Radical Friends is an urgent book for the 21st century and beyond. It shows us, in the spirit of the legendary poet and artist Etel Adnan, that the technology of the future needs to be about “togetherness, not separation. Love, not suspicion. A common future, not isolation.” – Hans Ulrich Obrist
Join Principal Investigator of the Blockchain Lab Ruth Catlow and writer Penny Rafferty – editors of the new book, Radical Friends – in exploring Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs or technology enabled member-owned communities without centralised leadership) and their potential in the arts. Select readings from the text will be presented by editors Ruth Catlow and Penny Rafferty, followed by contributors including Kei Kreutler, Calum Bowden, and Jaya Klara Brekke, and then by a live Q+A with the audience.
About Radical Friends
In recent years DAOs have been heralded as a powerful stimulus for reshaping how value systems for interdependence and cooperation manifest themselves in arts organising. Radical Friends – Decentralised Autonomous Organisations and the Arts consolidates five years of research into a toolkit for fierce thinking, as well as for new forms of radical care and connectivity that move beyond the established systems of centralised control in the art industry and wider financial networks.
At a time when so many are focused on NFTs, Radical Friends refocuses attention on DAOs as potentially the most radical blockchain-based technology for the arts in the long-term. Contributors engage both past and emergent methodologies for building resilient and mutable systems for mutual aid. Collectively, the book aims to evoke and conjure new imaginative communities, and to share the practices and blueprints that can help produce them.
Radical Friends includes contributions of essays, interviews, exercises, and prototypes from leading thinkers, artists and technologists across this emerging field, including Legacy Russell, Rhea Myers, Hito Steyerl, Ramon Amaro,Terra0, and many more. Radical Friends, the book, follows Furtherfield and Torque Editions ground-breaking book Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain.
- Ruth Catlow
Ruth Catlow is an artist, curator and researcher of emancipatory network cultures, practices and poetics. She is co-founder and artistic director of Furtherfield, co-editor of Artists Re:thinking the Blockchain (2017) and founder of DECAL Decentralised Arts Lab experimenting with blockchain and web 3.0 technologies for fairer, more dynamic and connected cultural ecologies and economies. She is PI at the Blockchain Lab at the Serpentine Galleries R&D Platform.
- Penny Rafferty
Penny Rafferty is a writer, curator and visual theorist based in Berlin. Departing from her research and thinking she has initiated projects like Black Swan DAO (2018–ongoing) and Ishtar Gate (2020). She continues to work as both a writer, auditor and researcher at the crossroads of art, culture and technology.
- Kei Kreutler
Kei Kreutler is a writer, artist, and developer interested in how cultural narratives of technologies shape their use. Since 2017, she has directed strategy and communications at Gnosis, building leading protocols for web3. In 2021, she co-founded Gnosis Guild, a small team behind the Zodiac expansion pack for DAOs. She also sits on the Board of Regen Foundation. As an artist, she experiments across disciplines, such as creating the OSO initiative for the observation of satellites, spacecraft, and space junk, and she has exhibited at institutions, such as the V&A Museum, London, UK and Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, DE
- Calum Bowden
Calum Bowden collaborates on stories, worlds, and platforms that reconnect the cultural with the technological, economical, political and ecological. He co-founded Trust and Black Swan.
- Jaya Klara Brekke
Jaya Klara Brekke is a cryptographic geographer. She is a fellow at the Weizenbaum institute in Berlin and CSO at Nym, a decentralised and incentivised privacy system. She writes and speaks on emerging technologies and their effects on cultural and political life, occasionally advising the European Commission on these themes.
This event is free but requires registration to attend. Please make sure to register by booking your tickets in advance through our RSVP button as there will be limited capacity.
There will be copies of Radical Friends ready for sale throughout the event, as well as post-event via the Serpentine Bookstore.
Radical Friends was made possible through support by and in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut London, Serpentine R&D Platform and Furtherfield’s Decentralised Arts Lab DECAL. With special thanks to Katrin Sohns, Head of Programmes Goethe Institut, and Mario Schruff, Culture Department, Visual Arts and Music Programmes Goethe Institut, and Ben Vickers, Co-founder Ignota.
Please also be advised that this event will be photographed, registering for the event will prompt you to consent to your image being photographed throughout its activity.