“Commons?!” #4
  • workshop
  • reading
  • discussion

Communities and commons in the age of internet
Fourth "Commons?!" reading workshop. Text "Manifesto, user's guide. Collective action in the age of digital social networks", Eva Yampolsky, in Revue Lignes n°40, February 2013. "The sociability that the internet provides people, while it may seem to shut people up in their own private space, actually gives them the means to join or belong to a collective [...]. What type of collective do we now belong to and can this collective take action and how so?" In this text, American researcher Eva Yampolsky studies the evolution of the nature of the manifesto in today's world – this literary genre that has historically called for change and action is today flourishing via the Internet. Yet rather than inviting a group of individuals to come together around clearly ideological ideas, this new type of manifesto is more focused on the author-individual, who is often seeking to express his/her individuality. The text analyses the web as a factor of individuation, at precisely the time when the internet is seen as a great tool for commons and communities, whether through peer-to-peer systems or the social networks that played such a key role in particular in the Arab spring.
While Eva Yampolsky's text does not focus specifically on commons and community, it allows us to consider these terms in the internet age and provides us with information on changes in the individual's relationship to the collective.


“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