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Critical Technical Practice Laboratory

Critical Technical Practice is the creation of new technologies inspired by thought and analysis from the arts, social sciences, and humanities.
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Gossip on the Block – An interactive piece on Blockchain for the EU

Our interactive piece reflects on this event to bring forward alternative understandings of what Blockchain technologies can do for Intellectual Property. It questions what Intellectual Property is, who is produced by and for. Could we imagine a sort of intellectual Property that adds intrigue to information?  One that is locally produced and consumed? valuable for its scarcity and locality rather than for its commonness and globality? What would the market for this be like? We reference these questions by appealing to the ability of Blockchain technologies to track transactions without automatically accepting that the information within such transactions is true. True, transactions are recorded but the status of what they contain is not as certain. We expanded on the case of Gossip as common knowledge that circulates and is registered but whose meaning mutates with the ear that hears it and the mouth that voices it.

In particular, a different path of light arises depending on the route the taxi follows within the model city. Gossip and rumour happens within the taxi and can be only heard from certain city angles. Finally, once the vehicle arrives to the taxi stop (where there is a Taxi totem), the gossip is registered in the Blockchain, made broadly accessible and marketable. Much like the taxi totem transforms Gossip into Intellectual Property via Blockchain verification, the civic totem and the maker totem do the same with local and digital information.

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