We’re all characters in one another’s fictions. [...] I do sometimes feel like I’m in somebody else’s play. I do sometimes feel that the world is not real, that it’s slipped below the horizon, below all its representations, that reality is falling away, that nobody’s telling the truth, that it’s all made up.
Facebook, Airbnb and other companies whose business models are based on the commercialization of social relationships, have transformed words like “community,” “sharing” or “we” into empty concepts that no longer represent solidarity or a progressive social agenda, but rather form the basis for an emerging platform capitalism. This economic development is accompanied by a global political shift fueled by traditional community notions of identity and affiliation, exclusion and discrimination. Against this background, the exhibition and publication project An Atlas of Commoning aims to recapture and redefine the open and emancipatory space of “we” as a concept. The project focuses on urban commons—here commons are to be understood as a set of practices dealing with the collective production and management of (material and immaterial) resources and spaces in general, rather than with the resources themselves, hence “commoning,” the verb, takes center stage. Commoning is a process of dealing with differences and conflicts between the individual, the community and society. A process of spatial organization in the relations between production and reproduction, ownership and access to resources. A process that brings together solidarity networks and redefines individual and collective rights. The project questions the prevailing social and political structures and seeks new forms of collective, yet pluralistic, governance.