S+T+ARTS Regional Centers | Repairing the Present
Blockchain Society | Challenge nº19
How might we navigate and negotiate a blockchain society?
Consortium Partner: Art Hub Copenhagen
The New European Bauhaus: BH3 Improve the quality of our lives
Blockchain technologies open the door to reconfigurations of the economy and the social fabric. We invite applications to explore the promises and potentials of blockchain from the point of view of their symbolic and systemic aspects, including their consequences for representation and contemporary systems of knowledge and power.
Blockchain, Decentralised Autonomous Organisations, Governance, Techno-utopia, NFT
Decentralised and non-hierarchical, blockchain technologies echo the techno-utopian discourses associated with the Internet in the 1980s and 1990s. Based on Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs), blockchain opens the door to reconfigurations of the economy and the social fabric. According to Wikipedia, DAOs are “organisations represented by rules encoded as a computer programme that is controlled by members and not influenced by a central government…The precise legal status of this type of business organisation is unclear.”
We invite applications to explore the promises and potentials of blockchain from the point of view of their symbolic and systemic aspects, including their consequences for representation and contemporary systems of knowledge and power.
We also request applicants to consider the connections between blockchain and sustainability through the lens of the European Green Deal (EGD) or the New European Bauhaus (NEB). For example, blockchain might play a key role in areas such as the management of sustainable industries, but also an excessive carbon footprint. Moreover, blockchain applications are likely to permeate our digital and even physical living spaces thanks to the technology´s potential for shared spaces management.
For this challenge, applicants can take their point of departure from questions such as the following:
- Blockchain can be said to crystallise the contradictory tendencies of digital culture. It can provide infrastructure for the unbridled movement of capital, but can also be used for systems enabling Universal Basic Income. It is inimical to conventional democratic institutions, but can also be used for safeguarding voting mechanisms. Moreover, while, on the one hand, it has a large carbon footprint for unauthorised public applications, on the other hand, it can assist in the implementation of sustainable development goals. What ethical discussions should underpin such human-designed and inevitably biased technologies?
- What new relations between cyberspace and the social and natural realms do autonomous digital systems help create? How should we map or picture these forms or organisations that occur in parallel to, or below the level of the nation-state? How does blockchain redefine existing public spheres and forms of assembly, governance and sovereignty?
- Upending conventional hierarchies between copy and original, object and data, blockchain-based NFTs (non-fungible tokens) certify the uniqueness of a digital asset. As astronomical prices for some NFT artworks have shown, this potentially heralds a new horizon for both art-making and the art market. How do NFTs affect concepts of authenticity and uniqueness as qualities of an artwork? How do NFTs affect the binary of actual and virtual, and other existing configurations of material and immaterial realities?
Fellowship Characteristics: network, opportunities, and expectations
The selected artist will have access to the following network:
- Members of a specialised Local Experts Group
- Curator, art historian and co-director of Art Hub Lars Bang Larsen
- Curator and co-director of Art Hub Jacob Fabricius
- Relevant connections attached to the members of this primary network based on the artist’s needs.
Art Hub Copenhagen was founded in 2018 as a facilitating, inquiring, and experimental art institution. We are focusing on building interdisciplinary networks through a range of activities. These span from residencies and artistic development programs to discursive and curatorial activities centred on artistic practices and research for both Danish and international artists.
Through the S+T+ARTS residency, Art Hub will offer the artist professional facilities and sparring in artistic development, networking, research, and the production of new works.
We expect the artist to show a willingness to collaborate, exchange and experiment. He/she/they will produce an artwork under any form as the outcome of the residency and has to agree to showcase it in the framework of the STARTS program.
Jury day will be: in-person
Jury day will be held on: 19th January 2022