A Matter of Precedents is a research project and resource on the ‘common good’ created by artist, educator, and writer Annette Krauss with producer Frances Stacey and artist researcher Alison Scott. The project has developed over a number of years and has evolved through multiple forms, including; installation, a map, study walks, a web presentation and zines.
Materials shared here include collected, commissioned and gathered information which was brought together through Annette’s research into the status and potential of the ‘common good’. The ‘common good’ is a form of collective property, unique to Scotland, comprising buildings, land, structures, and monuments gifted to the people of a specific historic burgh. This resource includes: common good map, three new download-to-print zines, audio interviews recorded in 2021-2 with key individuals in the development of the City Observatory, which is a common good site, reopened in 2018 under the custodianship of Collective. The research resource attempts to demystify and expose some of the legal mechanisms and institutional processes around publicly owned ‘common good’ items, and includes contributions from cultural workers who have encountered issues surrounding the common good in their own communities and work.
The zines record the project, and act as a reader and importantly an invitation for further study. The zines include: recorded conversations, previously published articles, and two newly commissioned texts written by Nat Raha and Alison Scott. The zines also hold much of the information presented in Collective’s Library during Summer 2022.
This resource has been created in an attempt to share information on the common good in the spirit of open access and free distribution. In sharing information on the common good, the aim is to connect this particular form of Scottish commons to wider discourses and learning.
Please note that interview transcripts for each grouping of audio tracks can be found in the corresponding zine.