Any views expressed within media held on this service are those of the contributors, should not be taken as approved or endorsed by the University, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University in respect of any particular issue.

week9 sprint4

‘…consider how the arts and contemporary theory structure “the commons” anew: how the commons becomes both a goal and a trope in post-millennial art and cultural theory.’ (Amy J. Elias)  

This blog mainly narrates from two aspects.The first aspect is my understanding of the cultural Commons, which is my contribution to the group assignment and the first part of the group speech. The second part is my outlook and expectation for the cultural Commons.

First and foremost, the scope of Commons is very broad, which is reflected in digital, economic, legal, political and other aspects. As De Angelis puts it, “Commons” can be expressed as a collection of natural and/or human resources, a community of people with reciprocal and sharing relationships and an act of common commitment to community reproduction. My group assignment is about cultural Commons. So what is the cultural Commons?“Cultural Commons refer to cultures located in time and space – either physical or virtual – and shared and expressed by a community. A Cultural Common is a system of intellectual resources available on a given geographical or virtual area. A Cultural Commons could be thought as the evolution of the more traditional concept of cultural district or cultural cluster.” (Enrico Bertacchini et al., 2012) In my opinion, cultural Commons is a space with real places or virtual scenes, where a certain culture or various cultural, art, music and other aspects gather together. At the same time, the cultural Commons has three dimensions, namely culture, space and community. So let me give you an example of what I think about the cultural Commons. instagram, for example, can be seen as a cultural Commons. With the rapid development of science and technology, Ins is a social sharing platform that uses the Internet to connect people. On this online platform, people from all over the world can share their thoughts on a certain subject, such as their views on contemporary art. Similarly, others can use the platform to see what other people think about contemporary art. This sharing of the same things also reflects that the cultural community is made up of information, which is not competitive in consumption. For example, a piece of music can be consumed and listened to without restriction. Thus, cultural Commons is a system of knowledge resources available within a specific geographic or virtual area and can be seen as an evolution of the concept of a traditional cultural district or cultural cluster.  It is worth noting that some problems arise in the Cultural Commons, but this is understandable. Hess (2008) definition of the Commons: “A Commons is a resource shared by a group that is susceptible to enclosure, overuse, and social distress. Unlike public goods, it needs management and protection to sustain itself.” Hence, people need to pay attention to the use and protection of this shared resource to avoid its depletion.

Secondly, there is no denying that there are many public lands that provide disabled people with many ways to get in touch with things around them. On the one hand, some on-the-ground cultural Commons are providing suitable spatial ways for the unwell to learn about paintings, using multi-sensory and new technologies for the disabled in the cultural Commons. “Haptic technology allows museums to expand their collections of artifacts and information,” Hemsley, Cappellini, and Stanke(2017) note. For example, there is an exhibition in Madrid that allows blind or visually impaired people to touch artwork. The video below is about the Touch exhibition at the Museum of Madrid. “The surface properties of an artefact can be modeled so that a person using a tactile device can feel that it is a solid three-dimensional object with different textures, hardness or softness.” (Hemsley, Cappellini and Stanke, 2017) Therefore, touching the artwork can make visually impaired people feel the material of the picture, thus increasing the feeling of the artwork. And promote the number of vulnerable minority groups participating in the Commons.

There’s also a museum in the Netherlands with a new exhibition for the visually impaired. It’s called “Blind Spot” in the city of Utrecht. It represents the artwork, but adds extra dimensions, including sounds and smells to feel the artwork. So, to some extent, these multi-sensory exhibitions provide people with limited vision with access to art. Art doesn’t have to be seen to be felt.


The virtual cultural Commons offers more ways for people with disabilities to use it than in the past. Social media, such as instagram, provides visually impaired people with audio descriptions of entire photos. The video below details how the visually impaired use instagram.

In my opinion, the cultural Commons is the cultural Commons of the masses. We can not ignore the needs of the disabled for arts and culture.Although, there are a lot of examples of Commons to show that some of these Commons have become very convenient for people with limited vision, who can touch the artwork and listen to what’s going on in a painting. But these exhibitions, or events, do not make up a large proportion of all the Commons. Perhaps in the future, the Commons can provide more convenient and beneficial services to more people with disabilities. In addition, while visiting the field museums and galleries in England, I discovered a problem. Most of the brochures are in a single language, which means that most of the visitors need to take the brochures in English.  The language of the official website is also a single language, which to some extent ignores the needs of international tourists. This may be one of the many limitations of the Commons.

The development of the Commons still needs people’s efforts to maintain. The tragedy of the Commons comes from human selfishness and is caused by the absence of long-term rules and compulsion. But there is no denying that more and more people are beginning to understand and maintain the Commons.



Reference list

Enrico Bertacchini, Giangiacomo Bravo, Massimo Marrelli, Santagata, W. and Hess, C. (2012). Cultural Commons. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Lankford, B. (2013). Resource Efficiency Complexity and the Commons. Routledge.

Hemsley, J., Cappellini, V. and Stanke, G. (2017). Digital Applications for Cultural and Heritage Institutions. Routledge.



Week7 Sprint3


Peer review


  1. RuxueLi

    Jiahui’s article is a good account of her understanding of the concept of the commons and has a lot of analytical content. It also mentions the ways in which people with disabilities can be assisted, and how valuing them is a good entry point for social development.

  2. s2321841

    This is a very thoughtful and specific post in which JiaHui reflects on two main aspects, one being her personal understanding of cultural commons and the other being her outlook and expectations for them, suggesting that a cultural commons is a space with a real place or a virtual scene where a culture or a variety of cultures, arts, music and other aspects come together. insight, which she arrived at through her reading and thinking, and I could see her own ideas. After that, JiaHui suggested that there are many public lands that provide many ways for people with disabilities to access things around them, and this is something I’ve been thinking about, the thirst for culture and art in the disabled community needs to be recognised and helped, and I think I resonated with Jia Hui in this regard, very good post, thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén


Report this page

To report inappropriate content on this page, please use the form below. Upon receiving your report, we will be in touch as per the Take Down Policy of the service.

Please note that personal data collected through this form is used and stored for the purposes of processing this report and communication with you.

If you are unable to report a concern about content via this form please contact the Service Owner.

Please enter an email address you wish to be contacted on. Please describe the unacceptable content in sufficient detail to allow us to locate it, and why you consider it to be unacceptable.
By submitting this report, you accept that it is accurate and that fraudulent or nuisance complaints may result in action by the University.