In a time when the use and abuse of communication channels have led to a saturated context, a proliferation of information and an overwhelming division between theoretical discourse and the reality of action, launching a new publication may seem paradoxical. However, a diverse economy of textual and printed matters is necessary, more than ever, to generate critical forms of engagement. The recent events in Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt, as well as the student protests in the UK and elsewhere have shown us that the organization and use of information systems are essential for new forms of action. …ment is the result of a common intention to contribute to this potential space of engagement and critical discourse, by giving voice to dissonant opinions and approaches. This space, like a meeting point, addresses the sphere of the possible, the horizon. …ment, as a title for the publication and project, expresses our desire for setting in motion what surrounds us. “-ment” is the suffix used to form nouns and verbs that express the idea of process, a state or condition, the means or instruments of an action or the place of an action itself.
This first issue reflects on the crisis of the welfare state and/or system, alongside the crisis of a post-capitalist society. Looking at notions of civic participation, populism and the increasingly capitalized infrastructures of education, space and creativity, this issue presents a spectrum of recent debates and propositions in these fields. While we want to investigate contemporary (and older) discourses on the limitation of governmental policies, we also aim at envisaging the possible responses in terms of cultural, educational and activist organizations. While Franco Bifo Berardi, Margit Mayer, Pia Bolognesi and Markus Miessen shed some light on recent developments and ideas in political, social, aesthetic and spatial theories, Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition (1958) traces back to the philosopher’s notion of the “collective nature of labour” and Charles Knevitt give an introduction to an architecture of welfare state.
Furthermore, London based artist Patrick Coyle proposes a series of found images in response to the theme of the journal. Finally, collective initiatives such as DOXA, The Public School or The University for Strategic Optimism demonstrate a great desire to experiment with alternative modes of organizing, working and living together. How can non-profit initiatives survive under the pressure of neoliberal and free-market policies? How is social action valorized and to which end? How does the institution contribute to the formation of civility, and what can (still) be expected from the state? These are some of the interrogations that we face and want to tackle.