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Ph.d.-forsvar — A practice-based investigation into community-driven relationships with land in New Zealand built from artistic projects. The thesis introduces the notion of spatial commoning.
Date & Time:
This event is being held online organised by Victoria University of Wellington.
Those in Copenhagen can join the screening in room Tingbjerg at KU: Tingbjerg, 1st floor, Fronthouse, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Frederiksberg C
Science, IGN, Landscape Architecture and Planning Section X
Sophia Charlotte Rose Jerram is defending her thesis:
Spatial commoning in Aotearoa New Zealand – Curating inclusive spaces
Associate Professor Peter Connolly, Victoria University of Wellington (NZ)
Associate Professor Bettina Lamm, University of Copenhagen, IGN (DK)
Professor Conal McCarthy, Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) – Chair
Professor Stavros Stavrides, National Technical University of Athens (GR)
Associate Professor Natalie Gulsrud, University of Copenhagen, IGN, (DK)
Senior Lecturer Catherine Trundle, LaTrobe University, Melbourne (AUS)
A practice-based investigation into community-driven relationships with land in New Zealand built from artistic projects. The thesis introduces the notion of spatial commoning.
The ability for community actors to come together to collectively occupy, and share space in an open network commons, with a view to a sustained presence, must be intentional. In this thesis, I explore as a curator-practitioner how three projects, which began through artistic initiatives, had varying levels of success in generating sustained community commons. I ask how: does the practice of curating assist with longer and more open experiences of community building, within specific sites? What must this practice, that I call spatial commoning, need to navigate in a settler colonial context?
After several years as a curator of social art practice, and broker of temporary spaces for artists and communities within urban landscapes, I observed a long-term trend toward enclosure of community and social spaces by market forces. Yet while cities are being enclosed by commercial interests in Aotearoa/New Zealand, certain Indigenous customary lands are gaining legal status outside the bounds of ownership.
Through investigative encounters with activist movements in Europe I took a commons framework based on civic use and moral rights to imagine a longer-term approach to community building with artists. However, importing a commons approach within a settler colony risks usurping existing Indigenous claims to land. This practice requires self-scrutiny as a Pakeha (non-Indigenous New Zealander). The thesis research was eventually developed using three cases from my own practice in Aotearoa/New Zealand within urban, suburban and forest settings and in investigation from a community-led perspective. In aiming to understand what it takes to occupy a site within community, for the long term and for a wide range of people, I point to the relationships between forces of political, legal, artistic and spatial levers and propose a three-phase practice approach to spatial commoning that requires the understanding of spatial forces as well as the building of a conscious community.
A digital version of the PhD thesis can be obtained from the PhD Secretary email@example.com