[NetBehaviour] The Situationist Blockchain
bram.org at gmail.com
Wed Dec 29 15:47:15 UTC 2021
thanks Ruth and Eryk
The Kei Kreutler article managed to have me smile and "hope".
Dear friends and colleagues, *please don't send me your signatures
systematically* - sending bits costs energy and is POLLUTING
On Wed, Dec 29, 2021 at 11:39 AM Ruth Catlow via NetBehaviour <
netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:
> Dear Eryk,
> Thanks so much for your long and super-helpful response.
> Some fragmented thoughts...
> I LOLled at my discovery of the hidden pages ; ) Sorry about that. It
> seems that my time in the "crypto tent" (as you put it) has conditioned me
> to sniff out questions of funding and governance in blockchain related art
> projects. I certainly didn't read the project as ironic - just those pages
> that I shouldn't have seen. It's frustrating how "project-based" funding
> can constrain the potentiality of our work as artists and researchers
> working in arts institutions and universities. I hope you find a way to dig
> in further to the Potlatch connection. I only recently made this connection
> myself, reading Graeber and Wengrow's wonderful *The Dawn of Everything.*
> I enjoyed and agreed with the resonances you find in cryptoland and have
> also been reflecting on the limits of the Situationist project. Not just on
> the political values of SI, but also on the limits of their tactical
> application of rhetoric in novel contexts. It feels like on Twitter
> everyone is a Situationist, resulting in an exhausting rinsing of meaning
> from the web through constant decontextualisation.
> Kei Kreutler just put out this reflection on the year in which DAOs have
> really started to find their form. I found it incredibly useful.
> She says "Cultural norms, even more so than technical capabilities,
> influence our sphere of action. That is, while technical capabilities play
> a role in determining the possible, cultural norms curtail it more than we
> usually think." Which is why I am so excited by the luttecoin video - it
> puts an image of new cultural norms on a wide horizon. I just find I want
> to be able to see and feel more of the detail ;)
> On Wed, Dec 22, 2021 at 4:02 PM Eryk Salvaggio <eryk.salvaggio at gmail.com>
>> Thank you for the critique Ruth! I agree with much, and what I write here
>> is just my take. Şerife has also engaged this and may have more to say.
>> But first, a major clarification: the “invest” page isn’t meant to be
>> accessible, and I’m not sure how you found it — it was a placeholder for
>> extending some ideas that we didn’t pursue, and I removed links / the idea
>> precisely for the reasons you mentioned.
>> We have ideas on the solidarity aim, but they are fuzzy. For one, there’s
>> a tremendous overlap between the “crypto scene” of retail investors and the
>> anti-capitalist, anti-work movement (at least in the US). That is, both
>> have given up on traditional institutions and pathways to economic
>> security. Dogecoin investors — and the language of “Fomo” — are actually
>> quite sympathetic to me for this reason. They’re betting that this joke is
>> just as good as any other. The issue is that it’s a bit nihilistic, stuck
>> in the lane of throwing coins in fountains and making a wish. Right now,
>> this project is meant to say “you can’t just make a wish” but we’re at an
>> end there because of various boring things like deadlines and time
>> constraints. I think if there are revisions / expansions of the work,
>> you’ll we’re also pointed in your direction.
>> As an explanation of why it is what it is now, it’s because of the nature
>> of the research residency and the initial thesis: model situationist ideals
>> of governance into a digital system. I found very little evidence that the
>> situationists were actually very good at community organization, or if they
>> were, they articulated very few principles around it. They were idea
>> distributors, very much tapped into the idea of propaganda and counter
>> propaganda, and hoped for these twists to take a life of their own.
>> What you’re arguing for is something I’m thinking about too, but in terms
>> of what I’ve found (and I’m not an expert) it’s a very necessary evolution
>> on the situationist approach and doesn’t reflect actual situationist
>> practice as written. Situationist practice as written had elements that
>> were quite libertarian and problematic. I would like to see something
>> beyond the Situationist model, or, more accurately, go back to that model’s
>> In the white paper, we discuss how Situationists had essentially
>> appropriated Potlatch from Indigenous Americans, and used it as the basis
>> for much of their systems of governance. That was reported to them through
>> the writings of Franz Boss, which were also somewhat distorted through an
>> anti-capitalist lens (rather than “seeing what is.”)
>> I’m particularly interested in starting from that as a source, rather
>> than following the path set by SI’s adoption of it. But that is dense
>> terrain requiring careful navigation, and it would be a disservice for two
>> folks with an artist’s residency to try to tackle it in a few months. As a
>> result, we stop at the hand off, so to speak. If we had another year, you
>> might see this more developed, and it continues to develop (though perhaps
>> not under this particular framework).
>> The hope of the project in the scope we could tackle was to reveal the
>> mistake of economic liberation as personal liberation, to show that the
>> discontent with the system that drives speculative retail investment can be
>> leveraged as a tool for something more radical, and make other
>> possibilities more visible.
>> (The residue of empty language you unfortunately encountered was part of
>> that: present the slogan, then unpack it. The simple headlines you see on
>> the debris pages doesn’t do the approach much justice, and it’s unfortunate
>> that they are still discoverable).
>> So yes, it’s a statement of purpose, rather than an action of purpose,
>> that said, I don’t think the intention of the work is “ironic,” though you
>> aren’t alone in telling me that it is. I actually think it’s quite sincere
>> (perhaps the pages I’ve inadvertently left up are tainting the work, I’m
>> not sure!). I also suspect that you and quite a few other folks are a few
>> steps ahead of the pivot that this project is trying to make, which is a
>> pivot of frame and intent in how we approach technology. I think that pivot
>> is obvious to you and others in the furtherfield crypto tent, especially,
>> but that the message bears some repeating and clarification.
>> On 22 Dec 2021, at 9:56 am, Ruth Catlow <ruthcatlow at gmail.com> wrote:
>> The Excavations project looks delicious!
>> And the Luttecoin video is sooo good! Evocative, stirring and beautifully
>> The project does give me a powerful pang though as I would love to see a
>> Situationist critique of the crypto scene that actually detourned the scene
>> and I'm not sure this is there yet.
>> Situationism rejected all art that separated itself from politics. I feel
>> this is still somewhat distant from the political machinery of crypto.
>> I wish it were more actionable. By which I mean I wish it was showing me
>> how an engagement, hack or critique of the crypto-scene can build
>> solidarity to bring on the actual "bricking". I want to be able to see the
>> mechanism by which we will gather around the provocation and bring it
>> about. Otherwise, it's somehow safe, in a separate domain.
>> The moment when I felt this strongest was on the governance page
>> https://www.luttecoin.com/governance which led me to the "invest" page
>> both of which used the same hollowed-out language found in generic crypto
>> and NGO messaging. "Freedom to Dream" and "Make a Difference". I was so
>> curious to see how you were going to dig into the economic or governance
>> propositions being developed across the political spectrum in the
>> crypto-scene. But it doesn't really go beyond irony.
>> Situationism was about praxis, about actually changing culture.
>> I can't wait for this to happen with the Situationist Blockchain
>> Foundation - is this what you hope for Eryk? Can you share any more about
>> how it will be funded and governed?
>> So, to shill my own coin (as they say;)... I'd love it if you and other
>> NBers wanted to join us for this conference I'm co-curating with Penny
>> Rafferty at HDK in Munich in January. It's called *Radical Friends- the
>> DAO Summit for Decentralisation of Power and Resources in the Artworld*
>> https://hausderkunst.de/en/events/radical-friends-dao-summit There IS a
>> lot more interesting and critical work and play developing now and it would
>> be great to build more connections and solidarity.
>> Thanks for sharing Eryk!
>> On Wed, 22 Dec 2021, 01:02 Mez Breeze via NetBehaviour, <
>> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:
>>> ...*head nods in approval*...
>>> On Thu, Dec 16, 2021 at 4:09 PM Eryk Salvaggio via NetBehaviour <
>>> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:
>>>> Hi all,
>>>> Wanted to share a new piece of work created for an art & research
>>>> residency, “Excavations: Governance Archeology for the Future of the
>>>> Internet,” created by UCBoulder and King’s College, London:
>>>> The goal was to research pre-digital forms of governance and imagine
>>>> adapting them to contemporary online governance structures.
>>>> Our proposal was to study the Situationist International and attempt to
>>>> reconcile the anarchic stance with protocols and ideologies around
>>>> cryptocurrencies. The result is The Situationist Blockchain, or LutteCoin:
>>>> From the exhibition website:
>>>> We propose a decentralized peer-to-peer Situationist blockchain. The
>>>> Situationist International was a French anarchist movement inspired by
>>>> surrealism, Dada, and libertarian Marxism. They proposed that we navigate
>>>> the world through a "mystifying illusion" of spectacles present in
>>>> advertising, films -- even vacations and leisure -- that consolidates
>>>> control in the name of economic productivity. This is true on its face: we
>>>> spend hours of "free" time on social networks, for example, turning that
>>>> leisure into data which is collected and sold by those providing us with
>>>> "leisure." This is, fundamentally, an employee relationship being given
>>>> freely to corporations. UX interfaces and digital interactions extend the
>>>> spectacle, rewarding users with illusions in exchange for distracting them
>>>> from the ways they wish to actually live.
>>>> Abandoning the spectacle of economic productivity, our “Proof of
>>>> Non-Work Consensus Protocol” turns devices into an otherwise useless
>>>> object, or “brick.” Users, liberated from the spectacle of electronic
>>>> interfaces, pursue other dreams. Meanwhile, the devices mine and create
>>>> cryptocurrencies only to be immediately burned. The devices are essentially
>>>> frozen and interfaces made inaccessible. The CPU power processes at full
>>>> capacity, and cannot be turned off. Eventually, they burn out, and with it,
>>>> so does any currency it has produced. This perfects the process of
>>>> automating human leisure, mining and destroying wealth in an endless parody
>>>> of economics.
>>>> There is also a write up of the research, included as a white paper for
>>>> the “cryptocurrency” we’re pitching, which explores the relationship we’ve
>>>> identified between financialization, the seductive allure of “liberatory”
>>>> cryptocurrencies, and the spectacle of user interfaces under surveillance
>>>> I welcome any feedback from the NetBehavior community on this project!
>>>> NetBehaviour mailing list
>>>> NetBehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org
>>> | mezbreezedesign.com
>>> NetBehaviour mailing list
>>> NetBehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org
> Ruth Catlow
> Co-founder & Artistic director of Furtherfield & DECAL Decentralised Arts
> +44 (0) 77370 02879
> *I will only agree to speak at events that are racially and gender
> **sending thanks
> <https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-newsroom/press-releases/2019/november/think-before-you-thank-if-every-brit-sent-one-less-thank-you-email-a-day-we-would-save-16433-tonnes-of-carbon-a-year-the-same-as-81152-flights-to-madrid.html> in
> *Furtherfield *disrupts and democratises art and technology through exhibitions,
> labs & debate, for deep exploration, open tools & free thinking.
> furtherfield.org <http://www.furtherfield.org/>
> *DECAL* Decentralised Arts Lab is an arts, blockchain & web 3.0
> technologies research hub
> for fairer, more dynamic & connected cultural ecologies & economies now.
> https://decal.furtherfield.org/ <http://www.decal.is>
> Furtherfield is a Not-for-Profit Company Limited by Guarantee
> Registered in England and Wales under the Company No.7005205.
> Registered business address: Carbon Accountancy, 80-83 Long Lane, London,
> EC1A 9ET.
> NetBehaviour mailing list
> NetBehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the NetBehaviour