Entangled Transparency 3.0

ZKM | Karlsruhe and Goethe-Institut Korea

About the Conference

Digitization processes mean upheavals on a global scale and changes to the political world order. This brings about a raft of questions, of which we aim to address a few, such as: what kind of organization processes are necessary in order to maintain online self-determination and sovereignty? What does blockchain technology mean for artistic production, outreach, and their infrastructures? At the online conference Entangled Transparency 3.0, ZKM | Karlsruhe, Hyundai Artlab, and Goethe-Institut Korea looked for answers.

Together with the climate crisis, advances in information technology constitute the biggest challenges of our times, both of which are happening rapidly, on a global scale, and trigger queries: What forms of governance and social organization are conceivable against this backdrop of complex restructuring? Climate change and sovereignty are both hybrid constructs, embedded in social and ecological contexts. Sovereignty, whether national or personal, whether a matter of geopolitics or self-determination, must be constantly renegotiated to find a balance, and is therefore reliant on the free flow of information. At present, however, the instrument by which we stay connected across national borders is controlled by a few corporations and functions like an absolute monarchy. By contrast, Web 3.0 promises a blockchain-based solution for a decentralized and federated Internet.

Ever since the hype around NFTs (non-fungible tokens) peaked in 2021, blockchain technology has become a hot topic— even though it was first used back in 2014. Together with Hyundai Artlab and the Goethe-Institut Korea, ZKM | Karlsruhe organized Entangled Transparency 3.0 to open a discussion on the possible social and cultural implications of a potential blockchain-based network. The conference posed questions about transparency, its contradictions, challenges and risks within a new kind of Web from a cultural perspective. In addition, the impact of blockchain-based technologies on art institutions was also raised. Together with international practitioners, artists, researchers, and theorists, ZKM | Karlsruhe and its project partners initiated a dialogue about alternatives to Web 2.0 that is currently in use.

As an exemplary Web 3.0 prototype, an endless poem inspired by Peter Weibel was scheduled to accompany the discussion program. The artistic-scientific chairman and CEO of the ZKM | Karlsruhe started the collaborative online text, which is meant to be continued by anyone who wants to participate. Unfortunately, due to the unexpected passing of Peter Weibel, the work itself could not be realized, but the idea was captured in a pre-recorded video statement. All contributions are available here.

The Conference program included:

  • Introduction of common.garden by Constant Dullaart
  • Keynote 1 by Bogna Konior
  • Keynote 2 by Maurice Benayoun
  • Presentation "Endless Poem" by Peter Weibel and Christian Lölkes
  • Manifesto Performances by Crypton, Primavera De Filippi, Sarah Friend, Kyriaki Goni, Operator, Bhavisha Panchia, and Bi Xin
  • Manifesto Performances – Institutions 3.0 by Ruth Catlow, Michael Connor, Sabine Himmelsbach, Yannick Hofmann, Chuang Wei Tzu, and Hyunjung Woo

About the Program

Web 3.0 Project

In partnership with the Goethe-Institut Korea in Seoul and ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, we developed the Web 3.0 Project to host critical discussions around the global ramifications of Web 3.0 and mass digitization. The program aims to bring together practitioners, artists, researchers, and theorists to address these vital conversations.

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