Maybe the Trojan Horse was the first activist artwork; Similarly the Trojan DAO is built as a collective vehicle that seeks to act beyond the restrictions of the institutional “art world”, leveraging blockchain technology and smart contracts so as to radically re-imagine what a cultural “institution” is, how it operates, and how it can be participated in.
The Trojan DAO is a first instance of a community-governed and crowdfunded participatory art/cultural decentralised autonomous organisation, whose core operations are assigned to smart contracts written in the Solidity language on the Ethereum blockchain, in which (1) participants collectively maintain direct real-time control of contributed funds without the mediation of a third party, and (2) governance rules are formalised, automated and enforced using software, replacing the legacy roles of expensive bureaucracy, CEOs and comittees.
The Trojan DAO is an attempt to look beyond the artificial scarcities and competitive practices of the existing art world and the financial and institutional system it is based on. It is driven by a desire for deeper forms of participation and interconnection between creators, publics, and supporters alike, seeking to reduce the barriers for collaboration, operating without mediators, and beyond borders. The Trojan DAO builds upon the concept of The DAO (2016) and it’s recent iteration the Moloch DAO (2019), repurposing its code into a distributed art-work, an indeterminate evolving living organism and a social sculpture to be co-shaped through the contribution of multiple participants, a cultural intervention based on the anarchic principles of autonomy and synergy.
The Trojan DAO is launched in Athens, Greece as a participatory mechanism to govern the collection and distribution of funds towards projects that it's evolving community decide are in our shared interests, in line with our shared values and artistic ideas, enabling resources to be allocated quickly, transparently and effectively, so as to help to create a shared infrastructure for artistic practices.
As much as the Trojan DAO is an experiment in radical new forms of collective governance and resource allocation enabled by blockchain technology, it is equal parts an evolving participatory performance.
What is a DAO?