Undoing Property? by Lewandowska and Ptak

Undoing Property? is a wonderful project, the final piece of which is a book edited by Marysia Lewandowska and Laurel Ptak (2013). Anyone familiar with my note-taking style will see that Lewandowska and Ptak have used my notes to "set the scene for the rest of the book's contributions. [As] a great connective space reflecting our first discussion" (Lewandowska 2013).  It is more than a little surreal to see my notes remediated in this way, especially considering the pathways that mediation took, from initial discussion in The Showroom, through pen, paper and hand to large scale digital scanner, through email to Sweden where Konst & Teknik digitally edited the file and placed it within the digital book, and then on to Sternberg Press who then printed the book onto paper ready for distribution physically. Below, the mediated circuit is re-presented using photographs taken by Lewandowska which were digitally distributed through WeTransfer and email. The following set of images also, incidentally, reminds me of the Google Books scans with the inclusion of fingers :-)

Undoing Property? 

Undoing Property? examines complex relationships of ownership that exist inside art, culture, political economy, immaterial production, and the public realm today. In its pages artists and writers address aspects of computing, curating, economy, ecology, gentrification, music, publishing, piracy, and much more.  Property shapes all social relations. Its invisible lines force separations and create power relations felt through the unequal distribution of what otherwise is collectively produced value. Over the last few years the precise question of what should be privately owned and publicly shared in society has animated intense political struggles and social movements around the world. In this shadow the publication’s critical texts, interviews and artistic interventions offer models of practice and interrogate diverse sites, from the body, to the courtroom, to the server, to the museum. The book asks why propertisation itself has changed so fundamentally over the last few decades and what might be done to challenge this. The book is a result of a four-year collaboration between London-based artist Marysia Lewandowska and New York-based curator Laurel Ptak. It is produced by Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm, Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht, and The Showroom and published by Sternberg Press.

Undoing Property?
Edited by Marysia Lewandowska, Laurel Ptak
Contributions by: Agency, David Berry, Nils Bohlin, Sean Dockray, Rasmus Fleischer, Antonia Hirsch, David Horvitz, Mattin, Open Music Archive, Matteo Pasquinelli, Claire Pentecost, Florian Schneider, Matthew Stadler, Marilyn Strathern, Kuba Szreder, Marina Vishmidt.
Design by Konst & Teknik
Published by Sternberg Press
169 x 239 mm, 256 pages, 30 b/w illustrations, library-bound hardcover
ISBN 978-3-943365-68-9

Undoing Property? is produced in the context of the programme COHAB, a two-year collaboration between Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht, Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm, and The Showroom. COHAB is supported by a Cooperation Measures grant from the European Commission Culture Programme (2007-2013).


Lewandowska, M. (2013) @berrydm it's setting the scene for the rest of the book's contributions. A great connective space reflecting our first discussion. Thanks., Twitter, accessed 30/6/2013, https://twitter.com/screened_out/status/351438371240951810

Lewandowska, M. and Ptak, L. (2013) Undoing Property?, Berlin: Sternberg Press.


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