[NetBehaviour] The Blockchain as a Modulator of Existence

Edward Picot julian.lesaux at gmail.com
Mon Mar 5 20:45:43 CET 2018

Marc -

Your stuff I can understand. It's full of references to people I've 
never heard of, but I can understand it. Keep writing it!


On 05/03/18 11:39, marc.garrett via NetBehaviour wrote:
> Hi Edward,
> Fair enough - I wouldn't dare use those words, and i think it makes 
> the subject less interesting. However, if you fancy a bash at this -- 
> Marc Garrett - Unlocking Proprietorial Art Systems.
> It's a sketch at the moment, and will be published in an academic book 
> after a rigorous peer to peer, critiquing & editing process. It may 
> even change in front of your very eyes - while reading it ;-)
> *
> *
> *Unlocking Proprietorial Art Systems.*
> Marc Garrett - Unlocking Proprietorial Art Systems.
> “And assure yourselves, if you pitch not right now upon the right 
> point of freedome in action, as your Covenant hath it in words, you 
> will wrap up your children in greater slavery then ever you were 
> in…”[1] (Winstanley 1649)
> *Introduction*
> The cultural, political and economic systems in place do not work for 
> most people. They support a privileged, international class that grows 
> richer while imposing increasing uncertainty on others, producing 
> endless wars, and enhancing the conditions of inequality, austerity, 
> debt, and climate change, in order to own everything under the rule of 
> neoliberalism. David Harvey argues that the permeation of 
> neoliberalism exists within every aspect of our lives, and it has been 
> masked by a repeated rhetoric around “individual freedom, liberty, 
> personal responsibility and the virtues of privatization, the free 
> market and free trade”[2] (Harvey 2011) Thus, legitimizing “draconian 
> policies designed to restore and consolidate capitalistic class 
> power.”[3] In their essay Manufacturing the Neo-liberal Subject, 
> Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval say, that we have not yet emerged 
> from what they call, “the ‘iron cage’ of the capitalist economy to 
> which Weber referred. Rather, in some respects it would have to be 
> said that everyone is enjoined to construct their own individual 
> little ‘iron cage’.”[4] (Dardot & Laval 2011)
> If we are, as Dardot & Laval put it co-designing our own iron cages, 
> how do we find ways to be less dominated by these over powering 
> infrastructures and systems? How do we build fresh, independent 
> places, spaces and identities, in relation to our own peer 2 peer, 
> artistic and cultural practices, individually and collectively – when, 
> our narratives are dominated by elite groups typically biased towards 
> isolating and crushing alternatives? Does this mean that critical 
> thought, artistic and experimental cultural ventures, along with 
> creatively led technological practices, are all doomed to perpetuate a 
> state of submission within a proprietorial absolute?
> To unpack these questions we look at different types of proprietorial 
> systems, some locked and unlocked. All examples deal with examining 
> proprietorial conditions, in life, their creative forms of production 
> across the fields of the traditional art world, and media art culture. 
> It looks at how artists are dealing with these issues through their 
> artistic agency, individually, collaborative, or as part of a group or 
> collective. This includes looking at the work's intentions, production 
> and its cultural and societal contexts, where different set of values 
> and new possibilities are emerging, across the practice of art, 
> academia, and technology, and thus, the world. The final part of this 
> text explores how and why my own arts organization Furtherfield, is 
> moving into practices surrounding the blockchain as a space for 
> cultural development, and what this means in relation to critiquing 
> and actively challenging proprietorial domination.
> The meanings of the words proprietorial and proprietary are closely 
> linked. Proprietary is defined as meaning that one possesses, owns, or 
> holds the exclusive right to something, specifically an object. For 
> instance, it can be described as something owned by a specific company 
> or individual. In the computing world, proprietary is often used to 
> describe software that is not open source or freely licensed. Examples 
> include operating systems, software programs, and file formats.[5] 
> Many involved in the Free and Open Source Software movement, share a 
> set of values built around its beliefs against proprietary control 
> over our use of technology. Olga Goriunova argues that, software is 
> not only bound to objects but also includes social relations and it’s 
> about breaking away from the fetishism of proprietary software 
> structures, and “commodification of social processes layered into 
> software production and operation.”[6] (Goriunova 2008)
> However, if we consider the definition of proprietorial, in the 
> Cambridge Dictionary, it is especially poignant when it says “like an 
> owner: He put a proprietorial arm around her.” This brings us directly 
> to a biopolitical distinction. The term biopolitics was first coined 
> by Rudolf Kjellén, (who also coined the term geopolitics)[7] (Markus 
> 2015) and then later expanded upon by Michel Foucault, arguing that 
> certain styles of government regulate their populations through 
> biopower. Hardt and Negri developed Foucault’s ideas saying “Biopower 
> is a form of power that regulates life from its interior, following 
> it, interpreting it, absorbing it, and rearticulating it.”[8] (Hardt 
> and Negri 2001) But, as we will discover further into this text the 
> term also reinforces a deep a psychological bias that asserts the 
> right of the patriarch to own our personal and social contexts.
> https://researchvalues2018.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/unlocking-proprietorial-systems/
> References:
> [1] Benn, Tony. (2011) A Watch-Word for the City of London. Tony Benn 
> Presents Gerrard Winstanley: A common Treasury. Verso; Reprint 
> edition. P.61.
> [2] Harvey, D. 2011, The Enigma of Capital and the Crisis of 
> Capitalism. Profile Books LTD. P.11.
> [3] (Ibid)
> [4] Dardot, P & Laval, C. 2011, Manufacturing the Neo-liberal Subject. 
> The New Way of the World: On Neoliberal Society. Verso Books. P.263.
> [5] Software Terms: Proprietary Software Definition – 
> https://techterms.com/definition/proprietary_software
> [6] Goriunova, Olga. Autocreativity: The Operation of Codes of Freedom 
> in Art and Culture. (2088) FLOSS+Art. de Valk, Marloes and Mansoux 
> Aymeric (Editors). P.92.
> [7] Gunneflo, Markus. (2015) “Rudolf Kjellén: Nordic biopolitics 
> before the welfare state”. Retfærd. 35 (3). ISSN 0105-1121.
> [8] Hardt, Michael and Negri, Antonio. (2001) Biopolitical Production. 
> Empire. Harvard University Press. P.23-24
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