Friday 08 September 2017

Artists put their brains on the block(chain)

Artists put their brains on the block(chain) "Bittercoin", Martín Nadal / César Escudero Andaluz

Our friends at Furtherfield alongside arts publishing organisation Torque have launched a new book. Entitled Artists Re:Thinking Blockchain, it's a follow-up to their Artists Re:Thinking Games and features a number of thinkpieces, poems, and speculative works set in a context of a time "before Blockchain changed the world".

 There's no doubt that Blockchain is on fire at the moment. Coins and ICOs are sprouting up every day, and large corporations are embracing the technology as a way to authenticate the movement of goods and services through associated technologies like Hyperledger Fabric. Like many technological innovations which offer a fundamental rethink of society and commerce (including the Internet itself), Blockchain is often presented as the intangible solution to a set of contemporary, tangible problems.

So, it's excellent to see a compendium of cognitive and physical works from digital artists be launched at such as critical - yet still early - time in Blockchain's evolution. Also, kudos to the UK's digital art scene for embracing the topic wholesale.

Here's the full table of contents:


FinBook: Literary content as digital commodity, Rory Gianni /  Hadi Merpouya et al
Text as Market, Ami Clarke
Plantoid, Primavera De Filippi
Terra0, Paul Seidler / Paul Kolling / Max Hampshire
Critical mining: blockchain and bitcoin in contemporary art, Martín Nadal & César Escudero Andaluz
The Blockchain: Change everything forever, Peter Gomes
Satoshi Oath, Jaya Klara Brekke and Elias Haase
01.01.20, Kimberley ter Heerdt / Nikki Loef
Role Play Your Way to Budgetary Blockchain Bliss, Pablo Velasco
A Shared Timeline, PWR Studio
Blockchain Future States, Simon Denny (and artist interview)


Flying Under A Neutral Flag, Cecilia Wee
History of Political Operating Systems - Interview with Dr. L. Godord, Elli Kuruş
All That Happened, Surfatial
Bad Shibe, Rob Myers / Lina Theodorou
Defixio Nervorum, Theodoros Chiotis
How to Surf, Juhee Hahm


If You Don’t Have Bread, Eat Art!: Contemporary Art and Derivative Fascisms, Hito Steyerl
immutabilty mantra, Ben Vickers
Blockchain Poetics, Rob Myers
Love on the Block, Max Dovey
Collections management on the blockchain: A return to the principles of the museum, Helen Kaplinsky
Artists Rights in the Era of the Distributed Ledger, Mark Waugh
Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About the Blockchain (But Were Afraid to Ask Mel Ramsden), Martin Zeilinger
Does digital culture want to be free? How blockchains are transforming the economy of cultural goods, Rachel O’Dwyer
Aphantasia - blockchain as medium for art, Bjørn Magnhildøen, Noemata
Holly Herndon & Mat Dryhurst interview, Marc Garrett

Artists Re:Thinking Blockchain is available from Amazon, but why not buy it from a taxpaying business which supports its communities: Liverpool University Press.

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