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Building decentralized culture structures in Helsinki: John W. Fail

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Fort Houston

2020 Lindell Avenue

Nashville, TN 37203

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John W. Fail visits Fort Houston all the way from Helsinki, Finland. John will present his work on collaborative decentralised culture production with a presentation on Biathlon, a project he was the co-creator of.

Biathlon is a mixture of software, design patterns and operating philosophies loosely bundled as a 'cultural toolkit' and deployed in Helsinki between 2016-2018. It sought to map participation and social capital into cumulative building blocks, and to facilitate a shared space for events and general use without a centralised administrator, curator, producer or financial body. The tools (which involved a participation currency stored on the Ethereum blockchain, low-cost ID cards, and fully collective event curation) were in operation for one year in Helsinki at a venue first called Temporary, and then Kuusi Palaa.

The Kuusi Palaa cooperative closed after just four months, and the Biathlon project is currently on hiatus. John, picking through the pieces of the project. will present an overview of Biathlon and the activities at Temporary/Kuusi Palaa, highlighting the gulf between what it was hoped to be, and what happened in reality. The presentation will be followed by an open discussion on these topics, which may or may not include art theory, culture politics, urbanism, and the commons, but most certainly will involve some introspection as to why any of us choose to do (or not do) anything at all.

This talk is free and recommended for anyone who is interested in DIY culture, grassroots organising, creating communities, designing shared spaces, socially-focused uses for blockchains, Internet criticism, and alternative approaches to event production. Or for anyone who is just curious about what life in Helsinki is like.

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Fort Houston

2020 Lindell Avenue

Nashville, TN 37203

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