01 February | 19:30

Blockchained Your Life_ The TechnoPolitics of Cryptocurrencies #412

  • Start time: 19:30
  • Part of the transmediale/CTM Vorspiel 2018 festival (vorspiel.berlin)

Panel discussion moderated by Rose Regina, Dennis Schep, Luce deLire. 

The event will be recorded and live streamed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4XlX-ZqVjk

"We are defending our privacy with cryptography, [...]."
 (Hughes 1993)

1) ''What problem is it that cryptocurrencies try to solve?''
Fasten your seatbelt. In the first part of the event, we will hear about the historical origins and current political trajectories of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. We will receive a cryptocurrency crash course. We will engage in a cryptomaterialistic perspective on the metaphysical baggage cryptocurrencies come with. We will contextualize them within a set of larger scale political stakes (property, atheism). We will hear how these issues manifest in technology and its subjects. We will investigate the reinscription of pre-existing dominance and coercion by and through anonymous transaction, the monetization of data and the lack of undo buttons.

2) ''Are these the relevant problems?''
Has 'bitcoin' merely re-invented capitalism? Do 'smart contracts' rewire the notion of property? We will discuss these and whatever else you bring. We hope to come to think of some concrete actions. For this purpose, we might decide to break up into smaller groups.

"The point is not to convert the inassimilable into the assimilable [nor to hedge and keep it inassimilable], but to challenge those regimes that require assimilation to their own norms."
(Butler 2012)


Rose Regina Lawrence is the Digital Security Coordinator at Tactical Tech, a global non-profit network of activists, technologists and engaged citizens.

Dennis Schep is a freelance cultural critic and literary scholar, based in Berlin.

Luce deLire is a philosopher, currently on sabbatical from Johns Hopkins University.