It’s the buzzword that looks set to change the world: blockchain. It’s the new revolutionary technology that is private, secure and now offers a whole new way to experience culture. In a recent post by art impresario Hans Ulrich Obrist for Wired magazine, Obrist has outlined how the rave scene in Berlin has started to adopt the nascent technology in order to promote an innovative way of interacting and embracing dance music. Allowing people to create new ways to organise club nights, invite people anonymously and keep the parties free from interference and surveillance.
Organising an underground gathering can now be carried out by secure anonymous ledgers upheld by encrypted keys acting as invites. The underground always has a way of co-opting new technologies before it catches on in the mainstream.
Artist Mat Dryhurt recounted, “The first time I went to a crypto rave, I got a text message from a friend who was given a few invites, received my own unique keys and was given an invite of my own to share.” But through that process, you need to first pass a number of ‘block confirmations’ to ensure access. This is a world where the trust circle is kept secure via a system of “decentralised tokens distributed by DAOs (decentralised autonomous organisations), with each token representing a single ticket.”
In Berlin, a place very familiar with anarchic-techno life, (just look at the notorious hacker collective Chaos Computer Club), the city has already experienced popularity with an “autonomous rave” scene where people are even trying experimental drugs such as “ingesting sleep medication”, and forcing them to stay awake.
Obrist says of all this experimentation, “The blockchain is secure and anonymous and, by using it, party organisers can keep their identity hidden and automate usual organisational overhead while ensuring that the event is open only to people that they trust.”
It seems the work of techno philosopher Hakim Bey is at work here; he had an overarching influence on the ethos of Burning Man, coining the term “temporary autonomous zone”. His work has become more and more popularised due to the instability of other social platforms such as Facebook that now form part of a policed network. Bitcoin might be the first byproduct of blockchain but as you can see it is promising a whole new equal future to all parts of a society. Underground 1 – Capitalists 0.