Following two years of pondering over it, writing, rewriting, and finally putting it all together, our book Upscaling, Training, Commoning is out! It has been an adventure to bring this exploration – into what it means to engage with the glimpses of a world of emerging commons that has become conceivable in the cracks of the Global Financial Crisis (2008) – into a format that is reflexive as well as personal.
Upscaling, Training, Commoning is a six-part volume that outlines the context of STEALTH’s exploration embarked on in 2011 when we have set out to take our practice beyond the flurry of temporary involvements, of short-lived interventions, of non-binding interferences that sustain the current neo-liberal (over)production of urbanity and an ‘already plundered’ future. Through its sequence, the book moves from critique to commitment by devising methods for imagining and enacting other worlds.
The book is set between a travelogue, a guide of sorts, a collection of visual fragments of the making of, combining nonfiction with fiction. Following the introduction, the four next parts ‘report’ from engagements of STEALTH that took place in Bordeaux, Vienna, Rotterdam, Gothenburg and Belgrade, and jump temporally back and forth in the period between 2008 to 2018. Each part is set in a certain perspective: from invoking possible futures, to setting up community economies, asserting legitimacy and opening emancipatory prospects – in particular concerning the unsustainability of housing condition.
Along the way, the book documents over 20 encounters with, for us, influential practices, individuals, citizen’s initiatives (contemporary and historical) or writings. But it also reveals an unsettling systemic rejection – by current politics and economy – of the urgency to upscale and ‘train’ for a world beyond capitalist urban condition. And leads thus to a crucial question: how to construct our alternatives on the ruins of the broken system?
Throughout Upscaling, Training, Commoning, we walk together with a number of people with whom we’ve crossed paths. They have equally distanced themselves from what we perceive as a set of economics, architectures and politics devoid of future. Along with us, the economic geographer Katherine Gibson writer Dougald Hine, the economist Martijn Jeroen van der Linden, the (former) architect Ana Méndez de Andés and the (still) architect Iva Marčetić have started out building other systems, laying the foundations for systemic change, for a different mindset and perspective of where our future ought to take us. In the book, we have asked them to respond to our observations by directly inserting their remarks in the text, but also by contributing by recalling their own, in our view, significant paths from 2008 onwards.
We exit the book with a fictional narrative, set in words by Paul Currion, who has taken on the daunting task of propelling us towards 2025. The ‘future’ here takes us to a horizon of choices and challenges very much situated in the here and now: struggling with finance, exploring work beyond the reality of jobs, maintaining the sense of urgency in processes laden with inertia, struggling with the horizon of political engagement.
- [authors ] Ana Džokić and Marc Neelen (STEALTH.unlimited)
- [with contributions by ] Katherine Gibson, Dougald Hine, Martijn Jeroen van der Linden, Ana Méndez de Andés, Iva Marčetić
- [future fiction by ] Paul Currion
- [editorial advice ] Piet Vollaard
- [copy editing] Mark Brogan
- [images] STEALTH.unlimited (unless stated otherwise)
- [graphic design] Katarina Popović
- [publisher ] jovis Verlag GmbH, May 2018
- [format ] 19.5 cm x 29.7 cm, 232 pages, English
- [ISBN ] 978-3-86859-522-2
- [background ] This book results from five-year practice-based research within the graduate program in Fine Arts at Kungl. Konsthögskolan (Royal Institute of Art), Stockholm, under the guidance of Henrietta Palmer and Doina Petrescu. It has taken place in the context of Konstnärliga forskarskolan (Artistic Research School) and a collaboration framework between the Malmö Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, Lund University, and the Royal Institute of Art. On May 29, 2017 the findings were ‘disputed’ at the Royal Institute of Art, in a public session with Katherine Gibson, Branislav Dimitrijević, Geert de Pauw and Andrea Phillips. In the wake of this, the book is published in this adapted edition.
- [special thanks to ] Saskia van Stein, Maria Lind, Simon Goldin and Jakob Senneby, Åsa Andersson, Tor Lindstrand, Magnus Ericson, Peter Lang, Boštjan Bugarič, Dubravka Sekulić and Erik Jutten