The DAOWO Sessions: Artworld Prototypes, a series of contests that took place online over the past few weeks, explored” the possibilities for the future of the artworld with blockchain by investigating what can be learned from DAOs( Decentralised Autonomous Organisations) working with Others( -WO ).” The theme of these sessions was singularly relevant to the times we are living: a pandemic spur us to work with each other differently, calls for a fairer culture, prowes rooms looking forward to brand-new strategies to remain relevant and the frantic( or simply astounded ?) media interest for crypto art. The topic also inserts itself into a broader, much older context in which contemporary skill follows market reasonings that don’t work for most artists.
DAOWO challenged masters to explore what would happen to their practice and communities if blockchain engineering was not used only for financial transactions or as a marketing trick but deployed to reinvent the future of the art macrocosm. In the DAOWO prototypes, the accent is not so much on how artistry exerts blockchain engineering but on how blockchain principles can transform the art from behind the situation, by democratising the processes and design of corporate governance, by thinking in revolutionary expressions about how creators can become the conductors of their own working patterns( rather than being dependent on the usual gatekeepers of the contemporary artwork manufacture .) As such, the paradigms also operated as employs in institutional critique.
The DAOWO Global Initiative questioned groups of craftsmen, curators and thinkers from Berlin, Hong kong residents, Johannesburg and Minsk to design new examples to address key questions about the potential of blockchain to oust outmoded sits, decentralise power structures and rewire the arts. The is the subject of these ventures is to test how a DAO would live in the artistry life and be used by its communities, representatives, users. Could they animate harmony? Are attributable to brand-new forms of partnership? Incentivise brand-new models of governance?
I wrote a few weeks ago about the Berlin experiment( BLACK SWAN DAO: Can blockchain democratise skills commissioning ? ), here’s a few words about the other prototypes developed in the context of The DAOWO Global Initiative 😛 TAGEND
Their proposal takes the form of a live-action role play( LARP) securely anchored in the political actualities of a post-Soviet city like Minsk. The LARP, announced Economic Orangery 2021, gleans latitudes between the kind of decentralised harmony organisations that emerged in the small public courtyards of residential blocks ascertained all over the city and their online equivalent: the specifically constructed digital gaps that promote assure , non-censored communications. The artists included an extra layer of significance and playfulness by setting the game in a future when blockchain technology has become obsolete. This component of “science fiction of the present day” promotes participates to consider the values of working with decentralised engineerings both in the prowes world-wide and in different contexts of the horizontal organizations that are emerging in the wake of the protests against the reelection of Lukashenko and the collapse social organisation of Belarus. The LARP is thus envisioned as a co-dependency system where participates’ decisions affect both the inner life design of the game and their own perception of real life.
Screenshot from The DAOWO Sessions- Artworld Prototypes: Ensembl( Hong Kong )
The Ensembl project from Hong Kong referred the dynamics of DAO to the interdisciplinary context of contemporary music-making. Ensembl is managed by Samson Young, artist, performer and imaginative head of the experimental clang advocacy constitution Contemporary Musiking; by novelist, filmmaker and anthropologist Mao Mollona; and by Andrew Crowe and Ashley Lee Wong from MetaObjects.
The project aspirations to create an” Ethereum -Based Platform for Decentralised Organising of Artistic Production ,” implementing a DAO that would fully reflect the inherently dynamic, collaborative and ever-changing nature of acts. Ensembl analyse questions of authorship and collective forms of artistic production, where conducts, screenings and exhibitions are never prepared but perpetually being determined,( re) performed,( re) administered. With each iteration of the run, brand-new organisational and economic issues emerge.
Ensembl also reflects the many aspects that an artistic pattern can adopt over the course of a project, with artists successively attaining themselves in the role of grant scribes, creators, traitors, directors, researchers, etc. Each capacity suggests forms of labours that tend to be overlooked, if not invisible. Instead of recalling in terms of specified characters, the project qualities activity natures and the outcomes of interactions.
Ensembl allows art-making to express itself as a process rather than a finished run.
Screenshot from The DAOWO Sessions- Artworld Prototypes: Covalence Studios( Johannesburg) Zoom presentation
The Covalence Studios project, piloted by curator and researcher Bhavisha Panchia, craftsman Chad Cordeiro and artist, curator and researcher Carly Whitaker, exerted the idea and framework of the DAOs to consider the most flexible way to formulate, reorganize and incentivise collaboration and participation in the artistic community of Johannesburg.
Johannesburg, Panchia and Whitaker interpreted, is home to a community of international craftsmen who are increasingly leery of a public sphere associated with mismanagement of funding and decay in lands department of art and culture. As a repercussion, artists now “re going to have to” rely now more than ever upon the gallery sector to sustain their rehearsals. This privatisation of art funding has influenced the type of wields that get grown and restriction the prospects for more experimental rules. DAOWO could add artists with more independence from public and private simulations of artwork management.
The DAO that the Johannesburg team imagined is a shared creator studio opening that would be co-owned and programmable. Conceived in discussion with other physical seats such as Atlantic House in Cape Town and the Bag Factory Artist Studios, the studio would not only serve” communities that do not exist hitherto”, it would also free itself from the usual gatekeepers and silos of practise.
The DAOWO Sessions- Artworld Prototypes: The Machine to Eat the Artworld
If you have to watch one video from the DAOWO session serial, make it Francesca Gavin( whose show about fungi was extremely fun and teach )’ s interrogation with Ruth Catlow and Penny Rafferty, the curators who coordinated all the video sessions of the DAOWO Sessions- Artworld Prototypes.
Another conversation I would recommend is the Goethe Institute podcast in which Ruth Catlow, co-founder of Furtherfield, describes parallels between the early days of the web and blockchain. In the 1990 s, she and other masters received the web as a infinite where you could create, circulate, criticism and run handiworks, a lieu to collaborate and cooperate. Communications were direct and decentralised. From the early 2000 s, the landscape looked the emergence of a fluctuation of mass centralisation of the web orchestrated by monopolistic, profit-driven monstrous( Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc .)
The DAOWO initiative reminds us that decentralising campaigns and technological sciences are not going away and the work requires actors other than the ones belonging to the tech and finance sphere to scrutinise and operate them.
Another element I located particularly interesting about the DAOWO programme is that it was, as far as I know, the only initiative that gravely analyse that notorious” macrocosm after ” everyone has spoken about in the early days of the pandemic but seem to have forgotten about.
A publication is in the pipeline. In the meantime, you can find more video recordings, information and documentation about the DAOWO Global Initiative on the website of the Goethe Institut.
Previously: BLACK SWAN DAO: Can blockchain democratise skills commissioning ?, Artists Re: Thinking the Blockchain; Value extraction and the workforce of the cryptocene; Cesar Escudero Andaluz. So many ways to mess up with surveillance capitalism; Using respiration to mine crypto-currencies; Trickle Down, A New Vertical Sovereignty, Digital Cash. The Unknown History of the Anarchist, Utopians and Technologists Who Created Cryptocurrency, etc.
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