Introduction

The Decentralized Autonomous Kunstverein (DAK) is an art association inspired by developments in blockchain technology and the unique Kunstverein tradition of non-profit art associations in Germany. Being a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), the DAK will be a net-based organization that is directed and funded by its members on a voluntary basis, without a permanent space or home jurisdiction, initiating projects however and wherever on the globe its members decide. The organization’s mission is to promote experimental approaches to creating and curating contemporary art, exploring the potential of decentralized collective work within the context of contemporary art and technology. To fulfill this purpose, the members of the DAK will collectively work to finance and curate exhibitions, screenings, performances and related programming.

Guiding Principles

The DAK will operate on transparent communication, decision making and execution of all operations in a direct democratic structure without any central judicature, geographically oriented or otherwise. In doing so, the DAK will not rely on the laws of any state or central authority, nor recognize itself as a part of any jurisdiction beyond its diffused membership. Juridical systems that rule over a particular locale where physical exhibitions or other events take place will be considered temporary and contextual to that specific event and cannot apply to the totality of the organization itself. In keeping with these values, the DAK does not seek to license or copyright any content produced by or for the organization and supports fair use, open source values and the right to artistic appropriation. Internally, the DAK bylaws will function as focal point for behavior, rather than relying on enforcement through coercion or policing. A reputation token will secure individual member voting rights through the contribution of work in addition to, or in lieu of, monetary support. The DAK will operate on the values of individual sovereignty, decentralized collective governance and non-coercion, though it remains open to diverse economic, political and ideological positions within membership and with potential partner organizations and institutions.

Implementation

The DAK will utilize Project Aragon’s DAO building set to create a decentralized cooperative entity that is accessible globally on the Ethereum network. All voting on primary operations, such as exhibition proposals, financial operations and proposals to change the bylaws, will be conducted as an open, transparent and auditable on-chain transaction. Further, the organization will make use of a variety of other platforms to conduct its operations, including Slack for internal communication, GitBook for bylaw amendments and Are.na for exhibition proposal documents and collective research. Key concerns will be addressed through collective discourse and voting.