Abstract: Rather than asking ‘what blockchains do for the creative industries’ Ellie Rennie asks ‘what have creative practitioners done for the blockchain economy?’. Using ethnographic methods, Ellie has been examining how creative practitioners have tested and extended blockchain platforms. For instance, their use of non-fungible tokens and metadata added the dynamics of collecting and fandom into technical standards and platform design, with surprising outcomes. In this keynote presentation, we will bring together the concept of contribution goods (as opposed to public goods) with the role of culture in the discovery and creation of value. We will then explore the broader implications for the ongoing evolution of blockchain platforms and the creative industries.
Ellie Rennie is a Professor at RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia), working on the Australian Research Council Future Fellowship project “Cooperation Through Code”. Her research involves examining coordination in permissionless systems using ethnographic methods, including ongoing case studies of validators, contribution tools, DAO governance, verifiable credentials and regen communities. In 2022 she published her second report for the Australia Council for the Arts on blockchain and the creative industries, along with an accompanying audio documentary. Ellie is also a research director within the international research network Metagov.