Read the report on this event here

Artists Organise (on the blockchain) is the fourth event in the DAOWO blockchain laboratory and debate series for reinventing the arts.

In previous workshops, hosted by Goethe Institut London, we have explored  developments in the arts ecosystem, impacts on identity, and the complex considerations involved in formalising systems for “doing good” on the blockchain.

In this special event hosted by Drugo More in Rijeka we will draw on the Croatian cultural context and attempt to envision, devise and test alternative forms of blockchain-based cultural production systems, for application at Furtherfield in London. This workshop is part of a wider programme events in Rijeka to accompany the opening at Filodrammatica Gallery of the touring exhibition New World Order.

Set up in 2002, the pioneering non-profit Croatian initiative Clubture “aims to empower the independent cultural sector”, organising according to decentralised, participatory principles that resonate with claims made for blockchain governance.  

Together we will explore what lessons can be learned from the radical, decentralized, participatory organising principles developed by both Furtherfield and Clubture, when assessing the potential value of blockchain technologies to instigate collaboration between networks of cultural players? How do the affordances of different blockchain value systems impinge on our ideas of human nature, and the value and limitations of existing cultural institutions and networks? Who are the networks’ users? How does the network deal with inequalities of resources (time, money, reputation etc)? How are decisions made, rules enforced and conflict resolved?


This programme is devised by Ruth Catlow in collaboration with State Machines.


Workshop – led by Ruth Catlow and Max Dovey

Using theatre, improv and role play techniques participants will develop the following premise:

Julian Oliver’s Harvest node has been installed on top of Furtherfield Gallery in Finsbury Park. A wind turbine is generating a small amount of electricity that is powering the graphics card to mine the ZCash cryptocurrency. It is suggested that the surplus value generated by the work should operate as the funding faucet for a body that commissions new environmentally focused cultural practices and projects for and with the visitors to the park where it is based.

Using the Harvest ´fund´, workshop participants will develop a new public artwork proposal that can commission a cultural program in Finsbury Park. The artwork aims to establish a ´headless´ organisational structure that is financially sustainable and incorporates various actors into the cultural program. The aim is to gain ‘real-world’ understanding of how different blockchain value systems may afford alternative social structures for collaborative cultural production.  


Workshop Hosts

Ruth Catlow

Ruth Catlow [UK] is an artist, curator, and writer. She is co-director, of Furtherfield, co-founded with Marc Garrett in 1996, an artist led organization for labs, debates and exhibitions around critical questions in arts, technology and society. She has co-devised the ‘DAOWO’ workshop series with Ben Vickers (Serpentine Galleries) & in collaboration with Goethe-Institut London (Oct 2017- Mar 2018). Catlow is named by the Foundation for P2P Alternatives in their list of 100 women Co-creating the P2P society.


Max Dovey

Max Dovey [UK] can be described as 28.3% man, 14.1% artist and 8.4% successful. He is also an artist, researcher and lecturer specialising in the politics of data and algorithmic governance. His works explore the political narratives that emerge from technology and digital culture and manifest into situated projects – bars, game-shows, banks and other participatory scenarios. He holds a BA Hons in Fine Art: Time Based Media and a MA (MDes) in Media Design from Piet Zwart Institute. He is an affiliated researcher at the Institute of Network Cultures and regularly writes for Open Democracy, Imperica & Furtherfield. His work has been performed at Ars Electronica Festival, Art Rotterdam & many U.K based music festivals.


Drugo More

Drugo More (the Other Sea) is a non-profit organization working in the field of contemporary arts & culture. Since its inception in 1999, the organisation has been running a dynamic programme centred around a close engagement with the overlap between art and wider social and political concerns. The engagement of the organisation is three-fold, spanning across the local, national and international, with a marked focus on building bridges across and cross-cultural dialogues between these levels. A small but dynamic team maintains a high level of production with a programme which encompasses exhibitions, seminars, festivals, performances, workshops.