Common Pool - Nicolas Grenier

Common Pool poster, 2020 © Nicolas Grenier

Nicolas Grenier ( Canada )

The projects on which he worked during his residency at ZK/U are part of an ongoing research on power structures and economic systems. His practice is based on translating complex systems into tangible forms, such as architecture, urban planning, diagrams and economic experiments. In parallel with his “visual” work, he also began to adopt a more interventionist approach, and to make works that are directly engaged in an economic and socio-ecological transition.

Here at ZK/U he has been working on questionnaires and surveys that invite people to map their position in regard to existential questions about the future. This work involves analysing answers collected in the past exhibitions as well as creating new online questionnaires for upcoming exhibitions. In parallel with this investigative work, he began building a prototype for an experimental economic system under the working title “Common Pool”. Presently in its early phase of development, Common Pool will be a network to circulate a wide variety of resources in a spirit of mutual aid, reciprocity and equity. They (his collaborators Ludovic Cléroux, Amanda Vincelli and I) are currently building Common Pool as a web platform, and their goal is to create a scalable network structured in groups, in which individuals can request, give and exchange objects, services and other resources without using money. The system they are building combines the practicality of time banking, the flexibility of a gift economy, and the civic engagement involved in the practice of commoning. They want to develop the system as a toolkit that could be used and adapted by any community group, while remaining compatible across all participating groups. Their long-term goal is to make a functional, practical, accessible and mainstream economic tool that challenges the core principles of capitalism — individualism, competition, monetary valuation, etc.

Mapping Exercise, 2020 © Nicolas Grenier
Mutual Exposure Study, 2020 © Nicolas Grenier
Scaling Structure Study, 2020 © Nicolas Grenier