Distinguished speaker – Cornelia Sollfrank

Art and Speculative Commons

March 27th 2017 7PM

In times of constant economic and ecological crisis the global commons movement is growing in search for bottom-up solutions. In the most general sense, commons can be described as alternative modes of ownership and collective ways of dealing with resources. The suggested definition of the commons allows for distinguishing between goods, people and social relations and to understand them, at the same time, as integral parts of the commons as social institution. These distinctions do not work for all Commons equally, but they provide a useful set of references for analysis.

In her lecture, German artist Cornelia Sollfrank will give an introduction to the concept of the commons, however, putting an emphasis on digital commons. In the center of her investigations is the question of what artists can contribute to digital commons. The lecture will introduce Sollfrank’s ongoing research on art and commons and discuss specific artworks as examples. Each of the works addresses specific questions and embodies experimental and fragmentary solutions to the questions posed by neoliberal enclosures. Art here functions as a speculative tool; it thrives on imagination and aims to create spaces for discussion and debate about alternative ways of being, and to inspire and encourage people’s imaginations.

The lecture takes place in relation to Sollfrank’s exhibition COMMONS CLINIC at Studio XX and to a lecture at the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at McGill University.

Cornelia Sollfrank: COMMONS LAB is supported by the Goethe-Institut, and presented as part of “Germany@Canada 2017 – Partners from Immigration to Innovation”.

With Hexagram members :

Sandeep Bhagwati
Erin Manning
André Éric Létourneau

Concordia University
1515, Sainte-Catherine West
11th floor, local EV 11.705
Engineering and Visual Arts Complex
Montréal (Québec)


Studied painting at the Academy for Fine Arts in Munich (Prof. Helmut Sturm/SPUR) and Fine Arts at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg (Prof. Berhard Johannes Blume). Since the mid 90s, the hacker, cyberfeminist, conceptual and net.artist, Cornelia Sollfrank has been investigating world-wide communication networks and transfering subversive artistic strategies of the classical Avantgardes into the digital medium. Her special interest lies in experimenting with new models of authorship, in continuing all sorts of artistic appropriation, and in deconstructing myths around geniality and originality, Automatically Generated Authorship, audio play (2004). Another focus of her work deals with collaboration, networking, and communication as artistic practices. Within this context Sollfrank is co-editor of the online magazine for art and critique, THE THING Hamburg. Furthermore many of her works—implicitly or explicitly—include a gender-specific approach. In 2006 Sollfrank started the series revisiting feminist art where she repeats early positions of feminist art. She is also founder member of the female artists’ group “Frauen und Technik” and “-Innen;” founder-member of Old Boys Network.


Cette publication est également disponible en : Français (French)