I presented a keynote at the Mapping Festival in Geneva, Friday May 25th, 2019. The reading is from a chapter of the same name, Unlocking Proprietorial Systems: For a More Expansive Artistic Practice, from my PhD. After my talk a few people asked whether the chapter was available to read online for download. Sadly, as part of my larger thesis it is still going through the process of being assessed by examiners at Birkbeck University. However, I thought it a good idea to the post the introduction which gives an outline and context of the larger text and the Stack/slide show.
'Unlocking Proprietorial Systems' Keynote, at the Mapping festival, Geneva May 25th 2019
23 Years, an artist-led organisation - Online hub for debate around critical questions in arts,
technology and Social Change, since 1996
● A Do It With Others (DIWO!) ethos enlarges artistic freedoms through decentralised,
peer to peer practices, openness and collaboration
● 15 years (6 in Finsbury Park)- of exhibitions, labs & debates
● 75 digital & Hybrid artworks featured in Finsbury Park
● Engaging over 50,000 people
● Existing partnerships with local groups and stakeholders
● 2 venues in Finsbury Park, the Gallery & Furtherfield Commons
Systems: For a More
Keynote speech 1 – Mapping Festival.
Paradigm_Shift #3 – Broken Home. Friday,
May 24 2019.
Furtherfield: 20 years of Art, Technology and Social Change (it’s really 23 years ;-)
Autoethnography as a method for addressing hidden forces and What Does it Mean to
be an Autodidact? Why an Autoethnographic Methodology?
Chapter 1. Building Place and Space for Art : Platforms, Infrastructures, and
Chapter 2. DIWO (Do-It-With-Others): Co-creation and Decentralizing Artistic
Chapter 3. No Ecology Without Social Ecology. Part 1
Chapter 4. No Ecology Without Social Ecology. Part 2
Chapter 5. Monsters of the Machine: Frankenstein in the 21st century
Chapter 6. Unlocking Proprietorial Systems: For a More Expansive Artistic Practice
● Hack Value
● Locked & Unlocked
● What Am I Made Of?
● Unlocking the Blockchain
Systems: For a More
“We must allow all human creativity to be as free as free software.”
Steiner, Hans-Christoph. Floss + Art. Compiled and Edited by Aymeric Mansoux and Marloes de Valk.
GOTO10 in Association with OpenMute. 2008. p. 151.
What is a Proprietary and Proprietorial?
Proprietary is defined as meaning that one possesses, owns, or
holds the exclusive right to something, specifically an object.
For instance, it can be described as something owned by a
specific company or individual.
The Cambridge Dictionary for Proprietorial says “like an owner:
He put a proprietorial arm around her.”
A weekend of image play, jargon-busting discussion, hacking and hands-on-exercises, to find out how we might
unveil the financial sector. Part of Furtherfield's Art Data Money programme of art shows labs and debates to build
a commons for arts in the network age. 2017.
“By tweaking, breaking and remaking 'something' you can re-root its function,
change its purpose.”
Garrett, Marc. Revisiting the Curious World of Art & Hacktivism. Furtherfield. 02/03/2012.
The Hacker Ethic: Performing a Duty for the Common Good
● Access to computers—and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works—
should be unlimited and total. Always yield to the Hands-on Imperative!
● All information should be free.
● Mistrust authority—promote decentralization.
● Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race or position
● You can create art and beauty on a computer.
● Computers can change your life for the better.
One of the ZAD’s two
bakeries continues to churn
“We must bring into being
the world we want to defend.
These cracks where people
find each other to build a
beautiful future are
important. This is how the
zad is a model.” Naomi Klein
Locked and Unlocked Proprietorial Systems
Hazel O’Connor, in the movie Breaking Glass. Paramount Pictures. September 1980.
“Shkreli initially responded to the criticism by saying he would lower
the Daraprim price and then changed his mind again. When Hillary
Clinton tried one more time last month to get him to cut the cost, he
dismissed her with the tweet ‘lol’.” (Geiger and Christie 2015)
Geiger, Keri and Smythe, Christie. Shkreli, Drug Price Gouger, Denies Fraud and Posts Bail: Arrested Thursday,
accused of Ponzi-like scheme. Bloomberg. December 17, 2015.
“[I]t’s the distribution of freedoms and access to sustenance,
knowledge, tools, diverse experiences and values, which improve
the resilience [of] social and environmental ecologies.” Garrett &
DIWO: Do it with Others – No Ecology without Social Ecology’. 2015.
Raphael Fabre --- CNI, 2017. The Critical Engineering Working
Group --- Vending Private Network, 2018.
Transnationalisms, at Furtherfield Gallery, September - 21 October
State Machines: Reflections
and Actions at the Edge of
Digital Citizenship, Finance,
Editors Yiannis Colakides,
Marc Garrett, Inte Gloerich,
Contributors: James Bridle,
Max Dovey, Marc Garrett,
Valeria Graziano, Max Haiven,
Lynn Hershman Leeson,
Francis Hunger, Helen
Kaplinsky, Marcell Mars,
Tomislav Medak, Rob Myers,
Emily van der Nagel, Rachel
O’Dwyer, Lídia Pereira,
Rebecca L. Stein, Cassie
Thornton, Paul Vanouse,
Patricia de Vries, Krystian
What Am I Made Of?
Museum of Contemporary Commodities (MoCC) My Friend Cayla (tear down). Photograph by Benjamin J
Borley. Artist Paula Crutchlow, technologist Gareth Foote and geographer Ian Cook. 2017.
“Morone has claimed
corporate ownership of her
personal data (self), and has
founded herself as her
corporation and intellectual
property. Reclaiming agency
whilst being immersed within
protocols, and algorithms
constitutes a style of Post-
(Marc Garrett 2017)
Garrett, Marc. RECLAIMING THE CORPORATE OWNED SELF.
In the framework of State Machines. PostScriptUM #29 Series edited by Janez Janša. Aksioma. Ljubljana 2017.
Unlocking the Blockchain
“We need to find ways to embrace not only technical solutions,
but also people who have experience in community organizing
and methods that foster trust, negotiate hierarchies, and
embrace difference. Because there is no magic app for platform
cooperativism. And there never will be.” Rachel O’Dwyer.
O’Dwyer, Rachel. ‘Blockchain Just Isn’t As Radical As You Want It To Be.’ Longreads, 14 Feb 2018.
Artists Re:Thinking The Blockchain - Timeline
2018 - DAOWO The blockchain laboratory and debate series for reinventing the arts devised
and led by Ruth Catlow, Furtherfield and Ben Vickers, Serpentine with Goethe-Institut London.
2017 - Clickmine by Sarah Friend, Commissioned by Furtherfield and Neon
2017 - Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain, published by Furtherfield and Torque editions,
distributed by Liverpool University Press.
2017 - The NEW WORLD ORDER European exhibition tour as part of the State Machines
programme featuring Plantoids by O’khaos and Terra0.
2016 - The Blockchain - Change Everything Forever a short film that asked what a blockchain
could do, and who creates the new society?
2016 - Blockchain’s Potential in the Arts symposium for arts and culture researchers and policy
makers, led by Ruth Catlow and Ben Vickers at Austrian Cultural Forum.
2015 - The Human Face of Cryptoeconomies, exhibition at Furtherfield Gallery, featuring
FaceCoin by Rob Myers, and Building the Activist Bloomberg Terminal by Brett Scott.
2015 - Art Data Money programme of exhibitions, labs and debates develop a commons for the
arts in the network age.
2014 - Furtherfield published DAOWO - DAO It With Others by Rob Myers
DAOWO – DAO it With Others
● A DAO is a Decentralised Autonomous Organization, effectively a corporation or a
charitable trust implemented in networked computer code.
● Both are decentralised. A DAO has no single point of failure on the network, existing on the
blockchain. A DIWO event is organised online and open to participants worldwide.
● Both are an application of network technology to social organization. A DAO implements a corporation, charity,
club or co-operative. A DIWO event organizes artists, curators and writers to produce and exhibit work
● Both are rule driven and participatory. A DAO consists of trustless, incorruptible code that serves the interests
of its members or clients. A DIWO event is a themed open call for artworks.
● Both are ways of managing scarce resources. A DAO manages resources such as a cryptocurrency token or the
lock on a door. A DIWO event allocates the productive efforts and attention of an audience and the display
space of a gallery.
● A DAOWO would be a combination of the two: Decentralised Autonomous Organization With Others.
Rob Myers. DAOWO. Posted in Art, Crypto, Projects. September 12, 2015.
Since 2016 we have been developing Live Action Role Plays or LARPs as a way
of understanding the biopolitical dynamics of emerging blockchain technologies.
“Because there is no magic app for platform cooperativism. And there never will be...we need
to find ways to embrace not only technical solutions, but also people who have experience in
community organizing and methods that foster trust, negotiate hierarchies, and embrace
difference. ” (O’Dwyer)
London Permaculture Group. At Furtherfield Commons. Class of 2016
Gif from activist group in Portland, US. Portland, US. Diverse grassroots movement addressing the causes of
climate disruption through justice-based solutions. https://350pdx.org