Commons • Art is envisioned as a platform that facilitates and supports the creative and social caretaking of art as a way of generating new commons. Commons • Art aims to offer artworks or art projects with a set of toolkits and support mechanisms for their use and maintenance. By sharing authorship as much as increasing the social and affective value of art, Commons • Art would lead to an art economy that opens up to society at large.
Collective authorship with NFTs
The artist and caretaker’s unique contribution to initiate, use and maintain an artwork is registered on eco-friendly NFTs. We use Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) to recognize each unique contribution made in a specific moment of a project’s lifetime. The more people contribute, the bigger the collection of NFTs a project can hold. This increases the value of a project, whether on a social, affective and/or financial level.
Community maintenance through DAO
When an artwork or art project grows beyond an individual’s endeavor and becomes the life of a community, we empower their decision-making and funding distributions through Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), a blockchain-based computer program that executes collective decisions without a central figure’s approval.
Toolkit for caretaking
We provide toolkits that are needed for a balanced and considered commoning process. Besides NFTs and DAOs, we offer toolkits to support care and maintenance work.
Incentives toward a commoning society
By connecting collective NFTs to alternative monetary instruments such as Carbon credits and Social Impact Bonds, we strive to remove the value barriers between an artwork appreciated by communities and the ones that are recognized by institutions and the market. This way, the value of maintenance is no longer only symbolic, but an active agent in making our society a better place.
Non-profit, circular economy and transparent governance
The platform itself is run by commons-oriented principles and is thus not privately owned. Economy and governance remains transparent and surplus continues to be redistributed to the platform.
The potential for the art of commoning and commoning art may open with the idea of an artwork as a recipe. A recipe can be adapted, shared and maintained by its cook or caretaker. Artwork-recipes also reveal how a web of relationships, namely an ecosystem, enables an artwork to exist and live in a community. The recipes are an integral part of the Commons • Art “toolkit for caretaking.” Here are some of the artwork-recipes developed during the initial research phase of the project. More to come!
Instigating a collective, locally grounded experience by opening up forgotten, abandoned infrastructure and setting up a structure through which local inhabitants can share their thoughts, while exploring the concept and affect of the individual experience of a private space that is in every aspect the opposite of the safe, clean, light and warm housing spaces the new neighborhood is offering.
A newly built neighborhood, an abandoned piece of infrastructure that can be entered, support from the local authorities, resources (budget or materials) to prepare the site, a nearby community center, existing communities (from housing groups to garden initiatives), a planning tool
Collectively creating legal instruments drafted for and by communities and stakeholders for the use of unused spaces
Lawyers or people with legal knowledge and/or experience of squatting, other co-writers from different backgrounds, writing tools, meeting facility
Redistributing private, surplus material into a shared, regenerated resource that is not contingent on financial ability.
Surplus resource, a gathering and collection space, custodians. Optional: membership cards.
Redistributing of (financial) resources through a collective lottery system organized for and by organizations and their members and communities.
A bingo cage, lottery tickets, a fish bowl, lottery host, The Parasite Lottery album and flags, prize money, and Parasite Lottery prize cheques.
Would you like for your artwork or project to be part of Commons • Art and open it up for potential use and maintenance by communities and individuals? By contributing your work/project to Commons • Art, you invite others into sustainability processes beyond preservation of its initial state. As Commons • Art develops, we stay in touch with you about next steps for activating your work to the commoning process.
If you are interested in supporting the development of Commons • Art with financial and/or other resources, please contact us here. All resources received are redistributed to the platform and ensures the digital structure needed to facilitate the process of maintenance and commoning of artworks and projects.
We invite like-minded arts organizations, institutions and initiatives to support artworks and projects as they are maintained and used by communities. Art institutions can support artworks and projects in this process by offering their resources (financial and non-financial). If you are interested in supporting us in this way, please contact us here.
Commons • Art shares art in varying forms: individual artworks, projects or long-term durational infrastructures. The key is that these works and projects are vital for everyday life (in the home, organizations, companies, government agencies, social movements, etc.) where through use and maintenance they create new ways of working and living together.
The commons is an English-language term reintroduced to our global-capitalist driven world in response to the growing need for a different paradigm of living, working and relating outside the extractive, oppressive and possessive private-public paradigm. The commons foregrounds the need for shared resources, authorship and ownership based on an ethos of care, equity, diversity, freedom and justice, and sustainability.
By introducing the notion of care and caretaking in relation to art and the commons, we foreground the importance of reproductive work that is part of the continued life of a work or project towards a commoning society. By taking care of a project, initiatives and initiators enter into a relational process with the artist and the work, to engage in the necessary actions and decision making to ensure its sustainable continued life. The caretakers in this context are change-seeking or socially caring initiatives and initiators.
Maintenance refers to the process of keeping artworks and projects alive in everyday and social contexts with care, inviting adaptation and reinvention. Artworks often operate within the economy of production (creating new works) and conservation (preserving existing works in their initial state), but for many works and projects a third model is needed, that of maintenance. With maintenance, we refer to the process of introducing an artistic concept into existing practice and in response to existing problems; adapting it to the changing contexts and needs in which it is situated. Rather than making new work or keeping the work in its initial state, the work is in flux and changes with time and surroundings.
Until the launch (2025) of the platform, Commons • Art will share the reseach and work in process through different communal or public occasions.