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Through the handbook I was thinking that the commons and the barcamp on the open learning class are similar because they both advocate sharing and interaction. But I found there are fundamental differences between the commons and the barcamp. Mature and completed artworks or activities are provided in the commons, where participants can have access to various works and experiences in one theme. Sounds like participants watch an exhibition at a gallery and the gallery is a kind of commons. But the barcamp is an educational place, which means it displays kinds of learning methods and anyone can join the barcamp to learn and experience. So that is to say, participants in common need educational background or the ability to analyze and think indecently. It is more professional than barcamp.

Our basho were talking about shared library 7/24 at first. This form is available in some cities in China and we found it feasible to manage. This shared and opening library also takes the social responsibility to serve free shelter. Some members in our basho pointed out that if we also see this opening library as a kind of social assistance, it would be less associated with art. Therefore, we considered the type of books in the opening library. One of our members interviewed the drag queen before and we have some resources on queer issue so we decided to construct our commons about queer. But if we just use a 7/24 opening library as a common to convey our ideas, hoping to reduce some stereotypes about queer, only serving books makes less sense. Because opening libraries are small, where people can read or just be away from the reality for a while, curing their spiritual loneliness, but there are obvious limitations in conveying queer theory and queer works. At the end of our discussion, we decided our topic. The context or condition we should base on is a point even a barrier. Beth suggested us that we should be very careful because none of us is queer, we have less position to discuss or construct queer common especially for people in the UK. Considering that we are all Chinese and queer culture is developing not smoothly and the public still have many understandings so we plan to collect resources in China and construct our common for them.

How to run this common confuses us. We are not leaders in this common and we aim to provide a medium, a shared space for the queer artists and audience to have a communication. We hope we can build a bridge between queer identification and queer recognition. So we decided to hold an exhibition where artists can display their artworks and the audience can watch and interact with artworks.

 We create this form inspired by an exhibition from a Chinese curator, JIANG SIDA. He curated this exhibition, <X Museum>, to explore the boundaries between our personal and public space in the Post-Internet era. It was an interactive exhibition and the invited audience who dressed as “queen” in different identities can meet, date even have sex, using this method to discuss who they are, what they do and what they can do. Inspired by this exhibition, we planned to construct a collecting space both digitally and physically. We would like to collect and display artworks on the website and in the gallery. Because some queer artists and audience may have little will to meet people face to face or they are willing to be mysterious to protect themselves, displaying and watching artworks on the Internet is an opening and suitable way for them. What’s more, via the Internet more audience and artists can have access to this exhibition.

The theme of our queer common is “Introduce and Reduce”. Queer artists introduce themselves via their artworks and audience get in touch with queer theory and queer definition through works and interaction. We hope queer artists bring various artworks to introduce who they are. We hope audience can reduce some stereotypes or misunderstandings on queer after they join this common.

In our preparation process, I read some statistics essays on queer research in China, especially mainland and Hong Kong. I found that queer people are facing not only violence, and ignorance, but also worried about their living when they are old. It is harder to have an identification than live a normal life. “Notably, this clarification only occurred after a gay widower filed for a judicial review over the Hong Kong government’s refusal to let him identify his late spouse’s (married in another jurisdiction) body or attend to administrative arrangements without having authorization from his spouse’s mother.”(Iris Po Yee Lo, Emma H. Liu, Daniel W. L. Lai & Elsie Yan (2022) Reflexive Planning for Later Life: Minority Stress and Aging Challenges among Midlife Chinese Lesbians and Gay Men, Journal of Homosexuality, DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2022.2095242) This means that there is a long way to fight for the legal policy on homosexuality and on queer, not only the gay marriage law, but also healthcare and inheritance rights and so on.

There was an accident in the process. Our ppt lost some texts before the presentation so I, the spokesperson, had to introduce our queer common in language only. Thank god that one of our members record all our resources on MIRO in order so that I could show our context comprehensively. This accident taught me that when managing multi-members’ work, a back-up copy is really important. Just as the Chinese old saying goes: Don’t put all eggs into one box. Spreading the risks around is a credible choice.

7 replies to “COMMONS”

  1. s2358907 says:

    The first part of the author compares the difference between commons and barcamp. It gave me a clearer understanding of the concept of both. Indeed, for commons we may only act as bystanders, but for barcamp we are each participants.

    The second part of the author’s talk introduces the theme of the presentation made by the Basho group: homosexuality. The exhibition by Siddhartha Kang is an example. I had got to know him before as an artist, presenter and programme maker. But little is known about him as an artist. He incorporates his stories and ideas into his exhibition, calling for equality, freedom in human relationships. Everyone should be respected, including the gay community. “People are born equal, born free, love themselves and love others.”

  2. s2339972 says:

    This is a great blog, it does a good job of documenting the development of thinking and the group’s itinerary in our group work. The case study and future outlook for artscommon I feel is well analysed and it is an arts project that has the potential to be fully grounded and can be heavily developed.

  3. s2248556 says:

    The content and logical order of the article are very clear, and it also reflects on the original open library idea. As well as some domestic and foreign exhibitions and materials collected during the running of the whole theme. The end of the article is a lovely summary of the reflections on the display, great!

  4. s2441634 says:

    In this blog, the author shares her research and reflections on learning in this sprint. She first points out the similarities between the commons and barcamp in that they promote sharing and interaction, and compares their differences. The author then recounts the development of their group from a shared library to a queer study, which is an interesting thought process. As a niche group, many people do not know what queers are, and many social groups do not understand the existence of the queer community, the promotion of queer culture can really reduce some of the stereotypes or misconceptions that others have about queers. As a member of the LGBTQ community, I am grateful for the author’s research. The LGBTQ community faces more social problems than the general population, and I hope that in the future, society will be more inclusive of minorities and create a more equal and harmonious world for all.

  5. s2325791 says:

    In the author’s narrative of the commons, we can clearly sense the role of the commons as a catalyst for social change and the awakening of self-awareness. Among minority groups or oppressed groups, the existence of the commons can provide a shelter and help these minority groups to gather consensus and generate power.

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