Panel Seminar: DIY Urbanism? Mapping the Commons

Date/Time: 25/11/2015 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

‘Smart Cities Dumb Maps’

In these first four sessions of the new Livingmaps Seminar series we will be developing a critical reading of the ‘smart city’ agenda and exploring ways in which digital mapping and other technologies could be mobilised or transformed to serve as platform for democratic action.

Discussion 2: ‘DIY Urbanism? Mapping the Commons’

Panel: Max Colson, Massimo De Angeles, Alberto Duman

In this third session of the series the panel will explore issues and strategies that have emerged from the first two presentations to look at  ‘d-i-y urbanism’ and ways to map the contested cultural spaces of the new digital commons.

Max Colson’s photography based practice playfully manipulates the techniques used to advertise controlled urban environments, whilst also speculating on how paranoia can be caused by the reality of contemporary security design. In 2014 his work was recognised by the Leverhulme Trust with a ten month artist in residence grant in collaboration with the UCL Urban  Laboratory, followed by a first UK solo exhibition at the RIBA. His work has been exhibited at the Slade, at Brighton Photo Fringe and at C/O Berlin and in many of the UK’s leading art photography publications. He is a graduate of the MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography from the London College of Communication.

Massimo De Angelis is Professor of Political Economy and Development and co-director of the Centre for Social Justice and Change. He has a Laurea in Political Sciences (Universita’ Statale di Milano 1985) and a PhD in Economics (University of Utah). His numerous publications discuss research on values, crisis, the critique of economics, social movements and alternative socio-economic systems. His current research is on commons. It is in the context of the ‘alter-globalisation’ movement that Massimo set up ‘The Commoner’ web journal aiming to bring together an international network of scholars and activists to develop a commons discourse without the field of power relations of contemporary capitalism.

Alberto Duman is an artist and University lecturer based in Hackney, London since 1997. He has received public art commissions and held residencies across the UK and Europe and has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton and University of the Arts. He is currently teaching Urban Studies at Middlesex University. Recent projects include: Decoder (2009), for the Sharjah Biennial 9, UAE, London Postcards (2007-ongoing), England & Co Gallery, London, Guggenheim Walthamstow (2005). See,



New Seminar Series from Livingmaps

‘Smart Cities Dumb Maps’ is the first set in a series of new Livingmaps Seminars for 2015-2016. We are changing the formula slightly. In order to achieve greater continuity and depth each term is organised around a specific theme under the general rubric of ‘Digital Humanities and the Cartographic Turn’. We will be exploring points of intersection created by the spatial turn in the various human sciences, the impact of digital mapping technologies on the presentation of different kinds of data, and the emergence of new arts and community based practices of critical cartography:

  • Autumn Term: ‘Smart Cities Dumb Maps’ (all seminars at the Young Foundation)
  • Spring Term: ‘Waypoints and other Narrigations’ (all seminars at Birkbeck)
  • Summer Term: ‘Shape Shifters’ (all seminars at the Mayday Rooms)

Each term there will be two sessions with a lecture/discussant format followed by a dialogic seminar with a presenters panel bringing together people from different perspectives and practices, and ending with a hands-on workshop for people who want to develop or apply their cartographic skills in relation to the chosen theme. Please note that the lecture and seminar sessions will now normally take place on Wednesdays from 6 to 8 pm, and each block of events will be held at the same venue. The final workshops will be held at the Mayday Rooms on Saturday mornings.

Venue: The Young Foundation

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