Structures of Belonging

Martin Zeilinger


So far, many of the things we build on and with blockchains have presented themselves as new types of property enclosures. From cryptocurrencies to NFTs, decentralised ledger technology seems mostly dominated by the asset logic of financialisation. But the landscape of blockchain-enabled digital culture is fantastically diverse and can encode much more than a desire for wealth and ownrship. In this short essay, media theory and digital art researcher Martin Zeilinger explores what might become possible – for artists, activists or community organisers – when we reimagine blockchains not as property-oriented infrastructure, but as structures of belonging. Doing so may allow us to develop conceptual frameworks that better account for (dis)continuities between hyper-capitalist tech innovations and their radical alternatives. Decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) offer the perfect starting point for thinking about how to mix on- and off-chain technologies in structures of belonging that push beyond fintech legacies and emphasise collaboration, co-ownership and sharing.


Martin Zeilinger: Structures of Belonging
PostScriptUM #44
Series edited by Janez Fakin Janša
Publisher: Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana
Represented by: Marcela Okretič
Proofreading: Miha Šuštar
Design: Luka Umek
Layout: Sonja Grdina
The cover image was generated by the author using Dall-E 2. The prompts were for an image showing a group of friends and their pets using computers to develop a decentralised community.
(c) Aksioma   |   All text and image rights reserved by the author    |   Ljubljana 2023
Supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana
Published in the framework of the conference Tactics & Practice #14: From Commons to NFTs

Related event: Tactics & Practice #13: From Commons to NFTs

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