MACAO is an independent center for art, culture and research. Rejecting the creative industry para- digm, and innovating the idea of cultural institutions, we consider art production as a viable process for rethinking social change, elaborating independent political critique, and as a space for innovative gov- ernance and production models. Our research concerns the labour conditions in the creative industry and cultural sector, the right to the city and new forms of organization and technological solutions for cultural production. MACAO is currently based in a former slaughterhouse in the middle of a huge abandoned area not too distant from the center of the city; it has a cross-sectorial program hosting performing arts, cinema, visual arts, design, photography, literature, new media, hacking and the meet- ings of citizens’ committees. MACAO is coordinated by an open assembly of artists and activists.
MACAO started its collaboration with Freecoin and the EU project D-cent in order to design a plat- form that allows to share production and co-production means in the art/creative/cultural field, and rooted in the network of occupied art spaces emerged during the political mobilization of the last five years across Italy and Europe.
MACAO is currently designing CommonCoin a cryptocurrency with very specific features. Since 2015 we are experimenting within the MACAO community (about 100 members) the CommonCoin design, governing the circular economy inside the organization, paying all the labour, and providing to the members a monthly Basic Income in Euro.
The fundamental and radical question in this process is: can we use a decentralized algorithm and a peer to peer technology rooted on a political decision making process? Can we build an algorithmic machine based on a community sharing political values?
The future we imagine is made of decentralized technological infrastructures, distributed and based upon algorithms. They are governed by democratic discussions and decisional processes, put into place by communities that share values and ideas. In other words: in a plausible future in which algo- rithms control our economic, relational and spatial behaviours, the real challenge is to find a way to question them without creating a democratic deficit as a collateral effect.
This is a central question: in a future in which machines, digital and physical automation, will substitute most part of the work once performed by humans, how will it be possible to keep purchasing power? In the past, wealth was redistributed through salary and wage. Significantly, the salary was also piv- otal for workers’ struggles and unions’ demands. But what will happen if redistribution through wage becomes irrelevant? What kind of struggle and organization are we able to imagine?
The Great Recession was first and foremost a crisis of trust: debts, loans, derivatives, these are all means by which capitals produce political control in neoliberalism. It is a crisis of relationships, of trust-ability. We aim at a new economic environment, a new ecology in which the value unit is based on a fairer infrastructure. In this respect, it is worth to mention another example: Fair Coop and Fair mu- tual credit system. An ambitious project that attempts to provide an alternative economic environment to cooperatives and grassroots independent productions on a worldwide scale.
Currently MACAO, Faircoop, and many others individuals and organizations on the global scale are launching Bank of the Commons: an european cooperative society providing financial tools based on cryptocurrency, blockchain and traditional banking system, governed by an assembly of members. Bank of the Commons is a bank able to provide a multi currency wallet operating in Faircoin, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Euro and Dollars, orientated to empower the mutual aid between the members and their economical autonomy.

Bank of the Commons Fair Coop
P2p foundation
#SWAP What about politics - Brussels
Commonfare - Amsterdam
Moneylab: Governance in the Age of Blockchains and Digital Currencies - Amsterdam Piattaforme del capitale symposium - Milan
Art, Labour and Activism - edited by Alberto Cossu, Jessica Holtaway and Paula Serafini - Rowman International
La moneta del comune - edited by Andrea Fumagalli, Emanuele Braga - Derive Approdi


Nuovo centro per le arti, la cultura
e la ricerca di Milano

viale Molise 68
20137 Milano


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