Common Income is a research and pilot project on the possibility of sharing income within (not only) the arts. It was started in Spring 2021 after being selected as A Fair New Idea ?! and awarded 12.000 euro by Kunstenpunt. Also State Of The Arts (SOTA) is supporting it.
Even for ourselves, this ‘what exactly’ is still an open question. What will our concrete project look like? We aim to find an answer by the end of 2022, to experiment it in 2023. By now, we (only) have some guiding principles for that expected result:
- linking artists and non-artists (beyond only the arts)
- an equal exchange of ‘wealth’ (beyond charity)
- money as a tool for social exchange (beyond purely financial transactions)
- the possibility to mainstream it (beyond a unique one time experiment)
- with a manageable scale between people (beyond anonymous mass redistribution)
Thinking about that last point: what is striking about several other inspiring initiatives of sharing income is that they redistribute money to a group that is not too large and therefore identifiable. Their participants share one or more characteristics (one place, one status, one environment, one trading product, one profession…), but at the same time make a collective strength out of their (financial) differences.
Also with Common Income, we aim for this mix. Precisely because we find this social-private dimension so important.
Common Income was initiated by six artists, researchers and engaged citizens, but is open to more people.
Anna Rispoli (1974) works as an artist across the boundaries of the artistic creation with the civil space, making a performative use of the urban fabric in order to explore the relationship between humans, cities, identities and the affective implications of commoning. This resulted in projects such as Les marches de la Bourse,Your word in my mouth, Close Encounters, A certain value… Since 2018 Anna Rispoli is part of the Common Wallet, a radical prototype interweaving shared economy and kinship into a “polyamorist relationship with money”. She’s also part of the working group ‘Art for UBI’ within the School of Radical Imagination.
Justine Maxelon (1985) is dancer and performer, working around notions of listening, care and the relation between voice, body and its surroundings. After graduating from IWANSON dance school in Munich, she worked as a dancer, performer and dramaturg for artists such as Mette Edwardsen, Daniel Linehan, Benjamin Vandewalle, Alma Söderberg, Cie Soit… In 2015 she developed with Caroline Daish and Michel Yang the body-voice practice oracle. Currently, she is also involved in the project ‘de Ambulanten: kunst voor zorg voor kunst’ and is a core member of activist initiatives such as State of the Arts, Engagement, SOS Relief and Door to Door.
Kopano Maroga (1994) is performance artist, writer and cultural worker, living and working as a curator and dramaturg at Kunstencentrum Vooruit in Ghent. They published in the Mail & Guardian, ArtThrob, rekto:verso, Indent, Contemporary&, 20:35 Africa,Bubblegum Club… and have worked as a dancer and performer for Underground Dance Theatre, Nicola Elliott, Kristina Johnstone and Neil Coppen. They are currently working on their own performance, written and spoken word based works.Their debut poetry anthology, Jesus Thesis and Other Critical Fabulations, was released in 2020 through uHlanga Press.
Leontien Allemeersch (1995) is freelance curator and project collaborator, focusing on theatre, participation and in-situ art. In 2018 she graduated as master in the arts at KASK, Ghent (Autonomous Design). She initiated the nomadic project Kunstenplatform PLAN B, supporting artists in in-situ projects in a rural context. Currently she’s working in De Koer in Ghent, a space for collective practices and organisational structures. She also works as a gallery assistant in KIOSK and was programmer Young Work at Theater Aan Zee. Her interest in ‘common income’ starts from her drive to develop concrete pilot projects.
Thomas Decreus (1984) teaches political philosophy at Tilburg University. He studied history and philosophy at KU Leuven, but also got into literature. His PhD thesis in 2014 was about political representation mechanisms, followed by books as Dit is morgen (EPO, 2016 – with Christophe Callewaert) en Spektakeldemocratie (EPO, 2020). For several years he worked as a journalist and editor at DeWereldMorgen.be and was teaching at the Higher Institute of Philosophy (Leuven). As a citizen, he organized the SHAME-demonstration in 2011 and was involved in Occupy and Vooruit Group. He did some research on the concept of basic income.
Wouter Hillaert (1978) is teaching at the Conservatoire Antwerp and works as a cultural journalist, dramaturg and researcher. For 15 years he has been working as a freelance theatre critic for the Flemish daily newspapers De Morgen and De Standaard, and was part of the core team of cultural magazine rekto:verso on arts and society. As a citizen he initiated the Flemish anti-austerity movement Hart boven Hard in 2014. Today, he’s involved in the artist platform State Of The Arts (SOTA) and in projects like Door to Door, Move Your Money and In My Name. He’s also co-president of Folio, the platform of 40 cultural magazines in Flanders.