Felix Stalder

9 March 2022


The commons has emerged as a broad horizon to envision and create a real that is quite different from the currently dominating forms of hyper-marketization. Digital commons play an important role as field of activity, but also as a source of inspiration for other fields.
We will first look at the commons more broadly, to understand its potential and limitations, and then at artistic and cultural project drawn from what can loosely be called the (post)digital. What unites them is that they all have a ‘double character.’ They are art in the sense that they place themselves in relation to (Western) cultural and art systems, developing discursive and aesthetic positions, but, at the same time, they are ‘operational’ in that they create recursive environments and freely available resources whose uses exceed these systems.

Required Reading:

Stalder, Felix, and Cornelia Sollfrank. 2021. “Introduction.” In Aesthetics of the Commons, edited by Cornelia Sollfrank, Felix Stalder, and Shusha Niederberger, 11–38. Zurich / Berlin: Diaphanes.

Experimenting with Institutional Formats, Interview with Laurence Rassel (26 minutes)

Felix Stalder is a professor teaching Digital Culture at the Zurich University of the Arts. His work focuses on the intersection of cultural, political and technological dynamics, in particular on new modes of commons-based production, copyright, datafication, surveillance, and transformation of subjectivity. He not only works as an academic, but also as a cultural producer, being a moderator of the mailing list <nettime>, a crucial nexus of critical net culture, a member of the World Information Institute and the Technopolitics Working Group, both based in Vienna. He is the author/editor of numerous books, among others Manuel Castells and the Theory of the Network Society (Polity Press, 2006), Deep Search. The Politics of Search Beyond Google (Transaction Publishers, 2009), Digital Solidarity (PML & Mute, 2014), Kultur der Digitalität / Digital Condition (Suhrkamp, 2016/Polity Press, 2018), Aesthetics of the Commons (Diaphanes, 2021) and Digital Unconscious (Autonomedia, 2021). →