(edited by) Shusha Niederberger, Cornelia Sollfrank, Felix Stalder – Aesthetics of the Commons


Diaphanes, ISBN-13: 978-3035803457, English, 276 pages, 2020, Switzerland

Following a research program that included workshops, interviews and an exhibition (“Open Scores”) at Panke Gallery in Berlin, this book aims to elaborate on “conceptual tensions” when debating the digital commons. It is divided into three sections and explores how strategic social imaginaries work against the toxic idea that “everything can be owned”. In the first section, Goriunova articulates one of her most successful ideas: the commons as a system; Gilbert writes about the power of commons to liberate resources and its structural foundation of abundance; while Siegmund discusses autonomy as an agency that involves responsiveness and interdependence. In the second section Dragona shares her concept of affective commoning through artistic initiatives; Magdalena Tyżlik-Carver reviews the exhibition “Open Scores”; and Gary Hill examines the collective redistribution of knowledge. In the final section, Ines Kleesattel describes the hidden and supportive world of ‘feminist servers’; Sophie Toupin deals with techno-social imaginaries; Puffert introduces the “instituting” practice, and Brunner inspects radical video platforms (0xDB and pad.ma). The texts are often exciting, inspiring potential self-organising communities and the re-appropriation of the common good. Appropriately, the book is also available as Open Access.