics of commoning and what is at stake there.

* We can refer for instance to several projects initiated by Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers, from Agency's Assemblies to Marjetica Potrc's La Semeuse or Thomas Hirschhorn's Precarious Museum in Albinet. By confronting these projects to activist and social movements, we can question the circulation of tools and stakes of commoning in different contexts.


“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