Hackitectura, Mapping the commons, Athens, Installation

Hackitectura – Mapping the commons


Athens Conservatoire - Project Room & Online

How can the new commons be mapped on the urban environment? How can their dynamic by located? What is their role in the life of the contemporary metropolis?

The results of the workshop Mapping the Commons, Athens by the Hackitectura collective as well as the cartography produced through the workshop, are being presented from the 9th of December 2010 until the 23rd of January 2011 in the Project Room of EMST and on the internet:

The users / viewers have the opportunity to wander in two different maps and to see their production process through the blog and the audiovisual material accompanying it.

Precisely, one can see:

  • The Research Map of the workshop including categorized entries for the commons that can are located in the city of Athens. This map is open to further contributions and development not only by the participants, but also by users interested in participating.
  • The non interactive Autorun Map which presents video case studies on the commons conceptualised, directed and shot by the participants for the project Mapping the Commons, Athens.
  • The blog which presents in detail the concept, the structure and the program of the workshop as well as contributions, updates, photos and videos that capture its process.

The Mapping the Commons, Athens workshop took place in the Project Room of EMST from the 1st until the 8th of December 2010. It was lead and coordinated by José Pérez de Lama and Pablo de Soto from Hackitectura in collaboration with Jaime Díez and Carla Boserman. The workshop team, formed by young students and researchers from different city universities, had the opportunity to be informed about the contemporary theory on the commons and on the current practices of critical and thematic cartography. Participants were invited to examine, analyse and document cases of commons as well as to map them and to depict representative examples to be reflected and presented in short video projects.

Mapping the Commons, Athens is a collective study, a contemporary reading and an open cartography of Athens and its special dynamic. In a difficult financial period in which the contemporary metropolis seems restless and vulnerable, the Hackitectura collective in collaboration with an interdisciplinary group of young researchers and students seeked for, examined and documented the points of the city where a new form of common wealth can be located. Seeing beyond the “public” and the “private”, new types of commons were mapped which were based on collectivity, sociability, open and free access, gift economy or peer to peer practices. During a seven day workshop a different image of the city was thus formed full of promises, but yet fluid and unstable. Although the new common resources and places that were located within the urban environment are outcomes of the knowledge and the ideas that the multitude of the metropolis possesses and shares, at the same time it was noted that the new common wealth can not easily escape cases of exploitation and appropriation.

Contradictions and questions occurred while examining and processing the material of the workshop: How can the commons be secured? Why do they sometimes serve the interests of a new “creative” city? What role do they really play in times of a global financial crisis? How can the citizens re-appropriate the commons, and form through them a new type of resistance?

The online collaborative map that was created and the audiovisual material accompanying it, aims through representative examples and case studies to comment on such issues, making clear the need for a re-invention of a new common experience and memory, which can only be born through collaboration and sharing.

Curated by Daphne Dragona


Hackitectura is a dynamic core of architects, artists, computer specialists and activists founded by José Pérez de Lama, Sergio Moreno and Pablo de Soto in 1999. Their practice uses new technologies to create temporary spaces that can escape the formal structures of control and surveillance which are regulated by technological and political means in contemporary society. Inspired by hacker culture, they use free software and communication technologies to subvert established power structures through bottom-up organization and by creating alternative connections between disparate spaces. The group often works collaboratively, carrying out research into the effects of communication and technology on physical spaces, the formation of social networks and how these can be put to work for an activist agenda. Previous well known cartographies of the collective have taken place in Gibraltar, Asturias and Gaza.


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