Commonopoly is an interactive work designed and constructed by Miklós Erhardt, Dominic Hislop & Elske Rosenfeld, who together make up Big Hope, a collaborative art group based in Berlin and Budapest. The oversized board game is based on the similarly titled Monopoly, but with a twist. According to Big Hope, Commonopoly differs from Monopoly in that “the goal of Commonopoly is not the exhaustion, through monopolization, of a virtual stock of goods, but rather the expansion and preservation of a self-propelling sustainable system of recycling, production and distribution.” Where Monopoloy focuses on the competitive and individualistic qualities of a capitalist society, the underlying premise of Big Hope’s version is to encourage different types of behavior, such as “sharing, gift, exchange, collaboration, solidarity, sustainability and mutual trust”, according to the group’s website.
This objective is achieved by encouraging participants to help each other with the various tasks. Additionally, participants play at their own pace, entering and leaving the game as they like, meaning that a single ‘winner’ is an impossible outcome. Instructions are as follows:
How to Play:
1.) Go to one of the start boxes. If there are two or more players, each should start from separate and opposite start boxes. Up to four people can play at any one time, each following the instructions below and playing at their own pace.
2.) Roll the dice. Moving in an anti-clockwise direction, go to the next box of the colour thrown.
3.) Open the coloured flap at the top of the box and read the instructions.
4.) Perform the interaction described on the box. If one player requires another to help them perform an exchange or interaction, individual activities should be stopped in order to help them.
5.) When an action is completed, close the flap on the box, roll the dice again and move on to the next box of that colour.
6.) Make as many rounds as you like or stop at any time.