The Artist Commons

What is a – C ?

The artist commons situates itself between institutional state and market oriented frameworks.

We enable alternatives to the residency and subsidy policies which currently govern the artistic sector. Originating in a studio sharing system, this artist-managed platform allows us to take our own practices and the organization of work into our own hands, based on solidarity, fair use and shared investment. Not only does this format provide strength in numbers, it challenges artists to be critical about the conditions of possibility of their work as it foregrounds the productive machinery enabling a work to come into being. In our artistic research and our theoretical practice, it is this ‘invisible’ machinery which we are questioning, dismantling, customizing, hacking, transforming. Consequently, the artistic work is developed in the broader context of a self-understanding of what it means to be an artist today, in a rapidly changing global economic environment and its corresponding modes of production.

from possibility to contingency

There are two distinct logics in the ongoing development of the artist commons, which continue to intersect with one another. We can also think of them as moments (logical as well as temporal) of a self-determining process. The first concerns conditions of possibility for the creation of art works, and our existence as physical performers. This is a system of resource sharing which extends the trend towards ‘co-working’, since artists divide costs of space and amenities as well as collectively curating the practices (workshops, training, events) necessary to inspire and stimulate them as artists. The second concerns the point where this very process of contextualization starts to become autonomous and self-relating. When this reflexivity is taken as an object of investigation, we act as researchers into the structure of commoning and its contingent modes of existence; the specificity of this structure in art objects and artistic practices.

As of March 2018, the Artist Commons is made up of around twenty-five members whose practices include dance, performance art, circus, music, yoga, writing, sculpture, critical theory, psychoanalysis, philosophy… from Belgium, France, Canada, Mexico, Israel, Italy, Sweden, United States, Australia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal.

Starting in April 2018, there are two modes of participation in the project:

Membership in the commons is neutral, independent of any particular aesthetic, discipline, or personal identification. The fee for full membership is €75/month and we ask that members commit for at least three consecutive months. Work which is determined by the individual artist (defined as such by the state and the art market) can be continued with the benefits of reduced costs, thanks to the knowledge and material resources of other commoners. This is the peer-to-peer support system of the commons, and a diverse community can be maintained at this level. However, it is precisely this regime of individual practice which the emerging structure of the commons throws into question—therefore members simultaneously take part in a different process: not one of production, but of reflection: at what point does the form enabling a work become an essential part of its content? What are the forms of appearance of this dialectic in concrete work(s), and how can knowledge of such forms re-orient our praxis as a commons?

Please take a look at our website or contact for more information about memberships and subscriptions.  

Qu’est-ce que  aC ?

Artist Commons se situe entre l’état institutionnel national et les contextes orientés par la demande du marché culturel.

Nous élaborons une alternative à la politique de résidence et subventions gouvernant actuellement le secteur artistique. Originaire d’un système de partage de studio, cette plateforme gérée par des artistes nous permet de prendre en main nos propres pratiques et l’organisation du travail, nous appuyant sur la solidarité, l’utilisation juste et l’investissement partagé. Ce format, en plus de procurer la force due au nombre, stimule les artistes à être critiques des conditions de possibilité de leur travail alors qu’il souligne la machinerie productive permettant à un travail d’arriver à existence. Dans notre recherche artistique et notre pratique théorique, il s’agit de questionner, démanteler, accessoiriser, pirater, transformer cette machinerie « invisible ». En conséquence, le travail artistique est développé dans le contexte plus large d’une auto-réflexion sur la signification de la position d’artiste aujourd’hui, dans un environnement économique global rapidement changeant et des modes de production lui correspondant.

de la possibilité à la contingence

Il y a deux logiques distinctes dans le développement actuel du commun d’artistes, continuant d’intersecter l’une l’autre. Nous pouvons aussi les penser comme moments (logiques autant que temporels) d’un processus auto-déterminant. La première concerne les conditions de possibilité donné à la création d’oeuvre d’art, et notre expérience de performer physique. Il s’agit d’un système de partage des ressources qui étend le courant du « co-working », étant donné que les artistes divisent les coûts afférents aux espaces et aux fluides autant qu’organisent collectivement les pratiques (ateliers, entraînements, évènements) nécessaires à les inspirer et stimuler en tant qu’artistes. La seconde concerne le point auquel ce même processus de contextualisation commence à devenir autonome et réflexif. Lorsque cette réflexivité est prise comme objet d’investigation, nous agissons comme chercheurs en structure de commonification et ses modes contingents d’existence; nous enquêtons sur les modalités spécifiques de manifestation de cette structure dans les objets d’art et les pratiques artistiques.

En Mars 2018, Artist Commons est fait d’environ 25 membres dont les pratiques incluent cirque, art performance, sculpture, dramaturgie, yoga, danse, critique théorique, psychanalyse, philosophie,… venant de Belgique, Canada, Mexique, France, Israël, Italie, Suède, États Unis, Australie, Suisse, Slovénie et Portugal.


General information & membership enquires


Discuss ongoing development prospects set up by members with them before, after or while you make your donation to:

BE56 5230 8064 7188
with the label “donation – YOUR NAME”.


The a – C began in February 2016, representing a new initiative in creating a structure, commonification strategy and economy that mutually benefits the commons and the artists involved.