A DAO, or “Distributed Autonomous Organisation,” is a next-generation outgrowth of the blockchain technology underlying Bitcoin. Simple transactions between two parties are replaced by “smart contracts” which can involve any kind of engagement and any number of parties. Customizable spaces of interaction can be built on top of the underlying architecture, enabling a diversity of self-defining projects to cohabit the same ecosystem and enter into mutually beneficial relation. With this ability, the Distributed Autonomous Organization evolves toward the Distributed Programmable Organization. Post-blockchain architectures are already emerging that have even more flexible, lower-cost, rhizomatic architectures operating on the peer-to-peer model. These make it possible to design alternative models embodying an ethos of sustainable economic and social cooperation that is integrally built into the systems architecture at all levels.
These developments open new possibilities for collective projects to invent their own self-sustaining creative economies, operating not in competition with each other but in a shared, open-source environment based on notions of the “common” (or, more radically, what Fred Moten and Stefano Harney call the “undercommons”). Collective initiatives can invent their own autonomous model, combining collaboratiive work tools, a decentralized, self-administering governance system, and an internal micro-economy that can be interlinked to the cryptocurrency markets or invent its own dedicated forms of value.
The SenseLab’s Immediations project is working intensively to develop a self-sustaining micro-economy of abundance fostering emergent collectivity arising at the intersection of art, philosophy, and activism. The 3E Process Seed Bank will embody the principles of a key concept that the Immediations project has been developing called the “anarchive.” The 3E Process Seed Bank will serve as the “creative process engine” for the 3 Ecologies Institute alter-university project. The 3E Process Seed Bank will be open source. It will be offered to other cooperatives as a template to be adapted to their needs. Toward this end, we are intensively engaged with exploring collaborations with innovators such as the Economic (ECSA, http://ecsa.io) and Holochain (https://holochain.org)
Interview by Marc Todoroff with Erin Manning and Brian Massumi, reflecting the collective work and conceptual developments as of March 2018.
Cephalopod Dreams: Finance at the Limit, Erin Manning
A collective exploration of what an anarchive can be, produced as a book sprint during the Distributing the Insensible event, Montreal, 10-20 December 2016. Andrew Murphie, with the SenseLab.
Multidimensional collective exploration of the anarchival frontiers of finance, also produced during the the Distributing the Insensible event, Montreal, 10-20 December 2016 in the context of the SenseLab’s collaboration with ECSA. Érik Bordeleau, Skye Bougsty-Marshall, Laura Lotti, Joel Mason.
The following working papers represent stages in the 3E Process Seed Bank project. They were written to sum up developments and spark further discussion and experimentation. They do not reflect the final form of the project. The concepts and proposals they contain continue to evolve.
This working paper served as a bridge between two events at which ECSA and the SenseLab worked intensively together on issues of creative altereconomies: the Immediations’ Adventure Capital Study Retreat, Oka, 24-27 July 2016 and the ECSA “Open Source the Economy: Blockchain, Abundance, Co-Creation & Beyond ”brainstorm and hackathon, Oakland, California, 11-15 November 2016, Oakland. It represents the first systematic imagining of the Adventure Capital DAO. (We have since abandoned the term “adventure capital” because of its potential to be misunderstood to carry neoliberal connotations.)
This working paper develops further ideas about the potential role of the anarchive as part of an alter-economy. It also begins to tackle the question of how the qualities of relation and affective intensities energizing collective creative process might become the basis for an actual economy.
Following up from the SenseLab’s brainstorming session with the Volatilies Group based at NYU and the New School (New York, March 5-7, 2017), this working paper starts to envision how the 3E Process Seed Bank platform might design “smart contracts” consonant with the SenseLab’s approach to creative process. Smart contracts are necessary to enable interoperability with a surrounding environment of cooperative economic spaces.
This working paper develops further ideas about how smart contracts might work on the planned 3E Process Seed Bank Platform. Smart contracts are renamed « self-organizing propositions » (SOPs) to avoid the narrow, transactional connotations of the word « contract. » The goal is to replace the formal, rule-based governance structure that is typically used to regulate distributed online platforms with a set of flexible, interlinkable SOPS that shepherd the creative interactions across thresholds of decision-making and taking-form. The goal is to provide lures and openings for self-organizing, rather than boxing the process into a normative regulatory framework.
This working paper follows up from Working Paper 4. It presents the thinking resulting from a hands-on workshop designed to further explore the potential of self-organizing propositions (SOPs) as an alternative to a traditional digital governance structure. In keeping with the 3 Ecologies approach, the SOPs are being designed starting from their processual qualities, as experimented with and experienced in live off-line interaction. The goal is for the digital platform to evolve as an analog of the analog process of emergent collectivity, rather than as a formal modeling of individual behavior according to a preestablished rule set. The code takes it place in the process, as a phase of it, participating in and analogically echoing its processual character, rather than standing on its own as a supposedly neutral framing of operational parameters.
“Processual Operator Thingies (POTs) are the second coding technique the 3E Process Seed Bank uses. Understood as bundles of code that bring qualitative more-than human tendencies to processes that will tend to be individualising (because online participation invariably passes through the individual user), POTs mine existing techniques for assistance (and deviation) in navigating the 3E Process Seed Bank. A variation on the figure of the BOT, POTs are quality intensifiers that detour processes too goal-oriented. Familiar as we are with our ways of navigating on the web, our proposition is that we POT our orientations, that we allow POT tonalities to activate relational shifts in the system. POTs build on our event-thresholding techniques, techniques we have invented over the years that facilitate new ways of coming into relation.“
“The affectometer, a high-level processual operator is the weathervane of the system: it catches the intensity in the system as it is performed. It does so not by first quantifying and then representating but by moving through alliances between the different seeds to pull out the differentials of their immanent relationality. These differentials are transduced into number by the affectometer. This affective transduction might be seen as the mapping of the sonic contours of the environment. Like the cephalopod who colours the world in a symphony of attunement, the sonic contour makes felt the qualitative shift in relation the affectometer maps.”
Unlearning the Value of Money: A Manifesto and A Modest Proposal. This working paper addresses issues around the dominant culture of money and how it can infect alter-economic projects in spite of their best efforts. It suggests guiding principles and possible procedures for making collective decisions about money in ways consonant with the processual, self-organizing ethos of the SenseLab and the 3Ecologies Institute. The procedures are meant to prototype, using means we currently have at our disposal, some of the « Self-Organizing Propositions » (SOPs) that will be coded into the 3E Process Seed Bank as it evolves into an online alter-economic platform.