Conference paper Open Access
Olivier Zephir; Soenke Zehle; Olivier Buchheit
The rise of decentralized ledger (bookkeeping) systems that operate as public transaction archives to store value records (such as payments in a cryptocurrency) and maintain consensus about agreements also seems to promise solutions for the problem of scaling trust-based decision-making processes. Once linked almost exclusively to finance (“cryptocurrencies”), the “blockchain space” has become a terrain of social and technological experimentation. While these changes are likely to substantially transform the way, we organize our collective actions, few digital content creators; artists, designers, and other actors not directly linked to processes of technological innovation are currently involved. In this essay, we describe how such a co-creative approach to such involvement can be developed through the public prototyping of Spectrum, a blockchain-based tool for digital creators. What we found is that such an approach offers opportunities to more fully comprehend value chains, but also highlights need for co-creation approaches that cut across existing audiences and bring in new actors. This matters because blockchain-based strategies for technology design are about to transform the way we create, share, and cooperate. Given the promise and potential stakes of shifting the creation of digital arts-and-cultural assets to infrastructures based on such distributed ledger technologies, it is crucial that artists and other digital creators engage with the design both of these infrastructures and the systems of governance structuring their operation.