These are still early days before the full implications and range of uses and environments that the blockchain technology can affect and be affected by are known. In anticipation of these implications, the team believes that there is enough evidence of a need for mass organised collective action regarding data: to defend and manage personal and population-wide data. This organisation should come ‘from below’. Data Union fork → tools for data strike is an idea building on DECODE OS, blockchain-based, operating system and nodes for decentralised ownership and control of data. It is a proposal to conceptualise, articulate and co-create an assertive “smart contract” model enabling
The residency was a collaboration between the artist Larisa Blazic and the DECODE European research project. While Larisa’s work focuses on the politics of technology and, more recently, on data privacy in the digital age and all the political, societal and individual underlying questions, DECODE’s goal is to raise awareness on how technology might either empower them on, or abstract them from the control they have on their data. Their collaboration, facilitated by Waag, fall under the name of “Data Union Fork” and aimed to provide citizens with tools and methods – amongst which Blockchain and their Smart Contract concept – to develop a collective, creative, and democratic response to the social, economic, and cultural implications of mass scale data harvesting and to fully leverage the value of that data in the interests of democracy, equality, and justice. This was be done through a cycle of discussions involving citizens, activists, legislators, technologists and artists.
Residency mid-term video
Dissemination was in the very core of the project since it implied the involvement of a community and had the goal to ignite the debate at a larger scale, and raising awareness of the citizens to make them act. The residency aimed at social and political impact in its very nature, through a discussion on technology, to empower the user with meaningful tools, which is an innovation by definition. The artwork, as well as the workshops, brought these critical subjects to society in an engaging and didactic way, inviting its audience to consider its digital citizenship status and the rights and power that come with it. For the Tech Project and the Producer, learnings also appeared at a methodological level – they consider artists as researchers. Per example, the workshop format as a way to engage with citizens. For the artist, an ex-academic, the residency achieved to materialize the results of her research: how to translate the language of activism & academia into artistic language, to be understood by the artistic audience, curators and, overall, to translate something very complex into a simple, engaging experience?
Residency final video