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In times of constant economic and ecological crisis the global commons movement is growing in search for bottom-up solutions. In the most general sense, commons can be described as alternative modes of ownership and collective ways of dealing with resources. The suggested definition of the commons allows for distinguishing between goods, people and social relations and to understand them, at the same time, as integral parts of the commons as social institution. These distinctions do not work for all Commons equally, but they provide a useful set of references for analysis.

In her lecture, German artist Cornelia Sollfrank will give an introduction to the concept of the commons, however, putting an emphasis on digital commons. In the center of her investigations is the question of what artists can contribute to digital commons. The lecture will introduce Sollfrank’s ongoing research on art and commons and discuss specific artworks as examples. Each of the works addresses specific questions and embodies experimental and fragmentary solutions to the questions posed by neoliberal enclosures. Art here functions as a speculative tool; it thrives on imagination and aims to create spaces for discussion and debate about alternative ways of being, and to inspire and encourage people’s imaginations.

March 27 from 5pm to 7pm
Milieux Institute, EV 11.705
Concordia University SGW,
1515 Sainte-Catherine St. W.

The lecture takes place in relation to Sollfrank’s exhibition COMMONS CLINIC at Studio XX and to a lecture at the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at McGill University.

Cornelia Sollfrank (PhD) is artist, researcher and university lecturer. She has studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and the University of the Arts Hamburg and got her PhD from University of Dundee (UK). Recurring subjects in her artistic work in and about digital media are authorship, new forms of political organization, feminism and copyright. She is currently working at Zürich University of the Arts as associate researcher in the project “Creating Commons.”


This lecture is offered in connection with Sollfrank’s exhibition COMMONS CLINIC at Studio XX and with a lecture at the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at McGill University. Cornelia Sollfrank: COMMONS LAB  is supported by the Goethe-Institut, and presented as part of “Germany@Canada 2017 – Partners from Immigration to Innovation.

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