Affective Commoning: Collective Curating in the Post-Socialist Space

My doctorate thesis investigates the multiple political, philosophical, and aesthetic trajectories of collective curating in Southeast Europe. This is developed from a theoretical and philosophical standpoint through a focus on curatorial collectives and their interventionist reconfigurations of the region’s socialist past.

Responding to a gap in previous literature and focusing on more underrepresented practices from the region, the thesis argues that a younger generation of artists and curators have employed infrastructures of collectivity and self-organisation in the arts in order to reclaim public spaces that were predominantly defined by discourses of trauma, nostalgia, and failure from ideologies of both communist regimes and neoliberalism. In so doing, the thesis is centralised around analysing the key notions of memory and affect, transition, post-socialism, self-organisation and commoning.

In my research, I propose the term “affective commoning” as a concept-tool to describe an emerging body of curatorial practices that are raising collectivity and self-organisation as an important element of affective political action by revisiting spaces and temporalities of ruination.

Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London

Supervised by Dr Jean-Paul Martinon

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