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39: New Communities


| Spring 2009 |

Editor: Nina Möntmann


  • ‘Introduction’, Nina Möntmann
  • ‘New Communities’, Nina Möntmann
  • ‘Experimental Communities’, Carlos Basualdo and Reinaldo Laddaga
  • ‘Collaboration in Art and Society: A Global Pursuit of Democratic Dialogue’, Nikos Papastergiadis
  • ‘Complications; On Collaboration, Agency and Contemporary Art’, Maria Lind
  • ‘The Affectivist Manifesto. Artistic Critique in the Twenty-First Century’, Brian Holmes
  • ‘Public Privations’, Raqs Media Collective
  • ‘Communities Between Culture-by-Mouth and Culture-by-Media’, Luis Jacob
  • ‘The Gossip and Ghosts of Colin Campbell’, Jon Davies
  • ‘From “social movement” to “Ecstatic Resistance”, Emily Roysdon
  • ‘If We Can’t Get It Together: Artists rethinking the (mal)function of communities’, Nina Möntmann, with contributions by: Shaina Anand, Egle Budvytyte, Kajsa Dahlberg, Luis Jacob, Hassan Khan, Hadley+Maxwell, Emily Roysdon, Haegue Yang
  • ‘Complaining Communities: Complaints Choirs Worldwide’, Saara Liinamaa
  • ‘Mystical Anarchism’, Simon Critchley


The present popularity of “community” as a topic in art and theory goes hand in hand with the big changes currently taking place in how community is envisioned and experienced. For several years the work of many artists and theoreticians has been increasingly orienting itself on questions around forms of living together, in the private as well as the collective social sphere. Epoch-making changes are occurring in recent histories after 1989, such as the idea of a new Europe with its (geo)political changes and globalized work and relationship structures which create new closenesses and possibilities for working together, but which at the same time corroborate or extend old power structures in underhanded ways. These new experiences raise many questions that the essays collected here approach from different points of view.


Luis Jacob, “Communities Between Culture-by-Mouth and Culture-by-Media”:

“When was the last time you found a piece of writing dealing with the relationship between a current production in this city and what has gone on before it? When was the last time you were able to attend a retrospective exhibition on the work of a Toronto artist? If we agree that artistic production is a communicative practice – an exercise in which the meaning of community becomes an issue – then a lack of historical context amounts to something like a lack of language, which is to say that artistic production would somehow have to exist without publicness.” (87)