The Laboratory of Common Interest is a long-term work by Fiona Woods, part of her research project, Free*Space situated in Limerick city. This is a complex collaborative work through which matters of common interest and modes of commoning are explored.
The Laboratory of Common Interest is co-produced with individuals and groups across the city, including artists, activists, women's groups, men's shed, academics, students and small businesses. Developed over a period of 18 months, the work explores themes of alternative economies, modes of commoning and the politics of bodies, inspired by the centenary of the Limerick soviet.
The Laboratory took the form of a public event-space (April 15th - 27th), comprised of formal and informal events, organised on the principal of mutual benefit. Discussions, workshops, printmaking events, visual presentations, mapping actions, a temporary 'currency', peer exchange sessions, screenings, a pamphlet library, a sourdough-kneading session, an interlocutor's station, actions in public space, a chai ceremony and political board games make up the programme. The event-space was hosted by FabLab Limerick.
The actions that took place during the event-space were oriented towards making space to test modes of production and exchange shaped by values of Commonism, a paradigm through which it might be possible to organise against the necro-politics of Ecocide Capitalism (the problem). The results of these actions are measured against the emergence of ongoing practices of commoning and/or commonist activism.
The work also explored an idea of social choreography, a way of thinking about the spaces between people, objects, events, discourses, which does not have participants but only co-producers.