Blockchain for Social Change


- 22 October 2021 -

Barbara Cueto, curator of the programme, will unfold the overarching topic of the programme: how to reframe blockchain into a social technology.

White Papers on Dissent is neither an attempt to exhaustively describe the financial possibilities of blockchain, nor about providing a comprehensive political overview. The goal was precisely to move away from those notions to look at its social potential. Consequently, this public programme focuses on the capacity to re-formulate social relations and re-address power structures to expose its potentiality to become the apparatus for the social constructions of autonomy. This project is, thus, an invitation to rethink blockchain as a organisational tool that can build pockets of resistance that empower a community in their quest for emancipation. Naturally, the technology is not going to code-away all our problems — it needs to be thought politically in order to have the ability to redesign socially.

White Papers on Dissent is a discursive programme dedicated to the investigation of blockchain as a tool for radical imagination. Though panel discussions, artist talks, participatory events, and a podcast it aims to collectively practice the making of the world otherwise, thinking through the technology to rehearse new social and political imaginaries.

White Papers on Dissent moves away from the economic discourse surrounding blockchain to understand the technology as a social apparatus. It examines how the technology can articulate new ways of community organising that circumvents hegemonic economic principles and, thus, reformulates the notion of value be-yond the market. This discursive project investigates how the technology can re-address power structures and create alternative forms of governance adapted to the shared goals and wishes of a community. Therefore, White Papers on Dissent explores technology as a tool to concoct new elsewheres and otherwises: new forms of utopia with a biopolitical production adjusted to the characteristics and desires of the post-digital society.

White Papers on Dissent looks into blockchains through two complementary an-gles: the politics within the technology and its aesthetic experimentations. On the one hand, it delves into how the different uses of the technology develop of new political imaginaries, forms of subversion and new forms of digital activism. On the other hand, it explores how artists working with blockchains give rise to new forms of aesthetic resistance, rehearsals of the not-yet that formulate new meanings of social structures and prepare new spaces of autonomy.

supported by
vanabbe SAM Logo Corporaten BnW
funded by
creative industriesasca logologo digitalcultures


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