The Valuation of Necessity: A Cosmological View of Our Technologies & Culture

4 June, 2021

A conversation around my commissioned research paper (a long one!) “The Valuation of Necessity,” for 221a’s Blockchains & Cultural Padlocks Research Report. With Maral Sotoudehnia, Rosemary Heather, and Wassim Alsindi. 4. June 2021 @19:00 CET – online. Registration here.

This event hosts a conversation around a commissioned research paper by the artist and theorist Patricia Reed. The Valuation of Necessity, included in the Blockchains & Cultural Padlocks Research Report, is an in-depth look at the conceptual constraints that, increasingly, are proving lethal to life on this planet. Reed’s two-part paper examines the social constitution of necessity as a normative and epistemic referent, orienting the uses and abuses of technology within this historical moment designated as the planetary. Reed’s paper is illustrated with a series of diagrams drawn by the artist, adding a further conceptual dimension to the cosmology of concepts and ideas that the writer travels through. The conversation around The Valuation of Necessity also welcomes the initiative’s Editorial Director, Rosemary Heather, as well as the critical geographer, Maral Sotoudehnia of the Province of British Columbia’s Climate Action Secretariat, and Wassim Alsindi of 0x Salon, Berlin, who conducts research on the legal and ecological externalities of blockchain networks.

By asking questions about what conditions are needed to cognize worlds that do not yet exist, we will consider the relevance of blockchain technology beyond tech startup orthodoxy. This knowledge reproduction is part of this research initiative’s mandate; a way to discover how the technology might capture the imagination and what its future applications might be—in an art and design context and beyond.

Documentation of the event: