learning from the commons, por stefan laxness

26 Jan

to 27 Apr

free admission

galeria zero


Across Europe, a growing number of local communities are claiming the right to transform the landscape of the areas for the benefit of the community. These projects respond to the marginalisation, and the ever-increasing threat posed by climate change. Composed of images, videos and interviews collected while travelling, Learning from the commons (2023) acts as an ecological atlas that explores the relationship between villages and the landscape. From the clearing of invasive tree species from common land to the communal harvesting of rye, this work explores the role that these collective practices play in restoring social and ecological relationships. This atlas overlaps these ecological events with the observation of an eucalyptus clearing action, filmed whilst using a balloon equipped with open-source environmental detection cameras. Navigating slowly between falling trees and moving bodies, the device produces a sensory walk that incorporates images of three landscape interventions, organised by the communities of Montescola (Froxán, Spain), Campo do Gerês (Serra do Gerês, Portugal) and Veredas da Estrela (Figueiró da Serra and Freixo da Serra, Portugal).
A researcher and artist, Stefan Laxness has a doctoral scholarship from the Landscape and Urban Studies Institute (LUS) at the University of Zurich, where he studies landscape restoration initiatives carried out by local communities. He also taught at the Architectural Association in London and was project leader at Forensic Architecture.

work made in 2023, from an artist’s residency at laboral – centro de arte y criación industrial, in gijón (spain)


LABoral logo


european media art platform is a project co-funded by the european union


this piece is part of the emap perspective #1 exhibition 

support portuguese republic – culture / directorate-general for the arts. rtcp – network of portuguese theatres and cinemas

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