Mapping the Commons Athens

Colaboración con [Dinamización, Diseño]

National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, From 1 to 8 december

A workshop by Pablo de Soto and Jose Perez de Lama,

with the collaboration of Jaime Díez Honrado and suppoort by

Curator: Daphne Dragona

If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants. Isaac Newton, 1676

This famous line by one of the founders of modern science calls our attention on the collective cooperative dimension in the production of knowledge and culture, indeed, one of the key elements of our contemporary network society.


The recurrent concept of the commons ellaborates on the same idea, that is, 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 metropolis. 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.

[a new Athens?]

Athens, a global posfordist metropolis, in the middle of the economic crisis, periodically struck by social rebellions, will be the object of the mapping project. We propose the hypothesis that a new [view of the] city will come out of the process, one where the many and multiple, often struggling against the state and capital, are continously, and exuberantly, supporting and producing the commonwealth of its social life.


The workshop will develop collaborative mapping strategies, using free software participatory wiki-mapping tools. The final production will feature as its central piece an interactive online video-cartography, complemented by secondary data bases and analogue-paper productions.