Program of MoneyLab #12 Wellington: Viral Tokenization

On 4 and 5 June, 2021 Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington will host the 12th edition of the international MoneyLab conference series in collaboration with the Institute of Network Cultures (Amsterdam, NL) and the MoneyLab community.

Look for latest updates on the special event website:

MoneyLab is an international multi-disciplinary network of artists, designers, programmers, researchers and journalists. It considers itself a critical platform for imaginative projects that build a more democratic economy, especially within the creative industry. An economy where not only ‘the big boys’ get the money, but where there are opportunities for everyone to participate. It looks far beyond the boundaries of current financial institutions and maps out new opportunities for the distribution of creative content, intellectual property and digital business models, together with and for the creative sector.

The upcoming Wellington edition (first in Aotearoa New Zealand and only the second in the wider Southern Hemisphere after the 2020 Canberra/Hobart event) will bring together groups and individuals from the arts, activism, education and startup/tech sectors with a particular focus on Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, as applied to community organising and mediated forms of autonomous/participatory governance and decision making tools.

The conference is loosely based around three main topics, including an update on the recent Non-Fungible Token (NFT) debates with NZ-specific perspectives on tax/law and electricity consumption in relation to ‘making’ NFTs; current as well as historic overviews of practice surrounding Social Tokens, community currencies and cultures of sharing in Aotearoa and beyond; and a Māori/Indigenous lens on various technosocial constructs stemming from Blockchain cultures, such as the post-COVID future imaginations of Self-Sovereign Identity protocols.

Accompanying the conference is an exhibition of crypto art and adjacent genre-bending work in both virtual and physical space, in collaboration with gallery.

The show’s opening on the evening of 4 June will include presentations, performances and interventions by local and international artists and guests.

Confirmed speakers and artists include Helen Dew (Living Economies), Mark Pascall (Wellbeing Protocol / The DAO Agency), Kaye-Maree Dunn (Āhau / EHF fellow), Alex Sims (AUK Business School), Kevin Shedlock (Koha Tech / WGTN), Ben Nolan (founder of CryptoVoxels), Robert Kirkby (WGTN Macroeconomics), Mohini Ochangco (independent artist), Roman Mitch (Whitecliffe), neurocolor (independent artist), Fabio Morreale (AUK School of Music), Eric Barry Drasin (UC Boulder), Marika Pratley (independent artist), and more TBA!

ML#12 organising committee: Walter Langelaar, Jennifer Ferreira, Songyi Lee

MoneyLab board: Denise Thwaites and Geert Lovink

Practical Info:

Friday 4 June exhibition opening programme:

(212 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington)

6pm-6:30pm – Welcome (exhibition tour)

6:30pm-6:50pm – gallery introduction with Walter Langelaar

6:55pm-7:15pm – performative pitch presentation by Eric Barry Drasin

7:20pm-7:40pm – presentation + demo by Ben Nolan of CryptoVoxels

7:45pm-8:05 – performance/presentation by Fabio Morreale

8:15pm-9pm – live Vaporwave by Marika Pratley and CryptoVoxels VJ-ing by Mohini Ochangco

with works on show in the exhibition by Billy Rennekamp, ₘₒₕᵢₙᵢ 🐢 OoakosiMo, Roman Mitch, Neurocolor and more!

Saturday 5 June @ Te Herenga Waka / Victoria University of Wellington

9:30am – 6:30pm

Te Aro campus, School of Design Innovation

139 Vivian Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

Saturday 5 June conference programme:

Saturday 5 June conference programme:

(139 Vivian Street, Te Aro, Wellington + Zoom)

9:30am-10am – Welcome (mingling/networking)

10am-10:30am – MoneyLab #12 intros with Geert Lovink & Denise Thwaites

10:30am-12pm – Non-Fungible Token-isms; moderated by Walter Langelaar

12pm-1pm – lunch

1pm-2:30pm – The Token-conditional Social; moderated by Jennifer Ferreira

2:30-4pm – Māori/Indigenous Self-Sovereign Identity, and other protocol; moderated by Songyi Lee

4pm-4:30 – discussion

4:30pm-5pm – coffee break

5pm-6:30pm – Community call-in session, lightning talks and short interventions

6:30pm-7:30pm – Closing (mingling/networking)

Panel Descriptions:

Non-Fungible Token-isms.

After much hype and the global ‘tokenize everything’ attitudes of recent months, what’s left to discuss concerning NFTs?

Moving on from common misconceptions regarding electricity usage and rampant tech bro portrayals of a ‘future artworld’, this panel seeks to further examine practical use-cases from ‘crypto art’ aesthetics and culture, and its underlying set of technologies that is now driving ever more platform-capitalist centralisation as well as a thriving new ‘creative’ underground with a Web3 fetish.

What affordances do the technologies under discussion provide when concepts such as ‘proxy contracts’, ‘liquidity pool mining’ and ‘bonding curve sale’ mechanisms enter the vocabulary and (NFT-)toolkits of artistic practice, and to what end do such concepts sustainably manifest themselves in an aesthetic preoccupied with financialization and networked performance metrics?

A panel with Eric Barry Drasin, Fabio Morreale, and Alex Smith, moderated by Walter Langelaar.

The Token-conditional Social.

Communities have always experimented with new forms of exchange, such as issuing their own currencies outside of governments and banks, to take ownership of and strive for environmental, ethical, economic, and social outcomes that are meaningful to them.

Today we are seeing increasing momentum behind Web3 (or decentralised web), bringing grassroots community organising into direct contact with blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and digital tokens.

As a result, initiatives such as timebanks, mutual credit networks, local currencies, and others are grappling with these technological possibilities and their impacts on value exchange, data governance, and community structures.

Against this evolving technological backdrop, there is a need to reevaluate and explore community-level meanings of governance, identity, permanence, trust, and fairness.

This panel brings together Helen Dew, Mark Pascall, Robert Kirkby, and Dmitriy Ageyev, moderated by Jennifer Ferreira.

Māori/Indigenous Self-Sovereign Identity, and other protocol.

As our nearing post-COVID realities pose yet another critical turn and opportunity for national governments to propose/impose far reaching implementation of technical infrastructure, in order to facilitate ideas surrounding ‘vaccine passports’ and further tokenised identity management (such as SSI), we are increasingly confronted with narrow and decontextualised notions of ‘autonomy’ and ‘sovereignty’ originating from the (blockchain/DLT) startup/tech sector.

This panel brings together a group of researchers and practitioners working in the periphery of initiatives such as Te Mana Raraunga – Māori Data Sovereignty Network, and elaborates an indigenous world view on cultural engagement strategies through sociotechnical protocol and Tikanga Māori, to share its practice across various projects for further knowledge transference and discussion.

The panel includes Kevin Shedlock, Kaye-Maree Dunn, and Steve Reeves, moderated by Songyi Lee.

! MONEYLAB COMMUNITY CALL-IN: Across the Timezones

MoneyLab #12 Wellington will have two moments in its programme for further, ad-hoc community engagement, and we invite you to come in and present your project or announce special events through one of these options: stage an intervention in the CryptoVoxels virtual space (parcel tba) on the Friday evening (4 June, 8pm GMT+12), or connect with the conference audience on the Saturday via Zoom or similar (5 June, 5pm GMT+12).

Showing up in-person is of course also an option 🙂

If interested, please contact Walter via for more information.