Pre-launch Chamber of Commons

Together with Politics of Nature and Amsterdam Rainproof, we will be imagining new urban commons in an era of climate change

From 4 to 12 October, people from all over the world celebrate the World Commons Week: a week dedicated to the study and practice of the commons. Exactly fifty years ago in October, biologist Garett Hardin published his infamous Tragedy of the commons article in Science. Since then, many scholars have been very busy disproving Hardin’s pessimistic assessment of commons. Also in October, Waag’s Chamber of Commons will launch to carve out new practices, models and politics for the commons.

The Chamber of Commons bolsters the interests of commons and commoners. Commons are shared resources managed by communities with an aim of assuring their sustainability and inclusivity. They foster bottom-up initiative and community self-determination, while keeping a close watch on the needs of the wider public. The mission of the Chamber of Commons is to raise public awareness on the commons, tickle the senses, and demonstrate new models through which the commons can address societal questions.

Politics of Nature
“Politics of Nature” is the first initiative to be invited to the Chamber of Commons to explore new ways of relating between humans and nature. Politics of Nature is a brand new initiative experimenting with democratic methodologies, game design and immersive tech, inspired by the ideas of Bruno Latour, Baruch Spinoza and the concept of the Cratic Platform. “In times of democratic and climatic decline, we will need to experiment with and practice new methods and methodologies for addressing difficult issues and respect the beings we co-exist with,” says Jakob Raffn, co-initiator of Politics of Nature.

The case – Amsterdam Rainproof
While Europe this summer has faced one of the most intense regional droughts in recent memory, for a city like Amsterdam the main problems are with excess water: downpours of rain that put the infrastructure of the city under severe pressure. The city has become more densely populated, more intensively used, and more heavily paved; at the same time, climate change brings more extreme weather.Overall we need to develop a better relationship with water. “Politics of Nature” is a method, a game with which a stronger democratic legitimacy can be created in which not only people, but also plants, animals and buildings can raise their voices. 

This edition will take place on Thursday 11th of October in the Waag, Nieuwmarkt 4, Amsterdam. Admission is € 5,-

16.00 Doors open
16.30 Welcome by Socrates Schouten (Waag, Chamber of Commons) and introduction to the case
17.00 Game round 1
18.00 Sandwich dinner
18.45 Game round 2
20.00 Plenary synthesis
20.45 Drinks

This edition of Politics of Nature will have a technological afterlife the 25th of October at the VRDAYS.