[NetBehaviour] Public space and the commons in post-Corona worlds

Ruth Catlow ruthcatlow at gmail.com
Sun May 17 17:42:13 CEST 2020

Hi Gretta,
This is fascinating.

Anna Minton has been writing and protesting the privatisation of public
space and its negative impact on democracy here in the UK (and especially
London) for a few years now. Here's one from 2012
was also commented on the impact of shrinking public space on Occupy

Here she is on:
corona impacts on private public spaces of UK high streets
and most private cites in the world

Your your sign off statement also made me wonder ...>>Although I must admit
that I am currently working from the understanding that all truly public
space is offline.

Do you say this because the vast majority of global social interaction
online is through proprietary and private platforms - google, facebook,
twitter, insta, zoom etc?
Would this be different if we were using FOSS, decentralised and/or p2p
communication infrastructure such as those listed in the link sent over by
AGF here <https://etherpad.wikimedia.org/p/online-tools-for-the-pandemic>
Or is it something else?


On Thu, May 14, 2020 at 3:09 PM Gretta Louw via NetBehaviour <
netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> Hope you’re all continuing to hang in there during these wildly unsettling
> times and finding ways to prioritise wellbeing.
> I have a project coming up in Munich this summer (the one thing that is
> not cancelled!) and since the topics I’m engaging with have been regularly
> brought up on Netbehaviour I wanted to share some material with you all and
> see if anyone has some input for me, too…
> The project is a commission for a rather admirable annual series of
> ephemeral artworks in public space in Munich, Germany. My initial proposal
> was to do a kind of anti-advertising advertising campaign using billboards
> in public space to dig into the erosion of public space through
> commercialisation and privatisation. But since the lockdowns have hit (and
> the accompanying collapse of commercialisation in daily life) I’ve shifted
> to thinking more about the ways that public space are used when capitalism
> is suspended, which also leads to thinking about more hopeful speculations
> on the public space and green space we would want in a more ideal future.
> Basically, if shopping malls and high streets are closed, the parks are
> full. The problem, obviously, isn’t that there’s too many people but rather
> that there’s too little public space. This shift reveals more starkly
> truths we already knew about the socially stratified access to space. The
> less private space you own, the more you need public space. The more you
> need public space, often, the less access you have to it. In the last few
> months we’ve seen ‘hoarding’ (or, as the Germans charmingly call it,
> ‘hamstering’) of basics like toilet paper, flour, and yeast - but the green
> and leafy neighbourhoods of the wealthy have been hoarding public space for
> centuries.
> I’ve got a collection of links here for people who might be interested.
>    - https://www.daphnedragona.net/projects/mapping-the-commons
>    -
>    https://gehlpeople.com/blog/public-space-plays-vital-role-in-pandemic/
>    -
>    https://www.riai.ie/whats-on/news/adapting-our-urban-environments-to-covid-19
>    -
>    http://spacing.ca/toronto/2020/05/02/lessons-of-urban-mobility-and-inequality-during-a-pandemic/
>    -
>    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/article-no-torontos-problem-isnt-too-many-people-going-outside-its-too/
>    -
>    https://www.politico.eu/article/helped-on-by-the-coronavirus-covid19-brussels-battles-its-car-culture/
>    -
>    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/22/lockdown-coronavirus-crisis-right-to-roam
>     ***
>    - http://historyofpublicspace.uk/
>    - https://landforthemany.uk/
> I’d really appreciate it if anyone has some other links to articles they
> think I should read - perhaps we can build a bit of a shared library of
> resources about public space, the commons and how it relates to post-Corona
> living. And I’d appreciate it even more if you’d briefly share your
> thoughts about how the use of public space has changed, or what ‘message in
> a bottle’ you’d like to send to the public about how to reimagine or
> reclaim public space. Both online and offline! Although I must admit that I
> am currently working from the understanding that all truly public space is
> offline.
> Would love to hear from you!
> All my best,
> Gretta
> _______________________________________________
> NetBehaviour mailing list
> NetBehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org
> https://lists.netbehaviour.org/mailman/listinfo/netbehaviour

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