neil cummings

new economics

I was invited by microsillons to contribute to Communes évidences. The invitation was to respond to the question


via a short text...


We need a diverse economics that can begin to value, account and circulate the things necessary for all our wellbeing. An economics able to integrate the needs of animals, bacteria, plants, and minerals. And forms of governance capable of securing for these entities a commons of, amongst other things; air, water, knowledge, nutrients, energy and soil. An economics of planetary scale mutualism

We will need new currencies to exchange the things these ecologies value; currencies such as carbon, creativity, generosity and care.

If our economics cannot secure common health and well-being, and cannot protect and regenerate our biosphere, it’s worthless. No, worse than worthless, extinctive.

Communes évidences is a result from a long process of research by microsillons around the work of the Brazilian critical pedagogue Paulo Freire.  They took as a starting point a cartoon of Freire on the cover of Risk from 1975 under the title Pilgrims of the obvious drawn by his friend Claudius Ceccon. He's depicted as a pilgrim carrying a bundle of his belongings wrapped in fabric and tied to a stick. The bundle is captioned DE-SCHOOLING

Produced in the early moments of the Covid produced pandemic in March 2020, microsillons have printed on table-cloth sized fabric all the responses generated by the question. They imagine the fabric  as a tool to develop reflections on the methods, contexts and objectives of education.

Contributors include:

Jorgge Menna Barreto, Anna Barseghian, Marie-Avril Berthet, Mabe Bethônico, Cécile Boss, Marsha Bradfield, Manolo Callahan, Alejandro Cevallos, Mathilde Chénin, Greg Clément, David Cross, Neil Cummings, Pierre-Luc Darnaud, Caroline Dayer, Kadiatou Diallo, Ria Dunkley, Elizabeth Ellsworth, Elvira Fabregat, Harrell Fletcher, Isabelle Fremeaux/John Jordan, Aurélien Gamboni, Axelle Grégoire, Isabel Guerrero, Hugo Hemmi, Charlotte Hess, Tim Ingold, KimyiBo, Derrick Kitto, Chantal Küng, Adeline Lépine, Tyson Lewis, Pablo Martínez, Hélène Mateev, Mathieu Menghini, Charlotte Morel, Fred Moten/Stefano Harney, Pascal Nicolas-Le Strat, Nicolás Paris, Christiane Perregaux, Irène Pereira, Marie Preston, Marcos Reigota, RELAX (chiarenza & hauser & co), Marlène Rigler, Vaughn Sadie, Anna Schürch, Gregory Sholette/Agata Craftlove (collective THEMM!), Rike Sitas, Gayathri Chakravorty Spivak, Tilo Steireif, Nora Sternfeld, Kuba Szreder, trafo.K (Renate Höllwart, Elke Smodics), Sophie Vögele, Laura von Niederhäusern, Faith Wilding, Sascha Willenbacher



#TransActing currency

The table-cloth fabric will be used by microsillons as a learning device and can also be lent and travel without them. A booklet wrapped in the cloth bundle explains its genealogy and suggests guidelines for its use, it also includes a full translation of the contributions in English and French.

Here's an extract of the guidelines to the method...


The cloth bundle invites participants to read, think, reread, rethink and transform the perspective of a given group in the learning situation they are participating in.

- Deployed, the cloth serves as a tablecloth or on the ground around which the group (maximum 15 people) meets. The first face shown is patterned with keywords.

- Each person present chooses a keyword.

- The cloth is turned over and each person finds the quotation that corresponds to his or her selected keyword.

- The quotations are read aloud by each person. The stick of the bundle is used as a relay to give the floor to the person speaking, and also links the quotation to its author.

The complete guidelines and method can be found at microsillons

My response was based on a short text I wrote about the possibility of re-imagining the world in common for Distributed in 2018.


Related events include developing currencies, a manifesto for Generosity and an Anthropocene walk in Geneva


46.2089, 6.1413

Boulevard James-Fazy 15
1201 Genève

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