To publish an article in a journal, especially a peer-reviewed journal, requires the identification of the name of the author or the names of several authors. How to deal with this requirement if the subject of that article is commoning? In other words, if that article is trying to explore the potentialities, and also limitations, of what it might mean to come together in a multiplicity of voices?
This contribution is the result of an ongoing struggle to negotiate the concept of a singular authorship; it is a reflection on the minor successes and manifold failures to expand, implode and reconfigure the idea of an author by taking seriously the acknowledgement that any project, and a project on commoning in particular, is nourished by innumerous sources, most of which are rendered invisible when an article is submitted. The text is an effort to spell out the contributions and take seriously the many, often tenacious and augmented, strata of offerings that allowed our reflection on the commons to solidify.
Who are these multiple voices, and how to be attentive to the flux of these voices moving in and out of the project over time? We all met in Vienna, Austria or Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (either living there or visiting). The framework of this encounter was a research project funded by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF 2014–2016) entitled ‘Spaces of Commoning. Artistic Practices, Urban Commons and Visions of Change’. The project provided financial support for four researchers (part-time): Mara Verlic from Vienna, Austria, Annette Krauss from Utrecht, Netherlands, Vladimir Miller from Berlin, Germany and Hong Kai Wang from Taipeh, Taiwan. The project also affiliated three employees of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna: Stefan Gruber, Anette Baldauf and Moira Hille, as well as Julia Wieger, who didn’t receive any financial support during the first year but was employed in the second year by the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.