Making the commons visible

Posted on 26.11.2018

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has invited Invisible Dust to present our work in the first session on ‘The Commons’ as part of its annual ‘Istanbul Innovation Days’. 350 people from across Eurasia, South East Asia, South America and Africa are taking part.

In the UK the commons historically is where villagers used to graze livestock, a shared piece of ground for everyone in the village to use. In modern day use the commons is the enabling of a new technological shared space in which we can develop new collaborative governance models. This session starts the conversation of democracy in the future, how can we preserve sustainability, human rights and peace with the technological revolution about to take place.

The session will ask who is going to make decisions over our local or national policy in the future with artificial intelligence, technological disruption and climate change related risks? An example might be how are we going to control air pollution or polluting companies in the future, will there be requirements not to pollute before companies are allowed to locate in an area, is this a better method than a national law which is continually being flouted?

Invisible Dust Director and Curator Alice Sharp will be speaking about how we make the invisible visible. Discussing how Invisible Dust works with artists to create artworks around science on themes such as air pollution, the oceans, biodiversity and climate change. She will speak about how artists work in a specific way and reach people on a personal level with their art. Scientists are concerned with universal truths (e.g. 2+2=4 wherever you are in the world). Science is hugely powerful for example climate change affects us all in what ever country or town we live in, but it cannot be personal and rarely affects our emotions. The successful collaboration between artists and scientists that Invisible Dust creates enables the art that has drawn from the science in an original and intriguing way to reach large public audiences but also affects us on a personal level. An example is ‘Human Sensor’ by Kasia Molga and recent ‘Encounters’ project with Ahilapalapa Rands and Fiona Macdonald (Feral Practice).

Alongside Invisible Dust Speakers include Michel Bauwens, Founder of P2P, Gregory landau & Daniel Swid of Regen Network and Marco Poletto EcoLogic.

Istanbul Innovation Days take place 27th and 28th November, sessions start with a provocation and include experimenters to get involvement from the audience. The other sessions include Migration and statelessness and Sci fi writers and Governance all with an underpinning of discourse around technology, democracy, climate change, the Sustainable Development Goals and how we prepare for the future.

Please see website for more details:

The event was recorded and is now available to watch online:




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