Rhea Myers, Blockchain Aesthetics, 2014. Custom software. Courtesy the artist.
This program will be presented online, free of charge. Register to receive access to the live presentation.
What can an institution become when it is organized with the network at its core? This question, which has been a topic of concern for art institutions since the rise of the public internet, is newly relevant thanks to the ascendance of blockchain-based forms of social organizing at a time of ongoing crisis for many legacy institutions.
Collecting art, making grants, and other functions long performed by arts organizations are increasingly being taken on by blockchain-based digital cooperatives known as DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations), which are organized using tools such as NFTs (non-fungible tokens, a means of certifying digital assets on the blockchain). Co-organized by the New Museum’s digital art affiliate Rhizome and interdisciplinary contemporary arts organization Kadist, this event asks to what extent the work of institutions might be propelled forward using these new models.
Gathering artists, developers, and thinkers for a series of conversations and presentations, the afternoon-long event will also consider the apparent contradictions inherent in these forms, which are both financialized and cooperative; how these relate to the contradictions involved in traditional institutional models; and how these contradictions might play out in the future.
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