Common In is officially open!

Common In is officially open. Last Wednesday we kicked off at Sexyland, where the manifestation’s journey started. Common In’s art practices and events will spread out over the course of five months until April 2022. Will you join us?

Common In is a process of collective imagination, where artists, organizers and participants together experience a commons-inspired world. To join the journey, go here. The opening resembled a micro-version of Common In – and thus a micro journey into the world of commons and art. The venue SexyLand was the perfect host for it, being a shared cultural space maintained and used in the spirit of the commons.

Opening @ Sexyland. Photos by Victoria Ushkanova

This Saturday 30 October you can join Common Ins first art work; Hosting Soil

Sexyland has different pockets of artistic space where we felt right at home. Downstairs, in the ‘club’, we held an introduction. Commons Network director Sophie Bloemen welcomed people and spoke of the urgent need for transformation of society and economy, and the role that art might play in it. Theo Tegelaers of art collective TAAK – with whom we are collaborating for Common In – shared insight about how TAAK views art: as a social practice rather than an object, as an inclusive and democratizing force.

Micro journey of commons and art

The artists briefly introduced the work they are bringing into Common In and told the crowd in which space of Sexyland people could find them. People scattered around the building as they went and visited the artists. People visited art collective It’s OK (Jeanne van Heeswijk and Yvonique Wellen, among others) in the ‘Backsteven’ space upstairs for a first glimpse of  the Drop-in for Common Uncertainties. Next door, Natascha Hagenbeek welcomed people for collective stories around her Whole City, Whole Earth project.

Yin Aiwen and Tra Nguyen were sitting in Art Bar Kippy on Sexyland’s terrace and played a micro version of their Liquid Dependencies larp game. Cascoland (Roel Schoenmakers and Fiona de Bell) remained in the club and used the beamer to show people the commoning practices in their shared orchard in New West Amsterdam. The artists Franziska Goralski, Elise Ehry and Kitty Maria were not there to introduce their performative art work Hosting Soil, but left prints about their project for people to see and read.

Food by Helen and tunes by Steven

The evening did not pass without great snacks and music. We are grateful that Helen made the time to gather saved vegetables as well as her amazing team of volunteers at Helen’s Free Food Market. The initative works to decrease food waste and channels these food flows to people in need. In turned out there are a lot of people in need. At the opening we gave her the floor as well as Sexyland’s food container to share the food and the story. Alina Lupu is an artists who, during Common In, will explore the role of the artist as public servant and, in the process, contribute to Helen’s Free Food Market.

After we ‘toured’ Sexyland, visited the artists and had a snack, we assembled for a final plenary moment. Some participants shared with the group what struck them about the different projects and artists, and what they learned about it. Some of them were already wearing a t-shirt with the beautiful designs by Julie Sauerwein (design studio Little by Little), who designed the Common In website and developed the house style.

Finally – but importantly (remember the politics of joy we had a drink and danced to the swinging tunes of dj Steven de Peven. Thanks to all who joined and made this event a success!