Thursday 25 Jan
13.30 – 17.30 – Kei Kreutler, Sarah Meiklejohn, Laura Wallis, Jaya Klara Brekke
Doing Good (on the blockchain) is the third event in the DAOWO blockchain laboratory and debate series for reinventing the arts.
In previous workshops we have probed ideas focusing on developments for blockchain application in the arts and the role of identity within the blockchain ecosystem.
Citizen groups that engage in activism and ‘doing good’ are generally structured around informal economies which rely on a certain degree of flexibility, improvisation and indeterminacy of activity. The introduction of technical systems can have a flattening effect that removes all contingency from a system. It sets distinct rules under which an activity or exchange can take place. These rules however can be somewhat opaque, shaped by the affordances of technologies rather than the needs of its users. This event aims to examine what is at stake in the formalisation of ‘doing good’ under blockchain systems for decentralised trust. We will look at how informal systems (e.g. for organising migration from war zones to stable territories) are forced into a formalised rule based structure, while formal systems for public good (eg distribution of social welfare) may exacerbate issues of both exclusion and monitoring. We consider design for contingency, and identify what must be left out.
The Right Systems For The Job?
Sarah Meiklejohn will set the scene sharing her research into developments in systems of decentralised trust, openness and visibility in finance, supply chains, and managing personal data.
This will be followed by 3 provocations that will inform discussion and debate:
Increased Engagement & Resisting De-facto Centralisation
Jaya Klara Brekke on the affordances of Faircoin blockchain technology, exploring its use as a redistribution of what is possible, and for who – extending and reconfiguring spaces and modes of politics.
Incentives for Participation
Laura Willis, on the work of Citizen Me – a platform that promotes the understanding of the value of personal data through notions of citizenship.
Behaviour under Transparency
Kei Kreutler (Gnosis) on blockchain’s potential ability to encode and incentivize social behavior, both on- and off-chain, and designing for unforeseen consequences. How does the figure of the good—politically and aesthetically—influence the uptake of “new” technologies, and how do staked predictions influence the present?
This workshop is devised by Ruth Catlow (Furtherfield) and Ben Vickers (Serpentine) in collaboration with Goethe-Institut London and in partnership with Dr Sarah Meiklejohn from UCL, as part of the research project Glass Houses – Transparency and Privacy in Information Economies.
Sarah Meiklejohn is a Reader in Cryptography and Security at University College London. She has broad research interests in computer security and cryptography, and has worked on topics such as anonymity and criminal abuses in cryptocurrencies, privacy-enhancing technologies, and bringing transparency to shared systems.
Jaya Klara Brekke
Jaya Klara Brekke writes, does research and speaks on the political economy of blockchain and consensus protocols, focusing on questions of politics, redistribution and power in distributed systems. She is the author of the B9Lab ethical training module for blockchain developers, and the Satoshi Oath, a hippocratic oath for blockchain development. She is based between London, occasionally Vienna (as a collaborator of RIAT – Institute for Future Cryptoeconomics) and Durham University, UK where she is writing a PhD with the preliminary title Distributing Chains, three strategies for thinking blockchain politically (distributingchains.info).
Laura Willis works as Design Lead in user experience at CitizenMe. Alongside this work Laura is also very passionate about illustration and won an award for Macmillan children’s books before she graduated from University of the Arts, London.
Kei Kreutler is a researcher, designer, and developer interested in how cultural narratives of technologies shape their use. She contributes to a range of projects—from the networked residence initiative unMonastery to the augmented reality game for urban research PATTERNIST—related to organizational design and practice. She is Creative Director at Gnosis, a forecasting platform on the Ethereum blockchain, and lives in Berlin.
The DAOWO programme is devised by Ruth Catlow (Furtherfield) and Ben Vickers (Serpentine Galleries & unMonastery) in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut London, and the State Machines programme.