Blockchain Lab

Online June 2019 – Ongoing


Since 2017, the Blockchain Lab has brought together artists, cultural workers, technologists with local initiatives, institutions and businesses to foster a new system of cooperation within the arts.

The lab is led by Ruth Catlow, co-founder of Furtherfield and DECAL, and Penny Rafferty, an artist and writer. The lab explores the potential of blockchain technologies and decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) to change the way the arts are organised through convening events, research, R&D and prototype projects

Recent projects

DAOWO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation With Others)

The Blockchain Lab builds on DAOWO, a laboratory and debate series for reinventing the arts. Since 2017, DAOWO has brought together artists, engineers, crypto-economists, musicians, technologists, and theorists. They discuss how blockchain technologies could enable a critical, sustainable and empowered culture.

Artworld DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation) Think Think.

In 2019 the Blockchain lab hosted the first Artworld DAO think tank. The event encouraged participants to imagine collective arts production, tools, capacities, and resources. Catlow and Rafferty ran a second event in 2020. The participants included: artists, blockchain developers and directors of arts venues. They came from Athens, Berlin, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Minsk, Moscow, and Singapore.


Blockchain & Art Knowledge Sharing Summit UK

The summit examined the opportunities available for working with blockchain technologies in the cultural sector. It was a 2019 collaboration with Digital Catapult.

Ethereal Summit, Art Grants

The 2018 summit featured a Live Art auction of blockchain artworks. Ruth and Sam Hart were invited to act as co-curators and visiting judges.

Blockchain’s Potential in the Arts

A symposium for arts and culture researchers and policy makers. Ruth Catlow and Ben Vickers led the event at the Austrian Cultural Forum.


Radical Friends – Decentralised Autonomous Organisations and the Arts

Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) offer unique tools for peers to encode rules, relations and values into their joint ventures using blockchain technologies. Radical Friends includes essays, interviews, exercises, and prototypes from leading thinkers, artists and technologists across this emerging field. This book follows Furtherfield and Torque Editions ground-breaking book Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain. Read an excerpt and buy the book.

Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain

Exploring what the blockchain should and could mean for the future, this book is edited by Ruth Catlow, Marc Garrett, Nathan Jones, and Sam Skinner. Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain features essays, fiction, illustrations, and art documentation.


2019 – Ongoing

DECAL Decentralised Arts Lab, a Furtherfield initiative to mobilise crowdsourced research and development by leading artists, using blockchain and web 3.0 technologies for fairer, more dynamic and connected cultural ecologies and economies. Projects include:

  • CultureStake the web-based quadratic voting and connection system for decentralised cultural decision-making and investment
  • A Blockchain Art History Timeline, an experimental timeline of blockchain and crypto art on the blockchain created using decentralised technologies for collective curation
  • a series of data ethics research LARPs.
2017 – 2019

DAOWO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation With Others), the award-winning blockchain lab and debate series for reinventing the arts with Furtherfield, Serpentine, and Goethe Institut London. A UK Summit in partnership with University of Edinburgh and Digital Catapult London took place in 2019.


Ethereal Summit, Art Grants: Ruth Catlow is a judge and co-curator with Sam Hart.

  • Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain. Eds Ruth Catlow, Marc Garrett, Nathan Jones, Sam Skinner. Published by Furtherfield and Torque Editions. Distributed by Liverpool University Press, UK.
  • NEW WORLD ORDER exhibition and European Tour by Furtherfield Gallery as part of the State Machines programme. It featured Plantoids by O’khaos, Bad Shibe by Rob Myers with illustrations by Lina Theodorous, and Terra0’s self-owning forest.
  • The Blockchain – Change Everything Forever a short film that asked what a blockchain could do, and who creates the new society? Furtherfield in partnership with Digital Catapult London.
  • 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.
  • The Human Face of Cryptoeconomies, exhibition at Furtherfield Gallery, featuring FaceCoin by Rob Myers, and Building the Activist Bloomberg Terminal by Brett Scott.
  • Art Data Money, Furtherfield’s programme of exhibitions, labs and debates to develop a commons for the arts in the network age.

Partners and Networks

Partners and Networks

Furtherfield, DECAL, Goethe-Institut London, Austrian Cultural Forum, Digital Catapult London, University of Edinburgh, Department of Design Informatics, Ethereal Summit/ Consensys, BlockRocket, A*nA, Zien, Arteia, Guild, Trust, Berlin, Torque Editions,, Full Node, Berlin,Left Gallery, Supermarkt Berlin, DGov, Radical XChange, Gray Area, Nice Awards, FACT, NEoN, Leeds International Festival, Arebyte, FutureEverything, State Machines, NeMe, Drugo More, Aksioma, Institute of Networked Cultures/ MoneyLab, Para Site, Liverpool University Press, University College London, Department of Engineering, University College London, Department of Art History, City University of London, Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design.


Discover over 50 years of the Serpentine

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