Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sandia y Melón: An Interview

The following is the transcript of an interview with Sandia Roja and Melón before their show opening at Howard Street Gallery. The show will be up for a month so check it out as soon as you can, it is really fantastic. Thanks to the artists for being so generous with their time, and candid with their commentary.

Melón y Sandia March 16, 2013

M: She is Sandia and we have known each other  and been good friends for a while and we thought it was kind of funny, you know, Sandia and Melon, Melon and Watermelon, you know? So at first when we met she was “are you melón? They call me Sandia” and I was like, “that’s weird.” So, that is how we met. Her artist name is Sandia Roja, so we decided to do a show together eventually and now, three or four years or something, now we are doing a show.

CB: How did you get access to this space?

M: Through Tony…I know him from the graffiti scene. Howard Street Gallery does a lot of graffiti venues and me being a graffiti artist he contacted me and said “Hey we want to do a show with you.” It was just going to be me, but I just did a show recently with Fonzo and Amuse, the one before was at Galerie F and the one after that was at Modest Skate shop in Forest Park, and I felt like it was too much, so I asked if there was another artist…and then I said “I think I might have someone…and she said ‘yeah.’” So here we are.

CB: {to sandia} So I am doing an interview for Sixty Inches from Center, are you familiar with them at all? They cover alternative art, street art, graffiti…so somehow I became facebook friends with Melon, and I like his work, and so I wanted to cover this opening. And so we are talking a little bit about how the show came together, I’d really like it if you could talk a bit about the piece you are most excited about…how it came into being.

S: Whew! The piece that I am most excited about…it is not here! {laughs} I forgot it at home. I am a teacher so we were doing visualization as a reading strategy at school. So I had to do a assignment of a guy, a little guy, closing his eyes with a bubble, a thinking bubble. And we were drunk, at night, and I started drawing it, and I was like, “This doesn’t look like anything kid like!” and it turned out to be a huge, long, colorful merman, and it said “Melón y Sandia” on the tail, really colorful, really cool.

M: Yeah, we collaborated on that.

CB: Have someone bring it at the last minute…like do a big excited drum roll.

S: Haha yeah, “And its here!” A drunken collaboration.

CB: Tell me a little about your style: where it came from, what influences you.

M: My style, hm. I think I have a graffiti, Chicago style. And my style pretty much evolved from that. And I think that me living out in Hawaii for about six years, I developed not only a style from taking the style I had from here to Chicago, and taking it to Hawaii and developing it into my own style and technique. I had a few friends that I was inspired by in Hawaii. We should show each other things, and it evolved to [the style I have] now. A lot of people say they don’t know, that they can’t tell where I am from from [looking at] my style. If you go to Hawaii, I would do a lot of triple auras and really thick outlines, and people were like. “Hey, why are you doing so many outlines?” …and I think working in the gallery, developing a [fine art] style really pushed my style to new heights…working between different worlds…

CB: How would you define graffiti versus gallery work?

M: Its tough. You have people that hate graffiti, but they like the styles…for me I like doing gallery work [too]…but with my graffiti…its almost like being selfish with my graffiti, I like to do my graffiti for me, and that’s pretty much it..that’s why my gallery work is different…but you can sell the style…

CB: We are talking about style, development of style. How would you describe yours?

S: I think Melón inspired me. I grew up with paint. My family, they are all painters, people going about their regular lives and also doing art. But it was a hobby. Then during University..I had a piece up called “Beautiful moment/woman (?)” and then I had an exhibition at Rainbow, and I was like, “You know what, I could…I could do this…” and then Melón came along and he inspired me with his cartoonish comics and that’s it. My style…I don’t know if I have a style. I like really up front solid lines. I love black and white. He inspired me to get away from doing black and white to doing color. And I went back to doing wood cuts, and I hadn’t done a wood cut in a while. I am excited about that piece! A skeleton in turquoise above Melón…

CB: The style to me, reminds me a lot of the engravings in Mexico, the pre-revolutionary stuff…

S: Yeah, that inspired me a lot. In my hometown, in Mexico, there is a really famous printer, Jose Guadelupe Posada, and that’s where the style of the skeletons came from. Maybe that’s my style!

M: Yeah, could be.

CB: So are you [to melon] from Chicago?

M: Grew up here, born and raise. And when I was 21, 22, I went into the service that’s how I ended up in Hawaii…

CB: Where did the name, “Melón” come from?

M: Oh, Melón is a name from a long time ago. I am Puerto Rican and Guatemalan and when I was a kid I couldn’t really say “Guatemalan” [instead] I would say “Watermelon” So some people thought that it was funny. So when my brother started doing graffiti, back in the late 80s, as soon as he started doing it, I fell in love with it.

CB: How old were you?

M: Oh man, I must have been 11 or 12 when I started. When I was 13 that’s when I got my name Melón. I had so many different names, and I kept bouncing around and was like “I don’t like it, I don’t like it.” Finally my brother was like, “Just write Melón!” Back then it was Melon. And I was like, oh yeah, Melon, exactly. It’s the shit! It just stayed with me.

CB: Where did “Sandia” come from?

S: When I was little they would make fun of me, saying, “Sandy, Sandia, Sandy.” Sandia is “watermelon” in Spanish and I would say “I’m not sandia! I’m not sandia!” and I just learned to embrace it, and I am Sandia. I guess. Its pretty cool that we are doing a show together because you know of the London Bridge song?

CB: London Bridge is Falling Down?

S: Yeah. There is a kinesthetic thing to it-movement- you hold hands…

M: And they have the same thing in Mexico!

CB: Can I take a picture of you guys doing that? {making the bridge with hands} Is that alright?

S: So the people, they go around in a like a chacha line, holding the shoulders instead of the waist and sing a song, “Melón y sandia…” and at the end it falls down, and whoever is in the middle has to choose a side, is it melon or is it sandia…

M: So the bridge is like, she is Sandia and I am Melón, and its like “Será Melón sera Sandia…”

CB: So like the same but different?

M: Yeah.

S: We had an idea of making it kind of political, are you Mexican or American, which side are you gonna pick? Because there is always that culture clash, am I Mexican? The [sense that] I am too American for the Mexicans and too Mexican for the Americans, but, we didn’t have time, so we just decided to have fun with it.

M: I think what it was is that with our work schedules, we both work full time jobs and trying to put that together…it was a lot of sleepless nights. Literally, just sleeping an hour or two and then going straight to work. 

CB: How long does it take to make one of your wood carvings?

S: I did the skeleton in one night. I ended up with cuts all over my hands. The next day my kids [at school] were like “You have boo-boos!” Yes I have lots of bo boos. But it was worth it. If I focus I am fast.

M: Yeah she is. I am slow.

S: He is very detail oriented, and sometimes I am like “Melón, move! Move! Move it!”

CB: There is something interesting in that yours [melon’s pieces] are so exacting and yours [sandia’s] have a sort of kinesthetic energy in the wood carving…

M: I think there is something really interesting to see how we were gonna make this look good. But I think we did a good job. I think one of my favorite pieces is one where we collaborated, we call it “City Bird” and it is a bird with a city inside of it and smoke coming out.

S: It was just a piece of wood, and I just found it on the street. I had taken a picture of a bird one day, and I thought, “Oh, this is a nice bird!” and I just drew the silhouette and it stayed on top of a dresser for a year or two. Then Melón came over one day and said “Oh we should do something with it,” and I said, “you can do whatever you want with it.” And he started painting it and I thought then we came together and I would say, “We could do this! Pshewwm Pshewwm Pshewwm!” And that we painted together. And that is a very cool piece.

M: Her words were “Let me interfere here,”

S: “Can I, Sandia-ize this?”

CB: What is your favorite piece form the show? [to Melon]

M: I think the one that I just put together, which is…

S: The Matador.

M: No, the Virgin Mary, or I don’t even know if it is the Virgin Mary or Guadelupe. I was looking at it, and it has the style of Guadelupe, but its got the sacred heart of Mary. And I was like “Wait, that doesn’t go together? Or should it?”

S: She is a virgin, period.

M: Yeah, she is a virgin, but I am fascinated with the Virgin Mary for some reason. I just think she is an interesting woman.

CB: In what way?

M: Well, one, she is a virgin. But also she is a powerful woman. People, she is an icon, and a lot of people look up to her. I don’t know anything about her, and I don’t know if I will ever be super religious but something about her is captivating…

CB: So I was just looking at the one, the woman in blue with the tiger, with no face…so what is the deal with [your pieces] not having faces?

M: Well, wow, at first it started with me trying to figure out how draw when you are a kid. You know how they teach you to do the face.

CB: Yeah, to do the proportions…

M: Yeah, the proportions. I felt like I was drawing and putting a face, and my ex wife asked me “Oh, who is that?” and I was like “no one in general.” And it dawned on me that if you put a face on a character automatically

S: It becomes somebody.

M: It becomes somebody. You are automatically categorizing somebody, that individual. I felt in that sense like not putting a face so that it could be anybody. And you also figure out…society bases a lot of beauty on a woman based on her looks, and I think that my fearless use of colors kind of adds to that beauty and I don’t need a to show that this woman is beautiful. Just look around her, and everything around her is beautiful. Some might call it soft, I call it being in touch with my feminine side I guess. But yeah. So and then after  a while it became my signature, and a lot of people recognize my work just based on that face.

S: I went to a street festival once, and a bunch of art stands, and I am just walking around, and was like “Wait a second, is that Melón?” because there was a painting with a character without a face and a cross and everything, and I called him immediately: “Hey, do you have a piece here?” and he said “No. I’ll be there in five!” Because it is trademarked right?

M: I did trademark a few of those drawings with the same exact face, now I am trying to get it more patented…

S: It wasn’t him, but the lady actually told him that she knew him and his work.

M: Yeah she said she knew and liked my work.

CB: That’s really interesting.

M: Yeah, I think it is always cool when you see somebody that does something similar to what you do. Similar but to me…some people might [have] the graffiti mentality and be like “that’s biter shit!” but you know, to me it is like, everything has been done or used in some way shape or form. So I think it is just influencing.  I think there is a saying that goes something like “Some great artists copy and better artists steal…” I don’t have it word for word but I think it is true. There are things that I say that I realized I can do it in my style and it develops…and every time you do a piece you see how it develops in the process and how is it going to turn out, and ask yourself how you will develop it. And you learn. So every time I do a piece I want it to be so that I learn from it.  I don’t want it just so that I paint it right away. I think learning from your pieces is always big, and my pieces are based on more emotion than any time of political…I think I use a lot of emotion, not only from myself but what I see that other people go through…that’s why I use a lot of hearts…

S: I think I am influenced a lot by immigration. I came to this country when I was 14. So I came here and I came with a visa but overstayed and was illegal, now I am legal…I thought “this is so unfair!“ So my pieces started showing that. [Also] domestic violence, Mexican American immigration, the celebration of death…in this country [death] is creepy, but it’s not. So I wanted to turn it around and show people that death is not sad, it should be celebrated….maybe that is just how I was raised. I had a kid, on Thursday, when we came to the carpet on Thursday to read a book, and he just started crying. Everyone is waiting for the book. And I ask “why are you crying” because he responded that--- it just dawned on him, they are six years old--- that “ I am really sad because I just foud out that we are all going to die. I am going to grow old , and , take pills and then die” and so that had an impact on me and I thought “I am glad I am doing this.” Even if he is not going to be here. It is the …showing people, “don’t be afraid…its ok…live a good life…and this is what you are going to look like.”

CB: Anything else that you all want to talk about?

S: The medium. I like that he uses a lot of acrylic and the coating the transparent coating. I like trying all kinds; I have drawings, I have wood cuts, I have acrylics, I have an oil painting….charcoal with markers and pencil…I like trying out different stuff…sculpture, there is a little tiny sculpture.

CB: How long does the show run?

M: A month or so.

CB: Cool, I will try to get this out before. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Interview with JUAN- León Guanajuato

I met Juan last year when visiting León and writer perspectives on the government sponsored City of Murals program. Juan helped me translate a series of individual interviews, some of which are drawn on in my upcoming article "City of Murals: Modalities of Publicity" in the Centro Estudii Urban Art project Inopinatum. Below follows an interview with Juan about his history of writing, his experience at MOS Chicago, since he lived in a Chicago for a long period, and his thoughts on the City of Murals program.  Saludos y gracias, Juan!

Juan Interview 3.11.2012

CB: What name do you write?

J: I write JUAN

CB: When did you start?

J: I started painting around 12 years ago.

CB: What got you involved?

J: What got me involved were local graffiti artists from León Guanajuato, that’s where I started. So I would basically say that it was Wes, and my old buddies from the hood…Ceon, Cien, Fijo, and my DTA crew.

CB: What neighborhood?

J: We are from the north side of the city…Privera de la Presa

CB: So artistically, who influences you?

J: A lot of people…not just my local community, but internationally, Chicago graffiti, LA graffiti, New York style graffiti, which is the best, I believe…and Lion from Bushwick, from Bryce Park Loony, in Loony some Little Village artists

CB: How would you describe the graffiti style in León?

J: Its is really…random. There are a lot of people that just look up to local graffiti artists, some look up to international graff artists, Europeans, but it is pretty combined. Its pretty mixed, like Mexican style, European style, its like really jugo de naranja [orange juice].

CB: What are your reactions to the mesa [roundtable on City of Murals program in León] that happened yesterday?

J: It was pretty nice. It was actually my first experience in a debate. I was feeling that they were going around and around talking about the same thing. They were not talking that much about illegal [style graffiti] they were just focused on the government stuff. I would have rather there were more people, not just the main graffiti artists but everybody else, so they could express their point of view and…the ones at the bottom who don’t know anything, the little chavitos.

CB: You said yesterday that “government is control.” Can you elaborate a little on that?

J: I took that quote from T-Kid from New York City, I saw him three years ago, he was already old and everything, but, I don’t know, have you seen “Wild Style?” He says, “Its not that they don’t like graffiti, its just they don’t like something they cannot control.” That’s basically what I meant in saying government is control…and if you don’t like what they want, you know?

CB: So you are basically saying that graffiti and government, they are basically different in nature?

J: Absolutely.

CB: Someone mentioned that we are talking a lot about graffiti and government and we are not talking about citizens, could you say more about that?

J: Basically what the government is doing here, they just want to have a face for the people, like “Oh yeah, I have a Madonna face.” For the rest of the people, oh yeah you are pretty. But what about the rest of the people that are not pretty? I would say that it is 10-90: 10% to 90%...

CB: So how do you think government support has changed how graffiti looks here

J: You can feel it, there is a lot of support, because you can see lots and lots of [mural] walls here in León, more than almost every city. Because of that it has influenced many, many people, you see eleven and twelve year olds doing it as well. And how are they going to start? In the streets, doing illegal stuff. By the time they know that the government is providing support from [legal graffiti] there will be too much demand [on the government]. So yeah, its changing, but not [necessarily] in a good way [according to] me. They [the government] don’t know what to do with the plan.

CB: You have said before that they are trying to put a good face on things, but it seems like graffiti writers are able to manipulate the support to use it to their own ends…

J: Yeah actually, they are doing it, I have a lot of friends here that tell them “I have a sketch and I am going to do this [a legal mural]” but then they take [support/paint] and they just take advantage of it, and do illegal stuff.

CB: Do you think that graffiti can change or help communities?

J: IT will. It is like a knife with two sides- it will cut you good, and it will cut you back. So, it can do good things, like here in Mexico the streets are all tagged up, if you come from a place like you, you will be like “this is stupid a lot of tags,” but we can recover it, and other kids will see it and learn to draw…but the best that the government can do is to [sponsor] gallery [shows] and art schools so we can actually go there and not only focus on graffiti but on other techniques like in the U.S. like graphic design…

CB: How do you think the government program has changed how the general public views graffiti?
J: Now they see it [as a ] good [thing]. There are TV spots saying “we are doing this and investing money in it.”

CB: Do you care what the general public things?

J: Yeah I do. Because I want to get into not just only doing my stuff but I want to know what the people thing so I can be a better artist and person and understand society more, and also make money.

CB: How has graffiti changed your life?

J: Many ways. I left home when I was 15. I have been doing this since I was 12. I just broke my leg and it was because…I risk my life, and I risk it because I like it…if I didn’t I’d be somewhere else, [laughs] probably Lincoln Heights.

CB: How do you choose your spots? Like painting in one spot versus some other spot.

J: I choose a spot by going and I study it. I see if police come by and how many minutes, and if it is too crowded, or people that will yell at me, all the factors…

CB: Why aerosol paint? Why not brush paint, stickers, stencils?

J: Well, I do everything, I like to experiment with different techniques but with graffiti is with a spraycan, markers, whatever you can destroy with.

CB: Ok. One reason I ask is because I wonder, why is graffiti growing, and the city is supporting writers, but not focusing on muralism.

J: Poverty. People don’t have the power to get things like [brush paint] in like they do in [more] developed countries. Here you can $1,000 pesos and you will spend half your salary doing a mural, while in the states if you get $1,000 you will only be spending $25 dollars or $30.

CB: So murals are more costly? Its more expensive to do murals? An access thing?

J: Yeah, you know, it reflects how the city is. You know back in the 80s in New York City, Brooklyn, was all destroyed.

CB: That is interesting. Because its like graffiti is both a symptom of a broken social system but also like an argument against it…Would you say your work is political?

J: I would say 20% political and 50% my own satisfaction and the rest of it, %30 for my public, my audience. Whoever wants to see it.

CB: Who is your audience?

J: Little guys, just starting, the rest of the community. They don’t know me and it is a way for me to tell them that I exist even though they don’t know me.

CB: What do people say to you when you are working when they walk by?

J: Oh, lots of bad words, Mexican slang words, really get into you. Very personal. They talk shit about you. Personal attacks. People go down in cars and chase me away even if they are not cops.

CB: Do you feel like Rivera, Orozco, Siqueiros, have they influenced you at all?

J: Not really. Just in seeing the colors they have used. The way they used to do it…here in Mexico its just the way they think…

CB: Seems like the government stuff is Mexican icons, Bicentenario, but is that actually what people think about?

J: The government just put that on us as a theme. It wasn’t [our idea]. They said “You want support from us? Ok but you have to do Miguel Hidalgo…you gotta do Diego Rivera, you gotta do Siqueiros.” They don’t tell us do whatever you want to do…

CB: It is interesting that the government is promoting this memory of revolution… but it’s a revolution that is controlled- so what does revolution mean to you as an artist?

J: It means everything. That’s how we are living right now. Without the revolution in Mexico there wouldn’t be any art here, there wouldn’t be any Siqueiros or any Rivera. So the revolution…it’s the shit.

CB: So were you at the 2009 and 2010 MOS Chicago?

J: I was at the 2009 and 2010 MOS. And it was held by Western (avenue) and 46th and 47th street, and that’s on the river…I didn’t paint a legal wall, I just went there and watched and did a couple of throw ups.

CB: What did you think about the festival?

J: Its just amazing. It is one of the most amazing festivals. Because you get to see local people and you get to see TKid, King 157, Amuse, Rebel, local artists, and you get to meet people, even though its not [concentrated] its too disparate. I wish everyone were on one wall [instead of walls separated]. And there were a lot of after parties and you have to take the bus half and hour and come back…

CB: How did you find out about MOS?

J: This store on Ashland called “The Basement” with pamphlets and information in it

CB: What do they sell?

J: They don’t sell cans they just sell the tips.

CB: What was your favorite memory of MOS?

J: I’m seeing everything right now, all the good artists, just walking around the Crawford Steel Company, that was a wall that I really liked, it wasn’t the main main graffiti artists but just local people.

CB: Do you think MOS changes Little Village, interact with community?

J: There is lots of graffiti there, not the mecca, but that’s where most of the Hispanic people live, and what I have seen in Chicago is that most people who paint and write are Hispanic. And there are different races but there is a lot of Latino-Chicano.

CB: Do you notice non graffiti writers interacting?

J: Yeah people come from the suburbs, and as you know, if you do like art, even if you like sculpture, you will go there to see it.

CB: What do you think the importance of bringing in international artists, why is that important, to have an international graffiti community?

J: Its good for the local graffiti scene, it shows that we can be in more than one place, that we can go all over, to Europe, to paint. To use myself as an example, I get to go to Chicago…

CB: How do you feel when your work gets gone over?

J: I really don’t pay attention to it. I just think that if they have gone over me, then they want to be like me…I can just go back and do it again…it like a cat and mouse game…

CB: How would you feel if MOS was done and gone.

J: I would feel bad. Even though you can find other ways to get different kinds of sources together, techniques and colors, seeing it live that is where you learn the most. You go and see how the can was handled by more experienced writers…

CB: What are some things wrong with the festival, organizational stuff?

J: Organizational. To get all the walls together and gather everybody in just one place and to let people paint and give more walls. I know that Crawford Steel is next to tracks…

CB: Anything else you want to say about graffiti, Chicago?

J: I wanna say, whats up to my homies in Maywood, Melrose Park, and right now I am living in Mexico and I will be going back sometime. To all my homies out there, if they get a chance to listen to it.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Banksy "Slave Labour" Piece Controversy: A Call for "Sui Generis" Rights to Public Art

Banksy is no stranger to controversy. His street art pieces, done in secrecy usually poking at issues of state domination and social inequality, such has his work on the Israel-Palestine wall, and his critique of Guantanamo Bay launched via an installation on Disney property, use simple and elegant stencils or installations through iconic figures and images to detour, transform, the dominant meanings ascribed to overdetermined spaces.  Banksy's secrecy magnifies the mystery and allure around his work, working to retain a sense of the street and underground even as some of his work is sold in galleries for thousands of dollars.

Recently, one of his pieces, titled "Slave Labour," showing a Dickens-esque barefoot youth working away on making a Union Jack combines an incisive critique of nationalism and the labor inequalities that an exceptionalist attachment can both paper over and sustain, was located in Haringey, a borough outside of London that was the location of some of the 2011 London Riots. Located on the London equivalent of a dollar-store (everything costs a pound, the store called, aptly, Poundland), the piece is arguably a point of "local pride" attracting tourists and non-residents to the otherwise unremarkable Wood Green neighborhood.

In early February the piece was ripped from the wall with no explanation by property owners Wood Green Investments. It appeared in Miami, at Fine Art Auctions Miami with a price tag between $500,000 and $700,000. After substantial public vitriol the auction house has claimed that it has returned the piece to the consignor, identity unknown, while Wood Green town council leaders have continued to demand that the piece be returned.

The controversy has received coverage in the New York Times, and other major news sources, and yet, although the sense of loss and outrage felt on the part of neighborhood residents points to the importance that the art piece had as a public art work in public space, media analysis blithely parrots back commonsense understandings of "private property" in order to short circuit debate.

Sarah Lyall, in her NYT piece notes: "Legal opinion generally holds that Banksy’s street art belongs not to him, but to whoever owns the walls he uses as canvases." Sure, legally, Wood Green Investments has legal title over the wall, but pragmatically and on an everyday level the residents and workers who spend time within and outside of the building are indeed the custodians of the wall and the citizens who bear the effects of the art work as it reshapes the appearance of the wall and neighborhood.

This commonsense capitulation to private property ignores how public art reclaims and can constitute public space, and highlights the need to engage in broader public dialogue about collective ownership over public space. These "commonsense" concepts of the economic as a realm of the private have resonances to rhetorical histories and public sphere theory. Robert Asen has argued that appeals to an "ownership society" in the United States make "ownership" an "emblem of good citizenship" papering over social inequalities that create barriers to both "ownership" and equal citizenship, making bourgeois publics stand in for a multiplicity of other kinds of publics. Further, Megan Foley points to how tropes of the home, or oikos, persist in political economy discourse, and function perversely to make citizens the caretakers of big banking, and those who were the collateral damage in the housing crisis "delinquent" citizens. 

The buck, or, rights to the city, stopping with owners rather than users has been resisted by organizations like The Community Rejuvination Project in Oakland, California, a community mural organization that understands ownership over space to be based on use and stewardship rather than contract, using the above claim to justify interventions and reclamations over abandoned spaces through artwork and cleanup projects.

Banksy is a star in the street art world, having a level of name recognition that in many respects makes his work its own genre, working through different processes and broader realms of reception and circulation than more "ordinary" public art practices such as illegal writers, and permission based muralism such as the CRP project. However, what the Haringey controversy highlights is that much like the celebration of star artists such as Jean Michel Basquiat and Kieth Haring, focus shifts too much in media reception to the novelty of the art work at the expense of attending to its context, its location and relation to public space.

However, the resurgence of the questions of rights to space in the wake of the "Slave Labour" transnational trip (ironic in many ways given the legacies of transatlantic middle passage where social life is transformed into commodity value) demonstrates that public space has a durability and a capacity to haunt debates where the "public" is often elided. Nevertheless, the aporia in critical discourse around the mural also points to the absolute necessity in developing public vocabularies of public space, and collective ownership based on lived relations rather than abstract contract law, something along the lines of what Vandana Shiva has called for in the context of Intellectual Property Rights, as sui generis rights, communal rights to resources and a more robust sense of the commons.