All images taken by Pau Ros.
Text version of the speech at The Human Face of Cryptoeconomies exhibition opening by Marc Garrett.
My task here, is to discuss the social context of this exhibition. I'm going to ask everyone here to remember where they are, right now, at this very moment.
We are in the heart of Finsbury park, and the park is looked after generously by Haringey Council. If you visit the Haringay.gov web site you will discover that this region's population is the fifth most ethnically diverse in the country. 263,386 people live in Haringey and it says that the growth locally is mostly due to the increase in birth rates and net gain from international migration, and the top three countries for new national insurance number allocation are Italy, Spain and Poland.
The data tells us of a rich diversity, but if we consider the number of people not applying for national insurance numbers (for whatever reason) it becomes apparent that one cannot get a satisfactory picture of the reality of lives in this borough purely from the data. So, alongside the data, you also need to attend to living and 'breathing' people on the ground. And of course the people that work to deliver Haringey council services do this too, collecting, sharing and acting on the knowledge on the front line, as part of their human experience.
We also do this at Furtherfield. We translate the noise going on out there in local and digital culture and we bring it back here to this gallery in the park, to share, to look at it, and do things with it. This also brings us to the ideas and intentions that lie behind 'The Human Face of Cryptoeconomies' exhibition, as well as the workshops and events happening over the next few months.
Everyone present this evening shares a genuine interest and fascination with the art: the ideas, the data, the engineering, the networks, the people, the culture of it, the critique of this stuff – here and now.
However, the dialogues happening around this show will also expand to the local people who live in Haringey, and across London. Many of those coming to the gallery space and to the Furtherfield Commons are not regular visitors to art galleries. Yet, we have been constantly re-educated by these very people of how much knowledge they themselves have and are willing to discuss, share and critique, regarding art, technology, culture and societal issues.
It's because of these experiences that we know first hand, everyday people are also interested in things relating to art, technology and social change. We don't think we've ever dumbed down the critical meanings or content of the work in the shows, events and workshops, that we've been involved with through the years. In fact, we feel that we provide a great testing ground. We represent a contemporary state of networked-ness, or what-ness.
We are part of an ever growing online community using and experimenting with different self-built platforms since 97. We are also present in physical space where many of the discussions with our networked communities and neighbourhoods can and does become the very content driving these shows, events, projects, and publications - it is a mass production of p2p content spilling out into material space.
So, what is this assemblage of diverse things connecting up the Furtherfield Neighbourhood experience? Well, it's the spirit of emancipation. Good old fashioned human values and it's as old as sex, mixed with post-human feminism, Situationism, coding, hacking, egalitarianism, community, and yes a soft 'c' for capitalism, and a big 'C' for Cryptoeconomies - those economies particular to the network age, which we hope to claim as part of a future story - where with others we can build an artistic and critically engaging and grounded vision, that allows us to together claim this technology in ways that liberate us.
So, welcome all and thank you for coming along and sharing your valuable time with us, lets enjoy 'The Human Face of Cryptoeconomies' and see what we can do with it!