Free*Space was a long-term project in Limerick city (2015 - 2021) that worked through dialogues, actions and events, organised in collaboration with others, to experiment with ways of producing spaces of common interest in the city. The title reflects both a concern and an intention: Free*Space developed as a response to forces of enclosure and extraction at work in urban space, and their impact on the social and spatial fabric of the city. Its actions were centred around a critique of the erosion of public space, and later of the economisation of space. It also proposed and enacted alternative ways of organising, through the lens of the Commons.
Free*Space created a set of infrastructures to support social actors, activists and advocates to come together and share views, practices and/or actions, working with poetic and political forms of world-making. Those actions are archived here: The Laboratory of Common Interest (2018 - 2019); Contested Sites #1 - #4 (2015 – 2019); Critical Cartographies 1 – 3 (2016 – 2018) and Free*Space Dialogues (2016 - 2019).
The Free*Space infrastructures were relational, conceptual, material and also digital; this platform operated as an online field journal for the duration of the research, logging informal conversations, formal dialogues, public consultations, collective making processes and meetings.
Filming by Lucia Pola, Contested Site #2, 2016
Free*Space was undertaken as the central component of my PhD research at GradCam, TU Dublin, 2015 - 2020, funded by the Fiosraigh Scholarship programme. Supervised by Dr Glenn Loughran and Prof. Noel Fitzpatrick at GradCam (2018 - 2020), and by Dr. Anthony Haughey and Dr. Alan Grossman at SEPR (2015 - 2017).
Old School Field, Contested Site #2, 2016