Structures of belonging

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So far, many of the things we build on and with blockchains have presented themselves as new types of property enclosures. From cryptocurrencies to NFTs, decentralised ledger technology seems mostly dominated by the asset logic of financialisation. But the landscape of blockchain-enabled digital culture is fantastically diverse and can encode much more than a desire for wealth and ownership. In this short essay, media theory and digital art researcher Martin Zeilinger explores what might become possible – for artists, activists or community organisers – when we reimagine blockchains not as property-oriented infrastructure, but as structures of belonging. Doing so may allow us to develop conceptual frameworks that better account for (dis)continuities between hyper-capitalist tech innovations and their radical alternatives. Decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) offer the perfect starting point for thinking about how to mix on- and off-chain technologies in structures of belonging that push beyond fintech legacies and emphasise collaboration, co-ownership and sharing.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Specialist publicationPostScriptUM
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2023


  • Blockchain
  • Decentralised autonomous organisation
  • DAO
  • Commons
  • Digital art


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