Arts & Commons – documentation of our kick-off event

Arts & Commons – documentation of our kick-off event

On July 2nd, we kicked off our first event of „Art, Money and Self Organization in Digital Capitalismus“, a series of events based on new financial technologies, peer to peer-economies, digital networking and their impact on artistic production. Together with ten amazing speakers, we discussed several models of how the arts and the commons could inform each other.

What is this event series all about? Please check the curatorial statement here:
Please also check the event page of our kick-off event ARTS & COMMONS on July 2nd at Forum Factory.

What was the main focus of ARTS & COMMONS?
Our launch event was based on discussing and developing commons-based economies within the Berlin arts scene. What are the options of building self-organized infrastructures that generate more independence, variety, justice and autonomy among artists? On July 2nd, artists, hackers, commons-experts and collaborative economy insiders were starting to create models for a commons for the arts.


Who was invited?
We were really glad to have such an amazing group of speakers:

Wibke Behrens (Cultural scientist, spokeswoman of the Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft & spokeswoman of the Koalition der freien Szene Berlin )
Sophie Bloemen (Activist, consultant & founding director of the Commons Network)
Ruth Catlow (Artist, curator, co-founder & co-director of, initiator of Art Data Money)
Thomas Dönnebrink (OuiShare connector, collaborative economy activist & Platformcoop Berlin organiser)
Silke Helfrich (Commons activist, author of various books & publications on the Commons)
Sam Muirhead (Free / libre open source activist, artist, Open Source Circular Economy Days co-organizer)
Dmytri Kleiner (Software developer, artist, founder of Telekommunisten Collective)
Genevieve Parkes (Software developer & member of Enspiral Network)
Elena Veljanovska (Independent curator / D & Macedonia)
Krystian Woznicki (Journalist, curator & publisher, founder of Berliner Gazette)

Each speakers suggested challenging takes on the notion of arts as commons, for instance: taking financial decision collaboratively, sharing collective wisdom and resources, digital disobedience, creating your own DAO – with others, sustaining the social infrastructures from abandoned refugee shelters in Berlin, creating an asembly of the commons on a local level, organising an arts festival within the realm of the commons, how to get a better understanding of the value of arts and culture in our everyday lives, or a practical approach towards co-creating artworks as a collective and much more. Many questions were raised and lots of great ideas got sparked on this day – almost impossible to sum it all up in the wrap-up session. (Please note that we will post videos of the sessions shortly).

What we have also learned: There is not much research on the intersection of arts and the commons yet. However, this is an interesting time where lots of thoughts and initiatives are directed towards the Commons. It is no wonder that this discussion has also started to take place within the arts.
On our documentation site, we try to collect as many interesting links as possible. Here are some to start with:

Salvatore Iaconesi: Digitale Kunst als Commons
Jan Ulrich Hasecke: Soziale Plastik. Die Kunst der Allmende
Conversation between Ruth Catlow & Michel Bauwens: The Commons, Art, Technology
Conversation between Cornelia Sollfrank & Felix Stalder zum Projekt Giving Away What You Don’t Have
Rachel Breen: Towards a Collective Understanding of Arts as a CommonsArjo Klamer: Art as a Common Good

Stay tuned for ongoing documentation (including videos and audio) here.

Arts & Commons – documentation of our kick-off event