MONEYLAB#2: ECONOMIES OF DISSENT
CONFERENCE on ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT
December 3 - 4, 2015
Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam
Organized by the Institute of Network Cultures (HvA)
Tickets: 30 euro/day and 60 euro/both days. Students: 15 euro/day and 30 euro/both days. All tickets include lunch.
Program and tickets:
The Institute of Network Cultures presents MONEYLAB#2: ECONOMIES OF DISSENT ??? an international symposium hosting artists, activists, programmers and academics that probe, challenge and hack today???s global economy.
What political imperatives shape the economy of dissent? What different views on the redistribution of wealth and the exchange of value are out there? How can we re-design our financial infrastructures?
The important first steps are being taken beyond moral outrage and towards systemic interventions in the global austerity economy. We witness an impressive amount of financial counter-concepts, works of art, digital currencies, tools and hacks giving shape to an emerging economy of dissent. This economy operates across borders, on different scales, from sole acts of defiance to a sovereign ???oxi???, and is expressed variously as: strategy, circumvention, innovation, visualization, and making-do.
Two days of talks, performances, and workshops provide a stage for a variety of financial interventions such as visualizations of shadow economies, a guidebook how to extort money from banks, Robin Hood-style financial hacks, peer-to-peer insurance companies, financial leak platforms, and blockchain initiatives for the commons.
Confirmed speakers: Robert van Boeschoten / Enric Duran / Rachel O Dwyer /Eduard de Jong / Primavera De Filippi / David Golumbia / Nria Guell / Max Haiven / Femke Herregraven / Cecile Landman / Silvio Lorusso / Paul Radu / Jip de Ridder / Lena Rethel / Robin Hood Minor Asset Management / Stephanie Rothenberg / Brett Scott / Paolo Cirio
Topics: Bringing the Dark Side of Money to Light | Financial Literacy | Artistic Interventions in Finance | Digital Revenue Models in the Arts | Crypto-Currencies and their Future | Tactics for Economic Dissent | Blockchain Technologies and Initiatives | Distributed Insurance | Digital Currencies | Financial Leak Platforms | Hacking Global Finance | Bank Extortion | Web-based offshore corruption games | Sharia Banking | Ethereum | Exposing Shadow Economies |
Discussion List: http://listcultures.org/mailman/listinfo/moneylab_listcultures.org
MoneyLab Reader: http://networkcultures.org/blog/publication/moneylab-reader-an-intervention-in-digital-economy/.
Editors: Geert Lovink, Patricia de Vries
Advisors: Nathaniel Tkacz, Brett Scott, Patrice Riemens
We witness the development and production of an impressive amount of financial counter-concepts, tools, platforms, works of art, digital currencies, and payment services giving shape to an emerging economy of dissent. This economy operates across borders, on different scales, from sole acts of defiance to sovereign refusal, and is expressed variously as: strategy, circumvention, innovation, visualization, making-do, and whatever else can be done with limited resources.
What political imperatives shape the economy of dissent? What different views on the redistribution of wealth and the exchange of value are out there? How can we re-design our financial infrastructures? What types of experiments do we need? Can we formalize value without relying on central mediators or the money form?
Amidst crashing markets there are dangers of falling back on populism, nihilism or anti-globalism. We need to channel our outrage, talk innovation, and help foster alternatives in the service of the commons. We need to develop scalable models that allow for more autonomy and a sense of ownership.
This second edition of MoneyLab provides a podium for a variety of financial interventions such as visualizations of shadow economies, a Robin Hood-style financial hack asset bank, peer-to-peer insurance companies, financial leak platforms, blockchain initiatives for the commons, and a guidebook on how to extort money from banks.
These forms of dissent face serious challenges, ranging from funding, scaling and competition with central monetary institutions to issues of power, security and trust. Despite these challenges, the development of these alternatives represents a move away from the legacy powers and monetary institutions of our previous centuries. It is a move toward more bottom up and smaller-scale initiatives, a call for more ownership and control by citizens, a need for a more participatory form of finance. They are nascent organizational forms and initiatives, operating on smaller-scales, aiming to harness network effects so that the economy of dissent will, at some point, reach a critical mass and morph into wider structural transformation. As the Greek ???oxi??? shows us, we need to stand up and demand the democratization of global finance.
MoneyLab starts with the conviction that we need to experiment with initiatives that allow for the distribution and exchange of value in different ways. The economic mire we???re in is not merely a technological problem waiting for a technical solution or ???best practice???. Our creative interventions must be considered an exercise in future world building, spanning the political, legal, social, psychological, technical and economic.
Founded in 2013, MoneyLab is a network of researchers, artists and activists that critique global finance while working on alternatives at the same time. The initiative is coordinated from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA) by the Institute of Network Cultures.
Thursday December 3:
Session 1: Bringing the Dark Side of Money to Light
From the Swiss Leaks project, that showed how the HSBC Bank helped its clients shield income from tax collectors, to the exposure of financial loopholes and web-based games that visualize the shadow world of the offshore economy; much of the finance and banking scandals that have unraveled over the past year started off with whistleblowing and the work of thorough investigative journalism. Some artists, journalists and activists have taken the important first step beyond moral outrage towards systemic interventions. What forms do these interventions take and what do they unravel?
Do we need to become financially literate, and if so, what do we need to raise our financial literacy? What does it take to read the classified documents of the world’s private banking systems? Can only experts make proper use of them?
What are the key takeaways of these investigative projects? Are we drowning in material or have we only caught a glimpse of the tip of the iceberg?
Confirmed speakers: Femke Herregraven, Paul Radu
Moderator: Cecile Landman
Workshop & Break-Out Sessions:
- Artistic Interventions in Finance (with Max Haiven)
Max Haiven is Assistant Professor in the Division of Art History and Critical Studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Canada and an expert in all matters money and art. During this workshop he will discuss his recent book ???Cultures of Financialization???.
- Crowdfunding in the Arts: the NL Case
In this workshop we want to give an overview of different initiatives in the Netherlands to overcome the problems caused by budget cuts and economic malaise amongst artists. What is the current situation with crowdfunding? Where is need for research? Can platforms like Spotify or YouTube provide a living?
Session 2: Tactics for Economic Dissent
The tasks on the table after formulating a rigorous critique on the current banking and finance system are plentiful. The question is not what can be done, but where do we start? Financial activism today goes beyond calls for laws, regulations and institutional oversight. Different alternative practices unfold, ranging from networking initiatives, ethical banking, speculative hacks in high finance trading, and hands-on grass roots solutions. What are the power dynamics surrounding these practices? What are the hindrances? What counter-narrative is being produced here?
Confirmed speakers: Robin Hood Minor Asset Management, Enric Duran, Lena Rethel
Moderator: Brett Scott
Friday December 4:
Session 3: Artistic Interventions
If money is a medium, it can be imagined in different ways. If money is a medium, it can be used to different ends. Over the last seven years we have seen the rise of finance art: shrewd, bold, well-versed, trickster-like tools, installations and objects actively engaging with high finance and banking systems. In depth-research, provocation and visualization are some of the tactics used to critique, visualize and materialize the virtual political economy of banking and finance. How does money affect social processes and the way we relate to one another? Where is there room for intervention and autonomy? Is there such a thing as finance art? And what alternatives are imagined?
Confirmed speakers: Stephanie Rothenberg, N??ria G??ell, Silvio Lorusso
Moderator: Max Haiven
Workshop & Break-Out Sessions:
- Temporary Amsterdam Office of Robin Hood Asset Management
Robin Hood Minor Asset Management is a financial project most known for its ???Deleuzian’ hedge fund that began in 2013 in Helsinki. It describes itself as ???an alternative method of financial investment, providing a way for those shut out of big-time investment funds to profit from the same systems that benefit the Wall Street fat cats???. Besides presenting their algorithm, also known as The Parasite, Robin Hood will discuss their current plans to launch its own blockchain technologies.
- P2P Insurance with Jip de Ridder
Decentralized insurance claims that we can insure ourselves at a lower cost, regardless of pre-existing conditions. As we all know, commercial insurance companies take up to a 20% cut and spend it on employees who look for reasons to reject your claim. Why don???t your friends and family validate your health insurance claim?
Session 4: Blockchain: Revolution or Business as Usual?
The different usages of the blockchain ??? as the grid on which Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies are running, as a platform to sell art, as the administration and as a transparent decision-making and voting technology for various kinds of organizations ???show that it is a political-economic response to the question: what needs to change? The undermining of existing finance formations can be found in anonymity; p-2-p, bottom-up initiatives are made possible by this consensus-based protocol. Trust is a central challenge to a different future economy.
How can we generate trust in these types of technologies on a larger-scale ??? expanding outside the domain of the small, tech-savvy communities and progressive developers who currently use it ??? without falling back on a centralized mediator, like banks? What does it mean when we argue in favor of such a general tool that is designed to administrate whatever value or procedure? And how decentralized is it anyway? What underlying structures, political and economic, does it tackle? What does the future hold for crypto-currencies and blockchain technology? Will they be co-opted by the big banks as an extra payment service? Will they form parallel exchange systems of trust and security?
Confirmed speakers: Primavera De Filippi, David Golumbia, Rachel O???Dwyer
Moderator: Eduard de Jong