Concatenated Commons and Operational Aesthetics

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What do a feminist server, an art space located in a public park in NorthLondon, a ‘pirate’ library of high cultural value yet dubious legal status,and an art school that emphasizes collectivity have in common? They alldemonstrate that art can play an important role in imagining andproducing a real quite different from what is currently hegemonic; that arthas the possibility to not only envision or proclaim ideas in theory, butalso to realize them materially.
Aesthetics of the Commons examines a series of artistic and culturalprojects—drawn from what can loosely be called the (post)digital—that takeup this challenge in different ways. What unites them, however, is thatthey all have a ‘double character.’ They are art in the sense that theyplace themselves in relation to (Western) cultural and art systems,developing discursive and aesthetic positions, but, at the same time, theyare ‘operational’ in that they create recursive environments and freelyavailable resources whose uses exceed these systems. The first aspectraises questions about the kind of aesthetics that are being embodied, thesecond creates a relation to the larger concept of the ‘commons.’ InAesthetics of the Commons, the commons are understood not as a fixedset of principles that need to be adhered to in order to fit a definition, butinstead as a ‘thinking tool’—in other words, the book’s interest lies inwhat can be made visible by applying the framework of the commons asa heuristic device.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAesthetics of the Commons
EditorsCornelia Sollfrank, Felix Stalder, Shusha Niederberger
Number of pages29
Place of PublicationZurich
PublisherDiaphanes Verlag
Publication date02.2021
ISBN (Print)978-3-0358-0345-7
Publication statusPublished - 02.2021