Furthermore, as we have seen, in the history of the Native commons we find the best, most concrete example of a commoning use of resources realized without any private property claim or exclusionary regulations.(…) According to Allen, the value Native people placed on freedom, lack of hierarchies, and egalitarian relations has been a major source of influence on not only socialist thought in Europe and America, but especially American feminism, an influence symbolically evoked by the gathering of the first feminist conference in the United States on what had been Indian land: Seneca Falls.
It is not, thus, a pure coincidence that the first reconstruction of a territory on the continent organized on the principle of the commons was realized by Native Americans- the Zapatistas- or that the Women’s revolutionary Law is central to their constitution, establishing a broad range of women’s rights that is unprecedented in any country.
The Women’s Revolutionary Law was adopted in the 1992 at the time of the Zapatista uprising. It stipulates seven key women’s rights, including the right to participate in the revolutionary struggle, as they desire and need to, to work and receive a just salary, to decide how many children they will have and care for, to participate in the affairs of the community and hold positions of authority, if freely and democratically elected, to education, to choose their partner, and to primary attention in matters of health and nutrition. (For the text of the Law see Zapatistas! documents of the new Mexican revolution (December 31, 1993-June 12, 1994. Brooklyn:Autonomedia 1994)
from Beneath the United States, The Commons
Introduction: Why Commons?
At least since the Zapatistas took over the Zócalo in San Cristobal de las Casas on December 31, 1993 to protest legislation dissolving the ejidal lands of Mexico, the concept of ‘the commons’ has been gaining popularity among the radical left internationally and in the U.S., appearing as a basis for convergence among anarchists, Marxists, socialists, ecologists, and ecofeminists.(…) The new enclosures’ have also made visible a world of communal properties and relations that many had believed to be extinct or had not valued until threatened with privatization.
(…) In this context the idea of the common/s has offered a logical and historical alternative to both the state and the private property and the state and the market, enabling us to reject the fiction that they are mutually exclusive and exhaustive of our political possibilities.
from Feminism and the Politics of the Commons in an Era of Primitive Accumulation
As the boundaries between art’s inside and outside become less clear, meaning and authorship become more collective and distributed. In a participatory paradigm, for instance, completeness is no longer possible, desirable, or taken for granted. The artist’s role as theoretician and archivist further disrupts boundaries between art production and its documentation, and therefore does the same to the traditional hierarchies between artists, critics, and art historians.