edited by Ruth Catlow, Penny Rafferty – Radical Friends | Decentralised Autonomous Organisations and the Arts


Torque Editions, ISBN 978-0993248771, English, 352 pages, 2022, UK

This is another publication that has emerged from the diverse and layered activities of the Furtherfield community. Their commitment to looking at the blockchain as a liberating, radical infrastructure began with the book Artists Re:thinking the Blockchain and continues with this new publication – the result of five years of research. Editors Ruth Catlow and Penny Rafferty have gathered a lot of coherent material to examine DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation), a blockchain-connected infrastructure that is still in its early stages and has the radical potential to support small communities at all levels. Following the introduction, the book continues with a timeline and glossary, followed by a section of essays that explore a range of aspects of DAOs in art and politics, including the more controversial aspects of energy consumption and financial speculation. The vision of a game-changing political tool through its practises is complemented by a wealth of explained cases and thought-provoking material including a fierce essay by Hito Steyler, ‘Treister’s Tarots and the Cyberwitches’ Manifesto’. Collaboration through shared resources, friendship as the glue of social groups and the threat of financial infrastructure exploitation are recurring themes, while the entire collection of texts is incredibly very well-informed.