TEXT ON METHOD
Commons - Social engagement - Trans-disciplinary active participation - Gamification - Conflict - Activism - Collaboration - Politics of the public - Civil disobedience - Experience - Performativity - Activation - Ecology of communication and information.
These are just a few key words that I’d like to use to open the draft of my text on method.
With the text I’ll try to outline or narrate which are the characteristic of my so-called method. My personal practice, until now, is focused on a few core points and a methodology builded through experience, collaborations and experimentations.
A method is constructed by a series of tools, some research strands and a body of questions, or aspirations. Following this structure i’ll try to divide the text in three sub-groups:
- My tools,
- My research and questions,
- My goals.
The tools, the instruments that are helping me in realizing my projects, have the same importance as the “things” I’m interested in. During this first year of the master I got the opportunity to experiment with a big variety of tools and softwares that I never used before.
The centrality of open source technologies for our course made me aware of the importance of their ideological-position: the accessibility and visible complexity of those technologies are tools to decentralize power and “protest” against the existence of a singular author.
I have to admit that the process of familiarization with the mechanics of some programs was not simple. I’m still struggling to understand and feel free to experiment with those.
Important characteristic of the tools we use is their collaborative structure. A fundamental part of my practice are collective and collaborative processes as methods of creation. For this reason, experimenting with open source technologies and programming languages is helping me in following an important strand of my personal work. In following workshops, testing new tools and watching others working, I got very inspired and encouraged to develop a new sensitivity of looking at my methodology.
I always thought of my discipline as a mix of graphic-design, art and research, however I can now recognize lots of more influential practices that forms my personal experience. Trans-Disciplinarity, active and social engagement of people and construction of collaborative methods are core points of my methodology and used as tools adaptable to each work I’ve been done.
Another important part of my practice is social and political critic and forms of collective living and making. In being currently part of a living-community, and having experience with various forms of social living, I’m able to test daily life practices of collaboration that I would better call practices of conflict. As Stavros Stavrides states in an interview with Massimo de Angelis (*) there’s a necessity of “problematizing the collectivity of the struggle”. The politics of the commons are process-oriented forms of collectivity, more than stable communities, processes that cannot avoid form of conflicts, struggles and differentiations.
Collaborative practices are experiential and performative forms of sharing and making that requires social engagement and participation. I aspire to translate my focus on confrontation, negotiation and conflictual practices into my personal method. Going back to the works I have done during this year, I can easily find a common denominator in all of them: an exploration of forms of cultural diffusion in an experiential and performative way.
The first publication I have co-created was proposing a “gamified” research on the topic of artificial-scarcity through a book/board-game designed to be played;
The second-issue was an experiment of gait-analysis and real-time recording of people’s walks stored on a local device denominated as “the experimental jukebox”;
During this last trimester I’m working on the third publication called “Interfacing The Law”, that is focused on piracy practices of sharing knowledges and archival interfaces. For this project I’m working on the archive of the community I live in, the Vereniging Poortgebouw. Aim of this project is to build a local “archival-machine”, collecting collaboratively materials that maps the legality of the community.
RESEARCH AND QUESTIONS
As I partially described in the previous chapter, I try always to combine my practices with a strong focus on research. In starting this master I found myself often struggling in defining the limits of my interest in reading and writing, how and when stop the process of researching.
What I realized is that I need to stop worrying too much about it, it is completely fine and part of my method this necessity of researching and constantly question my self on what I’m experimenting with. Is in the combination between the practical and experimental part of working and the more reflective and discursive stadium of researching, that lies the complexity.
Fundamental part of my research is as well collaboration with others. I find important to share and discuss my interests and ideals in a collective environment. Inspired by the post-humanist thinking, I believe in “distributed cognition” as metaphor of the distributed cognitive system of humans: the act of thinking is “relational” as human and non-human characteristic are.
Culture, as a highly complex system, is an uncontrollable and unpredictable entity created from the “distribute” collaboration between humans. “Culture is an adaptive process that accumulates partial solutions to frequently encountered problems” (Making Art of Database, V2 Catalogue, chapter “Collaborative Culture”)
Our culture is a discursive form of commoning, as well part of what we call the “public sphere”. This last point is indeed part of my research questions: what does it mean to be public, or “make things public”? The public realm is a place of encounter where the negotiations happens. Being public means recognizing political potentials and limitations of the context in which we act. I think we still need to discover common procedures to define the public sphere.
Partially my research is focused on this: how to combine the understanding of legality, sociality and political contexts of the “public” with the agency of single subjectivities. I believe that an understanding of the combination between individual and collective activities has to be object of more research and work.
How can we reconsider and reconstruct forms of collectivity and organization?
My goal is to focus more on transforming my research questions into a tangible form of embodied work.
My plan for the “future” is to become more aware of my personal works and experiences. Seeing and building connections between peculiarities of my work and collaborating with entities from other fields are my two principle goals.
In order to build my professional figure I need to become more aware of the responsibilities and skills that I need to gain. Thanks to this master I got to know and work with other people from similar but different fields, finding exciting our daily confrontation and struggle in collaborating with each other.
An interesting part of the course is the relation with outside parties: each of our collective publications are developed in collaboration with institutions and/or actors from the "outside" of the school. For this reason it’s growing in me the desire to develop competences in public speech and group communication.
I’d like to think about my personal professional figure as a designer, researcher and performer. Now that I typed it it sounds very pretentious but in any case, it reflects my ambition of experimenting while collaborating, researching and performing in a “real” set up.
BIBLIOGRAPHY (“in potential…”)
- Virilio, "Speed and Politics”,
- Stavros Stavrides, "Common Space as Threshold Space: Urban Common- ing in Struggles to Re-appropriate Public Space”,
- Stavros Stavrides, "Common Space : The City as Commons”,
- An Architektur " On the Commons: A Public Interview with Massimo De Angelis and Stavros Stavrides",
- Gilles Deleuze, " Post-script to the society of control” ,
- Schelling, “Strategy of conflict” ,
- Alan Moore, Alan Smart, "Making Room: Cultural Production in Occupied Spaces”,
- Making Art of Database, V2 Catalogue,
- Hardt and Negri “Multitude”,
- M.Foucault, “Society Must Be Defended”,
- G.Bateson, "Steps to an Ecology of Mind".