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Thinking through the block workshops during A Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance

Banner Repeater project space.


12th November Saturday 3-6pm


Continuing our focus on publishing as process, where important precedents in publishing provide insights into present day protocols of engagement in network culture, we will be holding two open workshops experimenting with publishing through the blockchain, and how this might bring about new ways of working, and instituting.  The very first block of data in Bitcoin; the Genesis block, contained a “secret” message inscribed within it of The Times (UK) headline commenting on the fallibility of the current banking system: 'The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks'.  A recent news headline reports on the UK Government trials of blockchain technology in the Welfare Payments system, partnering with Barclays Bank. The workshops aim to discuss the possibly contradictory claims made regarding the blockchain, whilst developing a digital puzzle of our findings, that will be inscribed, ascribed, and described through the block. 


The workshops are open to everyone, with invited contributors: Tom Clark, Paul Purgas, Alessandro Ludovico, Karen Di Franco, Ruth Catlow, Ben Vickers, Tom Pearson, Malavika Rajnarayan, Prayas Abhinav and Satya Gummuluri.


We will be considering ideas that include the most immediate use of the block to attribute to all digital artefacts authorship and hence intellectual property, and copyright, whilst asking:


  • In what way does the blockchain differ significantly from earlier precedents such as: ISSN, ISBN?

  • how might we use the potential of blockchain to develop alternative models of sharing?

  • ow are differing contractual agreements being developed - dependent on usage and user?

  • how might these operate within an economy that has been described primarily as a gift economy?

  • how might blockchain facilitate the development of new institutional models?

  • what can we learn from previous precedents that share similar attributes to blockchain in archival projects?

  • how might blockchain, with it’s capacity to render all items ultimately searchable, perhaps shut-down previous modes of working? that include: copying and appropriation, as just two examples.


An the online digital puzzle develops through the workshops we will include written and visual contributions, leaving traces in the chain, and displayed in the project space as a work in progress.


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