Encounters in the Archival Commons

Berlin / 25 March 2022

Panel discussion as part of the conference „The Whole Life. Archives & Imaginaries“ at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.

interview, publication

Aesthetics, Commons and the Production of the Subject

Cornelia Sollfrank and Felix Stalder / 2021

The two editors of the volume Aesthetics of the Commons (Diaphanes 2021), Cornelia Sollfrank and Felix Stalder, discuss with Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture (WPCC) the potential and meanings of the digital commons in creating new subjectivities and new imaginaries on and off the internet.


Buen Vivir. Interview with Penny Travlou on collaborative practices in emerging networks.

Athens / 31 May 2021

Framed by her long-standing research on collaborative practices, geographer and ethnographer Penny Travlou introduces two projects she has been involved lately: Platohedro, a space, a platform and community based in Medellín, Colombia, and the Feminist Autonomous Research Center in Athens (FAC). Platohedro refers to the indigenous concepts of Buen Vivir and Buen Conocer and works on adapting them to the contemporary living conditions in urban societies, while FAC puts an emphasis on commnity-based autonomous knowledge production. Both are concerned with forms of thinking and working together that allow for creating alternatives to extractivist, colonial, racist and anti-feminist modes of (knowledge)production.


Aesthetics of the Commons

What do a feminist server, an art space located in a public park in North London, a ‘pirate’ library of high cultural value yet dubious legal status, and an art school that emphasizes collectivity have in common? They all demonstrate that art can play an important role in imagining and producing a real quite different from what is currently hegemonic; that art has the possibility to not only envision or proclaim ideas in theory, but also to realize them materially. The book collects ten essays that take up aspects of the cultural and artistic projects that were part of the research project Creating Commons, and brings them into conversation with different fields ranging from cultural, political and feminist theory, philosophy, curatorial studies, and art education.

Aesthetics of the Commons, Sollfrank, Cornelia, Felix Stalder and Shusha Niederberger (eds.), Zurich: Diaphanes (2021)
Softcover, 276 pages
Open Access PDF, 276 pages

interview, publication

In the Studio.

London, 9 December 2020

Oliver Goernandt/ fotografenwerk Hamburg © 2019

Interview of Cornelia Sollfrank for Museum of Contemporary Digital Art (MoCDA), London. Maria Cynkier talks with the artist about her creative practice, generative art, the power of decentralization and commons, and resisting patriarchal structures in tech.


IN THE SHADOW OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY. Artistic takes on the Digital Commons.

Cornelia Sollfrank / 2020.

The projects discussed in this text all make cultural products available online for free. What is special about them is that they have all been initiated and are run by small groups of artists or individual artists who provide the infrastructure as well as the contents, and they do so without a budget or any sort of official mandate. Due to their radical open access practiced in the art context, they unfold an enormous symbolic value, parallel to their practical value. In this sense, they are manifestations of current political problems rather than solutions, and their relevance lies in the complexity of the questions they are asking. Published in German in: Sich mit Sammlungen anlegen. Gemeinsame Dinge und alternative Archive. Martina Griesser-Stermscheg, Nora Sternfeld und Luisa Ziaja (Hrsg.), De Gruyter, Wien. Seiten: 85-94.


interview, research

Forms of Ongoingness, Interview with Femke Snelting and spideralex

House of Electronic Arts Basel (HeK) / Basel / 16 September 2018

In this interview, Femke and Spideralex talk about their shared practice of engaging with what they call feminist technologies. They discuss their understanding of technology as an embodied practice, that bears desired relations as well as terrible connections. How can we live in ungracious times? They explore, how digital infrastructure could work differently with the help of the feminist server, which is both a real server, a need, and at the same time a thinking tool. Within this discussion, they also address questions of autonomy versus ongoingness, the role of language as a tool of investigation, and the cultural dimensions of technology like expectations of servitude behind functionality. Conducted by Cornelia Sollfrank as part of the Creating Commons research project.


Open Scores. How to program the commons / Berlin / 21 September – 12 October 2019

The exhibition OPEN SCORES brings together a series of practices through which artists articulate their specific forms of digital commons. From online archives to digital tools/ infrastructure and educational formats, the projects envision a (post-)digital culture in which notions of collaboration, free access to knowledge, sustainable use of shared resources, and data privacy are central. For the exhibition, each of the projects created a unique score to present their practice. Curated by Shusha Niederberger, Cornelia Sollfrank, Felix Stalder.


Creating Commons

The research project Creating Commons took place between 2017 and 2019 and was based at Zürich University of the Arts. The research conducted by Felix Stalder, Cornelia Sollfrank and Shusha Niederberger explored the relationship between digital commons and art by exploring 15 durational (post-)digital artistic projects. Funded by SNF.


Caring Instead of Owning: About Intangible Commons

Berlin / April 2019

A conversation between Marisella Ouma (KEN) and Cornelia Sollfrank (D), moderated by Lina Brion. The conversation about different concepts and traditions of a collaborative responsibility for intangible cultural heritage took place on the sidelines of the festival „Find the File“ in April 2019 at the House of World Cultures in Berlin, where both participated in a panel discussion about accessibility and reuse of archival material. German translation in: 100 Years of Copyright, Detlef Diederichsen and Lina Brion (eds.), Matthes & Seitz, Berlin.



Fürsorge statt Eigentum: Über immaterielle Commons

Berlin / April 2019

Ein Gespräch zwischen Marisella Ouma (KEN) und Cornelia Sollfrank (D), moderiert von Lina Brion. Das Gespräch über verschiedene Konzepte und Traditionen einer gemeinschaftlichen Verantwortung für immaterielles kulturelles Erbe fand am Rande des Festivals „Find the File“ im April 2019 im Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin auf Englisch statt, wo beide an einer Diskussionsrunde über Zugänglichkeit und Wiederverwendung von Archivmaterial teilnahmen. ‎ Deutsche Übersetzung in: 100 Jahre Copyright, ‎Detlef Diederichsen und Lina Brion (Hrsg.), Matthes & Seitz, Berlin.


interview, research

Experimenting with Institutional Formats. Interview with Laurence Rassel

House of Electronic Arts / Basel / 15 June 2018

In this interview, Laurence Rassel talks about her work with and inside institutions as emerging through continuous communal practice. She discusses the importance of feminist thinking, open-source technology culture, and Institutional Psychotherapy for her work of making an institution a practice of all of those involved, or in her words: instituting. Conducted by Cornelia Sollfrank as part of the Creating Commons research project.

exhibition, project

Commons Lab

Montréal / 2017

Commons Lab took place in 2017 at Studio xx in Montréal. It was a space for exploring issues that arise at the intersection of +feminism+digital+art+commons. A strong visual language created the framework within which workshops and screenings took place. In-person and group conversations reflected and tested tools and techniques of collaboration, and produced and shared knowledge and skills. Special attention was given to the collaboration between local and translocal actors.

Project website:

interview, project

GWYDH – Giving What You Don’t Have

On the basis of filmed interviews, GWYDH collects and presents statements from artists whose work contributes to the production and preservation of digital commons. Artistic research project commissioned by the Post-Media Lab, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany, 2013. Participants: Sean Dockray, Kenneth Goldsmith, Dmitry Kleiner, Marcell Mars, Piracy Project, Femke Snelting.