MoneyLab #6 Infrastructures of Money

MoneyLab #6: Infrastructures of Money

MoneyLab #6 takes place in Siegen (Germany), 7-8 March 2019.

You can find the full program here: http://networkcultures.org/moneylab-6/program/

The spectacle of the cryptocurrency is over and has given way to the banality of the blockchain. Anxious to fall behind and worried about “disruption” and “not being digital enough” banks, lawyers, start-ups, governments, NGOs, are all too eager to adopt blockchain technologies. What is valued and what kind of views on finance and money are we dealing with here?

As long as blockchain is applied to capitalism’s central institutions, such as contracts, property and copyright, money, and the banking and insurance industry, it will not “disrupt” anything only continue to co-manage the shit pile. While the gradual development towards a coinless and paperless capitalism marketized as green and sustainable is in full swing, artists, activists and journalists see an infrastructure ripe for critical intervention and appropriation.

Moving beyond finance, some affordances of blockchain applications allow for novel forms of exchange and data practices. Do we see the beginnings of new models for exchange and valuation that might replace the crumbling ad-based model of monetization?  At MoneyLab #6 we want to explore the new relations between money, valuation and (digital) infrastructures. “Infrastructures of Money” addresses money both as practice and as the social infrastructure and condition for cooperation. Money is not just a number written in dollars and cents, but a medium of relation and a token of trust. Situated in Siegen University’s broader Media Studies department, the Collaborative Research Center “Media of Cooperation” invites you to inquire into the socio-materialities of monetary and valuation practices. In the tradition of MoneyLab, we encourage contributors to critique social media, to explore practices of digital infrastructures, and to investigate valorisations of social life. We aim to address the tensions between global corporate infrastructures and local practices and enactments. What if we were capable of reinventing money as a medium of cooperation?

About MoneyLab

The MoneyLab network was founded by the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam. MoneyLab considers, critiques and intervenes within our new digital economy. It is a network of artists, activists, and geeks experimenting with forms of financial democratisation in contexts such as crowdfunding, cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, cashless society, and Universal Basic Income. We question persistent beliefs, from Calvinist austerity, growth, and up-scaling, to trustless automated decision-making and freedom on the dark web, from (anarcho-)capitalist dreams of the days of yore to the special sauce of neoliberal entrepreneurialism and its right-wing libertarian counterparts.

The black box of finance has been etched into the imagination of the public and there has rarely been a more generous context to manifest working alternatives for the 99%. Cooperative platforms, decentralised technologies and direct democracy movements indicate profound attempts to rebalance the distribution of wealth and power. As resistance towards poverty, precarity, tax havens, algorithmic speculation, and financial crimes grows, the challenge ahead is to find ways to improve and sustain such financial experiments and to intervene in current debates both inside and outside of our established political systems.

Before arriving in Siegen, MoneyLab has included 5 international conferences and 2 globally distributed readers:

MoneyLab #1 – Coining Alternatives: Amsterdam, 2014
MoneyLab #2 – Economies of Dissent: Amsterdam, 2015
MoneyLab Reader: An Intervention in Digital Economy, 2015
MoneyLab #3 – Failing Better: Amsterdam, 2016
MoneyLab Reader #2: Overcoming the Hype, 2018
MoneyLab #4 – Art, Culture, and Financial Activism: London, 2018
MoneyLab #5 – Matters of Currency: Buffalo, NY, 2018

Practical Information

Moneylab #6 will take place from 7-8 March 2019 at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Unteres Schloß 1, 57072 Siegen. Further information about the schedule, directions and accommodations in Siegen will be released soon.

The conference takes place in the building marked with a red „M“ on the map. It’s right next to Campus Unteres Schloss (US). Find directions here.

Please mind that the building is up a little hill. It takes approximately two minutes to climb. There is an elevator for public use hidden in an underground parking garage: “CONTIPARK Tiefgarage Unteres Schloss” at Obergraben, just south of the museum.

 

Getting to Siegen

For general information about getting to Siegen, find directions here.

By air. The airports closest to Siegen are Cologne/Bonn (CGN)Düsseldorf (DUS), and Frankfurt (FRA) as a major hub. They all have good train connections to Siegen (ca. 2 hours). Train schedules can be found at www.bahn.com.

 

Getting around
Public transport in Siegen is organized by bus. Cabs can be booked, e.g., by calling Funk Taxi GmbH at +49 (0)271 33 50 11. Most destinations within the city centre, however, are also easily accessible by foot.

For going out, check the Siegen Guide and ask a local for recommendations.

 

Registration

Attendance of the conference is free of charge.

Please register at moneylab@uni-siegen.de

For questions about the event, please email: moneylab@uni-siegen.de.

We can issue letters of invitation to help you apply for travel grants.

 

Further information

URL: http://networkcultures.org/moneylab6

Twitter handle: #inframoney

 

Organised by

Carolin Gerlitz, Sebastian Gießmann, Inte Gloerich, Geert Lovink and Ronja Trischler.

MoneyLab #6 is a collaboration between the Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam (NL) and the Cooperative Research Centre “Media of Cooperation”, Siegen (DE).

 

Contact

Sebastian Gießmann – giessmann@medienwissenschaft.uni-siegen.de

Ronja Trischler – ronja.trischler@uni-siegen.de

Carolin Gerlitz – carolin.gerlitz@uni-siegen.de

For questions about the event, please email: moneylab@uni-siegen.de.