Objects in common: objects for commoning
in Common spaces of urban emancipation
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In this chapter an artistic practice involving a performative interpretation of an everyday mundane object, a chair (designed by the modernist architect G. Rietveld), is analyzed as indicative of the power to potentialize space which is hidden in the production and use of everyday objects. Objects may become mediators of sharing, and carriers of an open community of commoners in the making. The project “Sitting is a Verb” seems to hint towards such a possibility. This project took place at IMPA, a recuperated factory in Buenos Aires (2010–2011. A visual artist, Aimée Zito Lema, and a social anthropologist, Nahuel Blaton, conceived this project as an artistic contribution to a larger project: the creation of a University of Workers inside the IMPA building complex. This project tried to orient the means through which its contribution to the emerging University of Workers (to be hosted inside IMPA) was realized towards a commoning ethos. Beyond the distinction between a useful object and an art object (considered as an object of no use), the Rietveld-IMPA chairs were art-works by being useful (as functional) but also by being emblems of cooperation, symbolic condensations of an emerging autonomous education spirit. Excerpts from an interview with the artist are included in the chapter.

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