Does Art need its own blockchain? Can blockchain technologies help create and retain value for artists and arts organisations? If blockchains are transforming all other industries and supply chains, how will it effect the arts? Is this technology at a stage now where we can begin applying it to our everyday processes and practices?
These are just a few of the questions we have been asking ourselves and others over the course of the last year. In the scheduling and convening of this workshop series we invite others to join us as we delve deeper into the pragmatics of applying these questions to specific scenarios.
Designed as a temporary laboratory for the creation of a living laboratory, the inaugural workshop in the series will take a pragmatic approach in mapping out technical and economic capacity for the application of blockchain technologies within the arts.
This workshop will open with an overview of current developments for blockchain application within the arts ecosystem, outlining the key opportunities and challenges. Serving as the background, this will lead into a series of short presentations by practitioners who have invested their time over the past years unpicking the treacherous complexity of the blockchain. Each of these areas will then be built upon through facilitated working groups – with the explicit objective of enabling initiatives to move into a new phase of development.
As the workshop series unfolds, each lab will work across a spectrum of themes and domains of expertise, breaking down silos and assumptions about what blockchain technologies might mean. The aim is to birth a new set of experimental initiatives with each lab, which can contribute towards rethinking and reinventing the future of the arts as we currently know it.
“The use of blockchain technology in art circulation, criticism and documentation opens up a huge can of worms relating to the quantification of different art phenomena, the manipulation of consensus, submission to the tyranny of averages, etc.” – Hito Steyerl
Following the inaugural workshop of the DAOWO series, this panel will seek to establish a public platform for the discussion of opportunities, dangers and complexity inherent in the very idea of applying blockchain technologies to the production and circulation of art.
Exploring both hands on practical applications and the theoretical long term impact of a technology that enables a vast array of unexpected new conditions, under which the artworld and art market may be forced to operate. From fractional ownership, strict provenance models, untraceable financial transactions, autonomous artworks to new fully automated organisational forms – this panel will seek to unravel and interrogate both the banality and the terror of blockchains future impact on the arts.
This panel is being moderated by Ruth Catlow (Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Furtherfield) and Ben Vickers (Curator of Digital, Serpentine Galleries).
Hito Steyerl’s films, installations and writings come out of a systemic way of thinking and working, in which artistic production and the theoretical analysis of global social issues are closely linked. Steyerl investigates the interaction and synthesis of technological and artistic imagery, for example, at the level of visual mass culture – and its function within the overall dispositif of technocracy, monetary policy, the abuse of power, and violence.
Helen Kaplinsky is a curator and writer based at Res., a collaboratively programmed gallery and workspace in Deptford, South East London, currently working in partnership with nearby University of Goldsmiths. Specialising in collection and archive based projects, the thematics and strategies of her curatorial projects consider property in the age of digital sharing. She has contributed to programmes at Whitechapel Gallery, South London Gallery, Glasgow International Festival, ICA (London), The Photographers Gallery (London), and has ongoing programmes with Tate and FACT (Liverpool).
Julian Oliver is a Critical Engineer and artist based in Berlin. Julian has also given numerous workshops and master classes in software art, data forensics, creative hacking, computer networking, counter-surveillance, object-oriented programming for artists, augmented reality, virtual architecture, video-game development, information visualisation and UNIX/Linux worldwide. He is an advocate of Free and Open Source Software and is a supporter of, and contributor to, initiatives that reinforce rights of privacy and anonymity in networked and other technologically-mediated domains. He is the co-author of the Critical Engineering Manifesto and co-founder of Crypto Party in Berlin, who’s shared studio Weise7 hosted the first three crypto-parties worldwide. He is also the co-founder of BLACKLIST, a screening and panel series focused on the primary existential threats of our time.
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