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Santacoin - Commonfare powers Crypto Rituals at Santarcangelo Festival

The experience of Santacoin is the result of an ongoing process bridging artistic performative interactions and monetary innovation research that took part in the past two editions of the Santarcangelo Festival. In 2015 and again in 2016 with the Fondo Speculativo di Provvidenza (Speculative Providence Fund) and in 2017 with the presentation of various alternatives and complementary currency projects at the local municipality (Commoncoin and Faircoin in primis), the narrative on the role of money between art and novel ways to approach money and the economy helped increase social awareness on these matters.

Indeed, the Commonfare project had been showcased at the Festival since it kickstarted in July 2016. This year, Commonfare will provide to Festival’s participants new tools, in order to improve the economic management of the Festival with the adoption of a digital token allowing participants to live in a parallel economy within the blurring boundaries of the Santarcangelo Festival. Moreover, Commonfare is actively working with Festival organisers and local authorities to establish the Santacoin experience to the rest of this small while renown city in Central Italy. 

Although it conceptually originated a few years ago, Santacoin is a recent development of the narrative that from being part of the Festival contents can now allow to enable the Festival itself ot function. In order to operate to such shift from a narrative to a practice, a long-lasting collaboration, mostly on a voluntary basis, among a bunch of networks and artist collectives initiated a process of techno-political synergy towards the implementation of Santacoin.

Back in 2014, members of both Amsterdam-based Foundation (today a Commonfare project technical delivery partner) and Macao cultural centre active in Milan met at Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid during the works of the conference “The New Abduction of Europe - debt, war and democratic revolutions”. A first concept of Money of the Common emerged. The concept then grew in detail thanks to a two-day seminar organised at Macao by Effimera network which took place on 22-23 June 2014 whose results have been collected in the publication "La Moneta del Comune". The result of this rich research has been the proposal for a currency for the commons, named Commoncoin.

Indeed, during four years of encounters, other conferences and seminars reported in various project deliverable that followed, both hackers and artists collectives worked together to co-design and co-implement Commoncoin, a complementary cryptocurrency for the production of the Common, the condition of possibility and result of codes, languages, skills, communication practices and talents shared among the members of a biopolitical community of peers, the Commoners.

Since the Common is systematically drained by conventional market forces, the Money of the Common is a currency designed to block such unrewarded drainage of value by putting in charge Commoners themselves in the production and management of the money system they use. From working for a top down centralised money system infrastructure to participatory influencing the governance of a bottom up and decentralised one.

Moreover, because the Common flourish when and where codes, languages, skills, communication practices and talents can be shared in freedom, a place such the Santarcangelo Festival is an ideal arena to play the money game within the wider landscape of Crypto Rituals. Curated by Macao, Crypto Rituals crosses circular economy with community building to give a performative space for the production of the Common.

Because the Common that is produced at one cycle of sharing becomes the basis for new Common to be built and because a theatre festival can facilitate the exchange, in this 2018 edition Santacoin will serve the Festival needs in terms of management of its micro and temporary economy with a money system that embeds many of its governance features directly within its protocol rules. A money system that helps to build the Common is explicitly designed and run to foster its production, enabling its users to enjoy freedom of economic interaction and not to hinder it as it usually happens in the conventional market economy.

Image credits: designed by and courtesy of Frank ~ Macao is for, with, and by people.

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