Generosity and the Common, Research Architecture Roundtable 12-13.12.09

Organized by Céline Condorelli and Avery Gordon and hosted by Extra City (http://www.extracity.org ) and its artistic director, Anselm Franke, this Research Architecture Roundtable will take place 12-13 December 2009 in Antwerp. It is held in conjunction with the exhibition/ciné club, Of A People Who Are Missing: On films by Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub, curated by Florian Schneider and Annett Busch running from 13 November – 20 December (http://ofapeoplewhoaremissing.net).

Organized by Céline Condorelli and Avery Gordon and hosted by Extra City (http://www.extracity.org ) and its artistic director, Anselm Franke, this Research Architecture Roundtable will take place 12-13 December 2009 in Antwerp. It is held in conjunction with the exhibition/ciné club, Of A People Who Are Missing: On films by Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub, curated by Florian Schneider and Annett Busch running from 13 November – 20 December (http://ofapeoplewhoaremissing.net).

The title and theme of the seminar is generosity and the common. The seminar is broadly concerned with the cultivation of alternative ways of living and being. We lead with the word generosity because it signals, first of all, the affective and social modality by which we the organizers hope to seminar together with you. And, second, because it also sets a certain standard by which questions of the common and the commons will be addressed and evaluated. Like most Research Architecture Roundtable seminar topics, this one is broad and ambitious and speaks to general concerns with which many of its members are engaged through their own projects. We’re making a small, specific cut into the large question of how to live autonomously and together by focusing specifically on the old and the new enclosures and on old and new forms of communing, of being in common, and of communism. Our focus will be on property relations and the quotidian: the how and what and who of food, wood, water, knowledge, work, play, trash, etc. And on thinking through taking, giving, sharing, directing, ordering, supplying, building etc. in a context in which their dominant organization is unsustainable and unlivable for too many, and in a (the same) context in which many of us are already doing it better and more equitably, even if without enough support.

The seminar is 2 days. On the first day, Saturday 12 December, members of the roundtable (Céline Condorelli, Florian Schneider, Eyal Sivan) will present their work and raise questions emerging from it. On the second day, Sunday 13 December, we meet for a sustained discussion facilitated by Avery Gordon.

Saturday 12 December
14h00 – 19h00
Discussion seminar led by Avery Gordon.
Celine Condorelli, “Life Always Escapes”

Sunday 13 December
11h00—16h00
Eyal Sivan, “The Common Archive”
Florian Schneider, “A people is missing: participation, collaboration, common”
Discussion/thoughts/further questions

READINGS AND BACKGROUND MATERIAL:

For Saturday:
Céline Condorelli, Life Always Escapes, (http://www.e-flux.com/journal/view/92)
Karl Marx, Debates on the Law on Thefts of Wood. Proceedings of the Sixth Rhine Province Assembly. Third Article. Rheinische Zeitung, Nos. 298, 300, 303, 305, 307. October 25, 27, 30, November 1, 3, 1842. ( http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1842/10/25.htm.)
Peter Linebaugh, “Karl Marx, The Theft of Wood, and Working Class Composition: A Contribution to the Current Debate.” Crime and Social Justice 6, Fall/Winter 1976, pp. 5-16.
Daniel Bensaid, Les Dépossédés. Karl Marx, les voleurs de bois et le droit des pauvres. La Fabrique éditions, 2007.

For Sunday:
Natascha Sadr Haghighian, “Sleepwalking in a Dialectical Picture Puzzle, Part 1: A Conversation with Avery Gordon” e-flux #4 2008 http://www.e-flux.com/journal/view/20.
Silvia Federici, “All the World Needs a Jolt” in Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation. Autonomedia, 2004.
John Berger, “Dispatches” (“Undefeated despair”; “endurance in face of walls”; “about place”). Race & Class, vol. 48, no. 1, 2006.
Massimo de Angelis, Chapter 1 (“The beginning of history”), Chapter 16 (“The ‘outside’”), Chapter 17 (“Commons”) in The Beginning of History: Value Struggles and Global Capital. Pluto Press, 2007.
Peter Linebaugh, Chapter 1 (“Introduction) and Chapter 2 (“The Two Charters) in The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All. University of California Press, 2008.
Maude Barlow, “Our Water Commons: Towards a new freshwater narrative.” http://www.canadians.org/water/publications/water%20commons/index.html.
Midnight Notes Collective, “Introduction.” Midnight Notes 10: The New Enclosures, 1990. http://www.midnightnotes.org/newenclos.html.

Further readings:
Silvia Federici, “The Great Witch-Hunt in Europe” in Caliban and the Witch.
Garrett Hardin. “The Tragedy of the Commons.” Science 162 (1968):1243-1248.
Subcomandante Marcos, “Southeast in Two Winds” (1992). Marcos wrote this piece when then- President Carlos Salinas de Gortari altered Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution to enable the sale of collectively held land and to advance the enclosure acts that were passed in the build-up to NAFTA. http://www.struggle.ws/mexico/ezln/marcos_se_2_wind.html.
Karl Marx, Capital Volume 1, Chapters 26 (“The Secret of Primitive Accumulation”) and 27 (“Expropriation of the Agricultural Population from the Land”) (http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/. )
Tom Williamson. “Enclosure and the English Hedgerow.” Pp. 263-271 in The Cambridge Cultural History: The Romantic Age in Britain. B. Ford, ed. University of Cambridge Press, 1992.