Plotting on the blockchain. On the possibility of care among widespread logics of extraction

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Abstract

Blockchains draw everything they touch into a market logic. Is resistance possible?Activist and artistic engagements with blockchain technology point to (at least) threedifferent sets of tactics that aim to subvert this affordance of the technology. The firstis part of an accellerationist logic: riding the waves of capital until capitalism finallycrashes, funding alternative values with whatever profit was accrued while it lasted.The second are part of prefigurative politics: building alternative blockchain systems,often in the form of decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs, that perform adifferent kind of politics and social organization, for example cooperativism or self-organized art funding. Then, there are those that explore how blockchain’s logics canbe subverted to make space for different ways of relating in non-financial and more-than-human ways. In this short essay I would like to focus on this third tactic, and toexplore what it might mean, I've been inspired by Patricia de Vries’ take on “plot workas an artistic praxis” (2022) that builds on decolonial theorist Sylvia Wynter describedas “the plot system” that represented small, imperfect corners of relative self-deter-mination within the larger context of colonial plantations (Wynter 1971, 96). De Vriesasks how artistic work, implicated as it is in institutional and capitalist logics, can per-form plot work to create space for relating outside of those logics. But before I adressthis question, it is important to understand what Wynter understands as the logic ofthe plantation.
Original languageEnglish
Size4 pages (1000 words)
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

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