Domingos (1994-1998), is one of Ribas's best known series. It examines family leisure time in Barcelona's urban wastelands: picnics, games, relaxation, strolling, siestas and family gatherings in housing estates and sites that are yet to be developed. All of the images focus on spaces that have not been codified by urban logic, and have become enclaves of social creativity.

Various authors analyse the potential of a new socio-political system based on the common, cooperation, solidarity and the abolition of hierarchies. The book addresses the ideas behind ‘future’ communisms: it questions the Soviet project and supports forms of relating based on solidarity, while defining new concepts of wellbeing and the necessary feminisation of the public sphere. It includes seven essays proposing policies concerned with new utopias.

In 1999 Antoni Abad (Lleida, 1956) launched the online art project Z: a digital fly that users can download onto their computers, and which then roams freely through their desktops whenever they are online. Z spreads through the net, creating a community of Internet users who are interconnected through their flies.

The fall of the Berlin Wall in autumn 1989 appeared to confirm the arrival of unwavering capitalism. And yet the 1990s, which were ostensibly aimed at celebrating capitalist democracies, saw the beginnings of a host of counterculture activist movements that used collective dissent to challenge neoliberal individualism. The artists of this decade were also characterised by an interest in collectivism as part of a so-called “social about-face”. They possessed a renewed interest in creative forms that sought to create situations and spaces in which moments of community, generosity and protest could occur rather than the production of objects. They in some ways appeared to have once again picked up the loose thread of the sixties and seventies, with their drive for social change. It is nonetheless worth questioning the role of these practices within neoliberalism now that they are seen in a different context.  

megafone.net pioneers the exploration of other possible social and communicative uses for mobile phone technologies, which were in wide use at the end of the last century.

Created in 2004, megafone.net has remained active until 2014, not only running parallel to the purely technical transformations of the mobile phone, but also questioning the very different cultural realities and the varied economic and political contexts. This transformed the project into a real observatory of experiences and positions on the voice of the community and its various problems.

Son[i]a #287 Sofia Olascoaga
08.05.2019

Artist, curator and researcher Sofía Olascoaga gives an overview of the activist history of Cuernavaca, a small city, around 80km south of Mexico City, which from the 1950s to the 1980s attracted several generations of intellectuals and activists, and reflects on how community and self-managed spaces can drive social change, while also looking at the processes of cultural and institutional colonisation by the West in Latin America.

RADIOACTIVITY #6 Xarxa de Ràdios Comunitàries de Barcelona (XRCB)
12.11.2019

We talk to Efraín Foglia, founding member of guifi.net and researcher, teacher, and designer of physical and digital interaction platforms, about the challenges of the XRCB project and about how radio is spilling over into the digital world. And we do so from the perspective of our context, honing in on specific instances of radio activism and experimentation: from the struggles for telecommunication infrastructure, free radio, and FM advocacy to community radio stations in Latin America, by way of digital communities and the internet radio boom.

Son[i]a #302 Manuel Sanfuentes on Amereida and Ciudad Abierta
26.11.2019

The Chilean poet Manuel Sanfuentes talks about Amereida, which emerged from a journey undertaken by a group of poets, architects, and philosophers from Tierra del Fuego to Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, in the course of 1965. Years later, the experience resulted in Ciudad Abierta, a series of experimental, imagined, collaboratively-built constructions and practices jutting out of vast expanse of dunes, estuaries, and gorges bordering on the Pacific Ocean.

While there are ideas about psychological and emotional developmental processes held within the sculptures I make, the things themselves are actual physical explorations into thinking, feeling, communicating and relating.
Karla Black