Control of the Commons

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Throughout 2012 I co-founded and worked on Control of the Commons (CoC), a series of journeys exploring commons resources – and specifically human relationships with water. CoC incorporated boat and sail construction, slow travel, friendship building and community involvement.

My husband Tim Boykett and I built two boats from re-used materials with the help of volunteers in Port Adelaide, Australia and Linz, Austria. Subak and Subak 2 were used to sail, paddle and drift along along sections of the Murray River (Australia), the Danube (Austria) and the River Sevre and commercial canals of Belgium.

Subak and Subak 2 were designed to confront and delight onlookers. Once we had caught the attention of people we would tie up our boat and where possible have a chat and interview them.

Throughout these journeys the question “What would you do if you were boss of the river?” emerged as a useful entry in discussions of the commons.  These themes were continued in the 2015 project Boss of the River.

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