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Media Practice Commoning
Anne Ganzert (University of Konstanz, Germany)
Beate Ochsner (University of Konstanz, Germany)
Robert Stock (University of Konstanz, Germany)
The proposed issue “Media Practices Commoning” will feature high quality contributions that critically discuss concepts like commons, commoning and conviviality by situating them within the contemporary framework of digital technology and media.
In a first line of inquiry, the editors seek to explore the art of conviviality and recent forms of togetherness while relating them to media-technological infrastructures that condition their emergence. Within recent notions of convivialism a ‚new art of living together’ (Adloff/Legewie 2014) is normatively claimed as a way of shaping a positive constitution of social relations, that overcomes utilitarian and capitalist thinking. The idea of conviviality as a ‘good’ way of living highlights the significance of skills, creative imagination or knowledge in the practice of togetherness and raises questions about medial conditions for building up conviviality. In our perspective media are not subordinate ‘tools’ or ‘instruments’ but are deeply rooted in the relational and participatory processes of becoming convivial. The issue’s articles thus will inquire about the reciprocal (or parasite) relations between infrastructures, politics, social or cultural skills and knowledge, and objects within different media-technological configurations that enable or impede togetherness. Media are in this sense operations that connect and divide at the same time, a framework that operates and conditions processes of in- and exclusion, of community building and destruction by making demands on participants and accordingly on future community member.
As Linebaugh wrote: “Conviviality and other forms of togetherness, then, is not something inside people’s heads it is neither static nor fixed but rather a set of organizing practices of commoning” (Linebaugh 2008). These practices of commoning form our second line of inquiry. Lifting from our processual understanding of the commons, contributions may analyse different practices of “commoning”, as these practices have in fact become a key concept in discussions about alternative economies beyond capitalism like the “economy of contribution” (Stiegler). It is our aim to enrich current debates on commons and commoning by focusing on the complex relations between economic practices, participatory media, community building, and new forms of socio-technical cooperation within our publication. We have therefore chosen authors who that discuss socio-economic practices of commoning that afford an institutional, legal, affective, medial and infrastructural framework for the togetherness of commons and their relation to the logic of ‘Teilhabe’ (participation). In this context, collective practices of building up and the maintenance of respectively entanglement with media solutions of commoning (whether digital or not) become a more and more decisive actor. Consider for instance common information sharing environments (cise), OuiShare, Creative Commons, fan communities, or remix commons, crowd funding or other community building practices. Last but not least, the relation between commons or commoning and power – included here is ‘the power to refuse’ or ‘the power to prefer not to’ – has to be discussed in a cosmopolitical thinking of resistance as part of commoning.
Contributions that more specifically fit into the discourse on mobile commons, our third line of inquiry, will also be considered for this issue, as the prefix “mobile” assembles a set of different notions to the concept of commons, which comprises, but is not to be reduced to the role of mobile media in commons and processes of commoning. It also aims at understanding commons in processes of mobile communication, mobile spaces and mobile work. Beyond that, it emphasizes a shift towards an ontologically comprehended “mobility” or displaceability in the general understanding of commons, which increasingly replaces static concepts of community, goods and labour. Yet, all these notions are equally sustained in globally highly present migrant movements of communities “on the move”, shaping and being shaped by reciprocally instituted practices and commons that meet with equally evolving practices, commons and communities of border protection and institutional control. With the selected papers, we aim to facilitate a debate on media practices of mobile commoning as well as a media ontological understanding of these commoning processes: What are the infrastructural and technological conditions of commoning? How can practices of mobile commoning be described? How do they relate to concepts of (mobile) media and community? What is the ontological status of commons in mobile communities and how can it be described?
The described areas are cornerstones to help the editors’ debate and select contributions, as well as shape and sharpen their own stance on the topic, which will be articulated in an opening text for the issue.
Convivialist Manifesto. A declaration of interdependence (2014), with an introduction by Frank Adloff. Duisburg: Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Centre for Global Cooperation Research, www.gcr21.org/fileadmin/website/daten/pdf/Publications/Convivialist_Manifesto_2198-0403-GD-3.pdf (02.11.2016).
Diminescu, Dana (2008), “The connected migrant. An epistemological manifesto”, Social Science Information 47/4: 565-579.
Kratzwald, Brigitta (2016): “The power to refuse. Commons und Widerstand”, in Eurozine 26.04.2016, http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2016-04-26-kratzwald-en.html (20.10.2016).
Licoppe, Christian (2008): “‘Connected presence’: the emergence of a new repertoire for managing social relationships in a changing communication technoscape”, Environment and planning: Society and space 22/1: 135-156.
Linebaugh, Peter (2008): The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Nancy, Jean-Luc (1996): Être singulier pluriel. Paris: Galilée.
Stiegler, Bernard (2012): “Economie de la contribution”, http://arsindustrialis.org/economie-de-la-contribution (25.10.2016).
Trimikliniotis, Nicos/Parsanoglou, Dimitris/Tsianos, Vassilis (2015): Mobile commons, migrant digitalities and the right to the city. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2015.