Why Commons Now?

The recurrent concept of the commons elaborates on the idea that in nowadays world  the production of wealth and social life are heavily dependent on communication, cooperation, affects and collective creativity. The commons would be, then, those milieux of shared resources, that are generated by the participation of the many and multiple, which constitute, some would say, the essential productive fabric of the 21st Century metroplis. And then, if we make this connection between commons and production, we have to think of political economy; power, rents and conflict.

However, due to our tradition of the private and the public, of property and individualism, the commons are still hard to see for our late 20th Century eyes. We propose, therefore, a search for the commons; a search that will take the form of a mapping process. We understand mapping, of course, as proposed by Deleuze and Guattari, and as artists and social astivists have been using it during the last decade, as a performance that can become a reflection, a work of art, a social action.

commons>>> κοινά[ό] = an early modern conception: open land available for use by the community, subsequently privatized by acts of enclosure/ current conception: not only the natural + pregiven but also something that is constantly created through social interactions/ natural commons = nature, air, soil, animals, water, etc. + artificial commons = ideas, knowledge, images, languages, codes, information, affects, etc./ positive commons or negative commons/ commons beyond public + private/ the hegemony of biopolitical production>>> not in terms of quantity but of quality/ immaterial goods = ideas, knowledge, images, languages, codes, information, affects, etc. = artificial commons/ immaterial production is biopolitical/ current features of labor>>> flexibility/ mobility/ precarity/ biopolitical production has an immeasurable character/ collaboration + communication/ commons as presupposition + result + process of immaterial production/ exploitation of the commons by capital = privatisation >>> expropriation of the commons/ the multitude is the common subjectivity of labor/ multitude >>> network/ multitude vs the people/ multitude vs the crowd/ the masses/ the mob/ multitude vs the working class/ the multitude is singularities which act in common/ the metropolis is to the multitude what the factory was to the industrial working class/ biopolitical production is transforming the city, creating a new metropolitan form/ the biopolitical city is emerging/ the metropolis is embedded in the common and open to aleatory encounters/ the metropolisation of the world/ ‘polis’ = the place where encounters among singularities are organised politically/ the felicitous encounter produces a new social body that is more capable than either of the single bodies was alone/ the organisation of encounters in the metropolis is not only a political matter but also immediately an economic one/ metropolis = ‘mother city’ that dominate and controls the colonies/ the site of hierarchy + exploitation, violence + suffering, fear + pain/ the site of antagonism and rebellion/ but also this is where the multitude is finding its home!

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