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12th November 2017 – Banner Repeater


Jaya Klara Brekke: power and governance in blockchain // introduction to smart contracts


Jaya Klara Brekke will be giving an overview on the political economy of blockchain and consensus protocols, focusing on questions of agency, ethics and power in distributed systems, and introducing the idea of smart contracts.


She has been working as a researcher, designer and curator on projects related to the political economies of infrastructures for the past ten years, including D-CENT a Europe-wide project creating privacy-aware tools and applications for direct democracy and economic empowerment, and is currently writing a PhD at Durham University, UK, titled Distributing Chains, a political analysis of three blockchain applications. She is based between London, Athens and Barcelona.


Full bio:

Jaya Klara Brekke writes, does research and speaks on the political economy of blockchain and consensus protocols, focusing on questions of politics and power in distributed systems. She is the author of the B9Lab ethical training module for blockchain developers, and has been working as a researcher, designer and curator on projects related to the political economies of infrastructures for the past ten years. She is based between Durham University, UK, where she is writing a PhD titled 'Distributing Chains, Three Strategies for Thinking Blockchain Politically', London where she spends much of her time with the InfoSec research group at UCL Computer sciences department and Vienna as collaborator of RIAT, Institute for Future Crypto-economics.

de-leb: writing workshops.

Sunday 22nd April 2-6pm

Sunday 6th May 2-6pm


(please note that due to very limited space you must register for the workshops in advance at - please tell us a little about your interest in the project in your email, and any prior experience you may have that is relevant - spaces will go fast)


Whilst blockchain appears primarily still as a Rorschach(3) test, and many things to many people, central to this is the proposal of new ways of working via distributed autonomous networks, removing the necessity of a trusted source, such as a bank, or indeed, a government. 


Drawing on the previous Thinking through the Block workshops last year, (the audio of which you can listen to at the exhibition becomes a site for a collectively authored writing experiment, a science fiction based on fact, time-stamped via smart contracts on the blockchain.


de-leb takes it’s name from the situation that a de-leb - a dead celebrity - typically enjoys more data choice from beyond the grave i.e. they have more agency over the deployment of their data: name, image, the very idea of them, and the products that may be associated with them - than those still living.  de-leb considers the currency of data, through the capacity to broker personal data through smart contracts, opening up through a thought experiment, questions regarding existing value systems that mean that data operates as an unacknowledged form of currency buying access and participation in a variety of ways.  Whilst not wanting to accept the total financialization of the self as a fait accompli, the Wages for Housework movement drew attention to the fact that unacknowledged labour, supporting capital accumulation, continues, nonetheless.


de-leb acts as a site of collective authorship, across a broad ecology of actors and actants, including: users, user groups, programmers, hardware designers, data brokers/agents, risk managers, corporations, unions, PRS, DACS, algos, smart objects (phones, fridges, cars etc), DAO’s and other actants, not yet conceived of.  It aims to examine the kinds of measure that currently exist, recursively produced through data analytics, and goes on to propose new gradients of measure, asking further what might be considered non-negotiable, what price anonymity, amid other pressing questions with regards the re-purposing of data.  It draws upon the critical potential of the post-human, wary of claims of a humanist sort, and mindful that human rights have only ever been afforded to some, and not others, to address the ecology of means through which the subject emerges, snagged on the ideological and social transformations that new technologies bring about as governance is increasingly subsumed by software.



de-leb is developed by Ami Clarke in collaboration with Paul Purgas, and Tom Pearson, with software development/coding by Tom Kobialka.



(1) The Binder and the Server by Triple Canopy, 2012.

(2) Orgs: From Slime Mold to Silicon Valley, editor Jenna Sutela.

(3) Benjamin Bratton HKW Berlin 2017


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