The Academy Gardens DAO, developed through the workshop “Blockchain for the Cultural Commons”
DAO meets art activism!
Through the workshop program “Blockchain for the Cultural Commons” we are developing the Academy Gardens DAO, a proposal formulated by supercat political activist shaman artist Joulia Strauss, to create an experimental DAO, as a mechanism of self-protection of the public garden Plato’s Academy, a neigborhood in Athens that hosts numerous initiatives building the society beyond nation state and capitalism. The site is under the threat of gentrification, such as last year’s failed attempt of BlackRock to construct a shopping mall, and top-down urban and cultural planning; The new right-wing government Nea Demokratia has recently unveiled it’s visiton of placing a privately funded art center transforming the garden into a gated concrete jungle, connected with a broader plan of so-called urban development.
Similarly to the rivers in New Zeland or Earth in Equador and Bolivia, Akadimia Platonos Garden should become a self-sovereign legal entity able to protect itself from profit-oriented attacks. Academy Gardens proposes establishing a human-plant organism, in order to speak in the name of nature and assist the garden to protect itself.
The workshop conducts research into the potential of DAOs to be recognised as legal entities. This research is taking place in collaboration with the ‘legal mechanism design” group at Fullnode in Berlin, lead by BethMcCarthy, with the participation of contributors such as Abbey Titcomb, researcher at Giveth, and Oliver Goodenough, professor at Stanford University, who is a systems researcher, lawyer, and advisor of the Blockchain-based (BB)-LLC, the first DAO to operate as a legal entity.
Academy Gardens DAO Proposal:
“Academy Gardens is a continuation of the successful struggle against environmental destruction of the Akadimia Platonos Garden in Athens by the investment manager BlackRock. This ecosystem has been recently endangered by a profit-oriented plan: a 55.000m2 shopping Mall called Academy Gardens, backed by 350 million euro investment of the BlackRock assets manager, known as “the biggest shadow bank on Earth“. But the communities around the garden have succeeded to win the struggle against such environmental and social destruction. The giant, known as “too big to fail”, has failed. The title Academy Gardens is an occupation of the symbolic value the investors were originally hoping to gain through the philosophy, (academy) and nature (garden). The title stimulates an inflection from where the path of financialization is abandoned towards Attractor 3 (Latour). Each participant invests into the value of art and philosophy versus consumption and extraction of all living, and into the assumption that before we extinct, we have last chance to become an enlightened society. Academy Gardens project is an initiative to protect parks and gardens which are simultaneously of a historical, ecological, and communal significance. It is part of the Summer Semester of the Avtonomi Akadimia, a durational socio-cybernetic sculpture and a grassroots university in the Akadimia Platonos Garden. Currently, the Akadimia Platonos, the place where Socrates walked, and free sharing of knowledge takes place today, is not endangered to be transformed into a shopping mall. But we have to protect it from the next attempt, which will certainly follow due to the logic of development”. Starting from this particular garden due to the personal involvement and its symbolic manifestation of rethinking the occydental “civilization”, it is proposed to create a net of protection of Academy Gardens as a DAO, artistic and historical gardens and forests where communities reconnect with themselves and with nature.” - Joulia Strauss, Avtonomi Akadimia