SI audio podcast #4: Dispatches from 'block that chain'

posted: 11 October, 2019

photo: 'Block That Chain' worklab, Graz, October 2019. It's way more fun than it looks, I promise!

This episode of the Serious Introspection audio podcast talks with several members of the block that chain worklab that I participated in in Graz, Austria. block that chain is a week-long worklab hosted by the wonderful to explore the questions, problems, and deeper issues behind blockchain technology. I was delighted to be part of this, as it drew together a mix of artists, hackers, musicians, theorists, and sociologists for an intensive programme to utilise our expertise and perspectives.

The week had no shortage of theoretical discussions which touched on ethics, economics, and technology, while provided me a much-needed alternative viewpoint –– or rather, viewpoints –– to most media coverage of blockchain issues, which is primarily dominated by finance and tech industry reporting, or else kneejerk alarmism. Some participants created software to visualise and sonificate online discourse on the topic; others worked on theoretical models for future projects or developed existing tools.

I'm still formulating my own thoughts about blockchain after this week, especially in relation to my past work with Biathlon; I'll  likely write something soon in the new issue of Acedia. In the meantime, if you are interested in blockchain technology (even if you feel negative towards the hype), you might find some stimulating and fun ideas in the podcast. I talk with Martin Schitter, Bailey Keogh, Michael Mastrototaro, Jurij Smrke and Goran Bečirevič.

Here are links to the guests and topics mentioned during the discussions:

Martin Schitter [02:15]:

Bailey Keogh [21:26]:

Michael Mastrototaro [40:45]:

Jurij Smrke / Goran Bečirevič [59:29]




Serious Introspection
with John W. Fail was a live show in Helsinki, Finland from 2015-2016. We tried our best to entertain. No one is really sure why John hosted a talk show, but a lot of strange things have happened in the universe and this is ultimately pretty insignificant. The show took place at Mad House Helsinki's Ihana Baari, and was free to attend. You know, we did eight shows in the first season and it was pretty time-consuming, but we were excited to come back for eight more in 2016. It's all archived here. Each week, John along with hype man Justin Tyler Tate, interviewed people about their creative process and tried to deliver a direct, communicative experience about art and performance. We've made videos available from all episodes of the show here for you to watch. We also will occasionally post audio podcasts when we get the time to go more in-depth with people, outside of the public show. The videos aren't always perfect and the audio even less so, but we hope you still enjoy them. The show is indefinitely on hiatus as Justin moved away and other projects took over. But wait, there's more! The for-profit arm of Serious Introspection is called SI Services and we're up for anything, really! Now that we all live in different places, it's probably going to be quite an ordeal just to have three white guys host your kid's birthday party. But please believe me when I say that we would really, really love to do this. We will come to your event and offer our services for hosting, hyping and media specialisation (live tweeting) for a variable fee. We are still available, in theory to be booked for parties, wedding, bar mitzvahs and other events. If you'd like to find out more about Serious Introspection, you can start by watching these episodes and seeing if it's your cup of tea. We have made the show available as a podcast where people get Podcasts, generally iTunes or Stitcher. Try the Overcast app, it's really nice. We have a Facebook page which we use to post info about the upcoming shows and videos as they are released. The hashtag #SeriousIntrospection contains the running stream of live tweets from our media specialist Ernest Truely (and anyone else who might contribute). So yeah, that's it, pretty much. We're trying to keep this page simple, if for no other reason than our cup runneth over with websites already. We will announce future events and SI-related matters here so feel free to check back any time.