Tutors: Agata Marzecova, Sean Tyler

The idea of ‘commons’ originally encompasses social practices governing a shared space, not through official institutions, norms, and values that recognize commons as passive resources to be extracted for maximum gain, but as a vital element for our collective well-being and sustenance. Under late capitalism, the idea of commons has become a site of conflict used for different ends: it has been both discredited and co-opted by neoliberal forms of management but also rediscovered by activists, artists, and academics.

The workshop will explore various examples and notions of historical and contemporary commons, critically examining the capacities of commons as a means for cultivating alternative modes of collective coexistence as well as individual academic or artistic practice.

The workshop will take place at the Nida Art Colony (NAC), the interdisciplinary artist residency center situated in the naturecultural landscape of the Curonian Spit (Nida, Lithuania). NAC will provide departure points for our investigation through a series of excursions, workshops, and student-led inquiries into the roles of land, knowledge, and practices in the making of future commons.

On completion we hope for students to:

  • Gain a more comprehensive understanding of the concept of ‘commons,’ exploring its historical roots, social practices, and its evolution under late capitalism.
  • Acquire new knowledge and experiences to form a critical perspective on the potential and challenges of commons and commoning for institutions and personal practice. 
  • Understand the interconnectedness of nature and culture, exploring how these elements contribute to the formation of future commons.
  • Cultivate communication, collaboration and shared learning through interactions with students, artists, and academics from different backgrounds.
  • Develop skills in field exploration and bridging of theory and practice through excursions, workshops, and student-led inquiries.