CAN CONTRACTS LOVE LIKE WE DO?
What would a society with countless economic, cultural, and political centers look like? This is the question that those who are fed up with the concentration of power and polarization try to visualize when they practice decentralization. Nevertheless, decentralization does not immediately translate to community values or non-hierarchical structures, nor does it eliminate the inequalities stubbornly replicated by humanity, including economic ones. If economics is the foundation and model of our interaction, is it possible to shape societies differently? If we accept money at the basis of any community organization, can new life forms flourish in centralized institutions and territorial thinking?
Harnessed by new participatory technologies and the supposedly vast space of web3, humans, conscious of the strong alliances between the internet and centralized bank governance, introduced cryptocurrencies and the blockchain as less monopolistic tools than states. Both echo the old utopias of democratic cyberspace, attempting to offer people the agency to create Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)—collective financial endeavors in which each participant is responsible for transactions and how they are negotiated.
If DAOs could be the structures through which different communities determine their principles of redistribution against the backdrop of capitalism, how will the umbilical cord be cut from its feeding centrism? Do DAOs really undermine historic authorities, or, rather, do they evolve them in a technological race? Do those with the knowledge and capacity to spend time accessing this information have an interest in the ethical development of technology? Is it possible to delink DAOs from the climate crisis? Which more-than-human technological tools will allow communities to learn financial independence and organize themselves in decentralized and autonomous ways? How can we create an autonomy that differs from individualistic neoliberalism and is more similar to the all-embracing chatter of animism?
In this issue, our contributors attempt to answer those questions by challenging the notions of autonomy and decentralization, as well as the scope of DAOs as they relate to environmental interdependency and regrouping via affinity and community values. Its four chapters invite you to tune in with artists, activists, scholars, and critics in order to map out the protocols that regulate interpersonal relationships and financial speculation. Through longer textual formats; an analysis by Caroline Busta and Julian Wadsworth (also known as Lil Internet), representatives of the media channel & community New Models; a manual by artist Oscar Santillán; a script by the collective Omsk Social Club; a conversation between artists Hito Steyerl, Joshua Citarella, and Mat Dryhurst, among others, we will delve into a metaverse of possible (interspecies) alliances.
DAOs—Decentralized Autonomous Organizations are the first of five forms of organization that AWC will look into throughout this year’s overarching theme, Bursts of Solidarity. We ask why, with whom, and especially how we can resist and transform the world together with all of the other troublesome creatures around us. If ideals are not enough—since everything can be tokenized for profit—how can we decentralize the power of money in people?
With Stable Diffusion, Oscar Santillán, Kiri Dalena, Maria von Mier, Belkis Ayon, Silke Nowak, Sylvia Galosi & Steven Owie, Rico Zyrrano, Cem F Dagdelen, Agent Siphone, Ido Nahari, Habib Kherbek, Hito Steyerl, Mat Dryhurst & Joshua Citarella, Huda Zikry & Amelie Jakubek, Omsk Social Club, Lantian Xie & Sabih Ahmed, Sofia Willer, Oscar Santillan & Elisa Fuenzalida, Eva Illouz, Zairong Xiang & Ann Cotten, María Inés Plaza Lazo, Dalia Maini, New Models (Caroline Busta and Lil Internet), Mohammad Salemy, Armen Avanessian, Karen van den Berg & Jan Söffner, Kuba Szreder and Naomi Rado.
And the support of Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, Berliner Senat, Game Changers and the Zeppelin University.
Reflektor Monde gUG (haftungsbeschränkt)
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Founders / Publishers / Directors /
Verantwortliche i.S.d § 18 Abs. 2 MStV
María Inés Plaza Lazo, Pauł Sochacki
Editor in Chief: Dalia Maini
Managing Editors: María Inés Plaza Lazo, Amelie Jakubek
Contributing Editors: Elisa Fuenzalida, Ido Nahari
Distribution & Social Infrastructure: Sofia Willer
Administrative Assistance: Selma Louise Christoph
Editorial Assistance: Miguel Angel Espinoza
Design: Till Sperle
Design Assistance: Giorgia Belotti