Tagthe commons

The Friendly Society: On Cooperation, Utopia, Friendship & the Commons


We are looking at a photograph from Amsterdam, 1868, thirty or so men in black and white. Even in the flesh, they would be black and white: black overcoats with blacker collars, faces pale as November and framed by various symmetries of facial hair, top hats like a row of chimneys. Despite what the hats might suggest, these men are workers, craftsmen, dressed in their Sunday clothes, outside a...

The Limits to Measurement: A Conversation With Christopher Brewster


These days, people talk a lot about ‘the art of hosting’, but that is only one half of the dance of hospitality: there is an art of guesting, too. I can say this with conviction, because I have been a lousy guest, in my time, and lately I’ve had the luck to live with someone who teaches me to notice the things that make a person easy to have around: the moments at which an artful guest steps...

A Five Hundred Year Moment?


Wherever you look, to the left or to the right, you will have a hard time finding a politician who doesn’t want to create more jobs. They may argue over the best means to do so, but they would hardly think of asking whether employment as we know it is a good thing.

The Crossing of Two Lines


The walls of the house on the Antešić land at Rab were built in the last years of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, but three generations would go by, and two wars, before it came to have a roof. They were a metre thick, those walls, made of local stone, the openings in places no architect would think to put them. It was the brothers Stjepan and Mile Antešić who began the building. On the island, the...

Commoning in the City


In the architecture museum on the island of Skeppsholmen, in the heart of Stockholm, eleven of us have been brought together to spend two days thinking aloud around the theme of Commoning the City. The human rights researcher Saki Bailey provides a forensic analysis of the foundations of property law. The artist Fritz Haeg tells us what happened when he opened his home in Los Angeles to the...

Dealing With Our Own Shit: A Conversation With Gustavo Esteva


Published in Dark Mountain: Issue 4. There were eagles riding the air overhead as we took the backroad out of San Pablo Etla to the Casa Esteva. The taxi driver had left us at the crossroads: at ease in the highspeed free-for-all of the highway, he had no desire to risk his exhaust on the unpaved road ahead, so a young man from one of the neighbouring households drove down to collect us. It was...

The Space Hackers Are Coming


In industrial societies, life has been organised into compartments. Ray Oldenburg identified the three most universal: the home, the workplace and the "third place", the playful, sociable, conversational space of the pub or the coffeehouse.