Conference to examine shift in digital culture, explore alternatives

Ljubljana, 12 November - An international conference will take place in Ljubljana on Saturday bringing together artists, hackers and researchers to critically examine the shift in digital culture from open sharing to crypto-based forms of ownership.

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"Is this the ultimate triumph of financialisation, or are there openings for different property regimes and thus new forms of art and culture?" wonders the Aksioma Institute for Contemporary Art Ljubljana, which is organising the event under the auspices of the konS platform for contemporary investigative art.

Entitled From Commons to NFTs (non-fungible tokens), the meeting will feature 23 guests from ten countries and will bring panel debates, workshops, a book presentation and a virtual exhibition.

Kicking off things in the morning will be a workshop dedicated to Game-Changers, a board game that encourages reflection on post-capitalist strategies and the different discourses that lie beneath the surface of the emerging signifiers of the "new economy".

Another workshop will explore the Zencode project whose goal is raising people's awareness of how their data is processed by algorithms.

The panel debate Crypto and the Commons will meanwhile seek to explore, in a time when mainstream crypto culture is dominated by right-wing libertarianism, how alternative crypto projects apply the concepts of radical, algorithmic and indigenous sovereignty in using the blockchain and NFTs with the aim of advancing commoning practices.

The Ownership and Desire panel will look at the desires encoded in blockchain, DAO and NFT projects, and explore what a vision of a truly different world with blockchain could look like.

Another panel at the conference, which will be hosted by the Kino Šiška arts centre and all of which will also be streamed on Aksioma's website, is entitled After the Bubble: NFTS as a Long-Term Artistic Medium?

The topics of the conference draw on the seven essays from the book From Commons to NFTs, which examines the desires and impulses that drive digital culture, focusing on the shift from commons to NFTs, from new forms of sharing to the expansion of private ownership and tradable commodities.

"Written by artists, researchers, curators and technologists from Europe, North America and East Asia, these essays bring much-needed first-hand experience and long-term perspective to the discussion," Aksioma wrote.

© STA, 2022