Panel: From New Media to Old Utopias: ‘Red’ Art in Late Capitalism?
“The transition is already in process: contemporary capitalist production by addressing its own needs is opening up the possibility of and creating the basis for a social and economic order grounded in the common.” _Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri (Common Wealth, 2009)
Hardt and Negri in their latest book Common Wealth discuss the importance of the recurrent notion of the commons highlighting its role especially in the era of postfordism and late capitalism. Knowledge, information, affection, codes, social relations, the “new artificial commons”, as they frame them, are not inherited but rather produced and shared by the posse of the contemporary multitude. Produced in the contemporary metropoleis as well as in the networked spaces we have come to inhabit, the new common wealth seems to be dynamic and vulnerable at the same time, presenting an oxymoron which is known from the past: Isnt this common wealth based on the surplus of knowledge and general intellect the very object of exploitation today? In this context, in the networked era and especially in the last decade, a great number of artists, thinkers, programmers and cultural workers have started developing their work and reseach on the basis of the commons. The new emerging commons’ culture proposes not only platforms and initiatives that embrace collaboration, communication and sharing, or critical reflections on the very features of the networked world, but first and foremost a different mode of thinking, working and being. While it is still to be shown if we are looking back to an old utopia or rather to a feasible alternative, a number of questions arise: How does the role and the identity of the artist change within this condition? What happens when the so called audience is replaced by individualities that become involved in processes and practices that may no longer need to be defined as art? Do institutions still have a role to play? The proposed paper and talk will aim to answer these questions through a presentation of two projects commissioned and hosted by the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens in 2010: the online platform of Esse, Nosse, Posse : Common Wealth for Common People and the project Mapping the Commons, Athens by the spanish collective Hackitectura.org.
- Daphne Dragona is a media arts curator based in Athens, Greece. She has worked with centers, museums and festivals in Greece and abroad, such as the National Museum of Contemporary Art (Athens), Fournos Center for Digital Culture (Athens), LABoral Art and Industrial Creation Centre (Gijon), Alta Tegnologia Andina (Lima) and Transmediale (Berlin). She has participated with lectures and presentations in different conferences and festivals and articles of hers have been published in books and magazines of different countries. She is, also, a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Communication & Media Studies of the University of Athens.
Full text (PDF) p. 710-715