The above is a timeline of post-war Europe. In the 1950s, a number of European countries built a safety net of social services for their citizens. Social security, good and affordable healthcare, democratic education, public transport, and easily accessible cultural facilities all became concerns of the welfare state. This safety net of a caring, motherly state was slowly but surely unravelled in the 1980s and 1990s through the privatization of all kinds of government services. People were encouraged to put aside extra funds for their retirement and to take out additional health insurance, but many people cannot afford this. People are still longing for physical and mental well-being, as witnessed by the trend of wellness centres. These also provide welfare, albeit at a price.
After more than 40 years of myth-building around the free market, the system by now has shown to be impotent and not capable of providing even the most basic social services. However, today’s governments often refuse to acknowledge this impotence, which explains the renewed interest in the commons. Citizens attempt to take back control of basic social and natural services—such as neighbourly help or the distribution of water—and make them common again. These commoners apply open-source principles that we are familiar with from Wikipedia and Creative Commons.
In Future Proof artists Karina Beumer, Katinka de Jonge, and Liesje De Laet give their interpretation of the study conducted by the Cultural Commons Quest Office (ARIA – University of Antwerp). This study is an open scientific and artistic exploration of the role of the commons in making creative labour sustainable.
Exhibition Venue: M HKA, Leuvenstraat 1, Antwerp
Thursday, June 14
18h00 – 21h00 Opening Wellness Centre Future Proof
19h00 Introduction Pascal Gielen
Tuesday, June 19
Open Quest: Silent Discussion
15h00 Silent Discussion on Commons & Sustainability
Invitation to join in a discussion on and with the Culture Commons Quest Office. This exercise is silent.
Visitors are invited to participate in the production/drawing of the CCQO-diagram together with the research group members. It is a form of a game according to the following principle: the words ‘Culture Commons Quest Office’ are written on a board and everybody is welcome to get involved; add, change, draw, connect, erase, question, and shape the content of the diagram/mindmap.
Wednesday, June 20
11h00 Open Book Discussion about Massimo De Angelis’ ‘All in Common’
“In this weaving of radical political economy, Omnia Sunt Communia sets out the steps to postcapitalism. By
conceptualising the commons not just as common goods but as a set of social systems, Massimo De Angelis shows their pervasive presence in everyday life, mapping out a strategy for total social transformation. From the micro to the macro, De Angelis unveils the commons as fields of power relations – shared space, objects, subjects – that explode the limits of daily life under capitalism. He exposes attempts to co-opt the commons, through the use of code words such as ‘participation’ and ‘governance’, and reveals the potential for radical transformation rooted in the reproduction of our communities, of life, of work and of society as a whole.“
Massimo De Angelis’ book All in Common will be discussed publicly by the C.C.Q.O. members. Feel free to join and participate.
Thursday June 21
16h00 – 21h00
The Open Narrations is a sequence of presentations from the Culture Commons Quest Office. With contributions by Arne Herman, Lara Garcia Diaz, and Juan Canela. Introduction on CCQO by Louis Volont.
The presentations will be followed by a screening of “Donna Haraway: Storytelling for Earthly Survival” a film by Fabricio Terranova.
Watch the trailer online here
More information on C.C.Q.O. here
For the public moments more info here