A web-based voting and connection system for decentralised cultural decision-making and investment.
Using a Quadratic Voting (QV) dapp, CultureStake’s playful front-end interface allows everyone to vote on the types of cultural activity they would like to see in their locality.
CultureStake democratises arts commissioning by providing communities in places with a way to make cultural decisions together with artists. It does this by giving communities a bigger say in the activities provided, and by connecting artists and cultural organisations to better information about what is meaningful in different localities.
People vote according to aesthetic power and social and cultural relevance of particular artworks to their places. They rank how strongly they feel collectively about artworks and the issues they raise. Votes are tracked and made visible, giving evidence of the types of projects communities would most value.
Currently, major artists and cultural sponsors have the upper hand and this can result in one-size-fits-all ‘blockbuster’ programming and a winner-takes-all effect for artists. CultureStake is a practical response to a growing demand for greater transparency about how, and in whose interest, decisions about the public good are made. It opens the field for experimentation, for robust and sustainable alternatives to centralised and private decision-making practices.
The ultimate vision for CultureStake is that governance and funding of culture are put into the hands of audiences, artists and venues, acting together in and across localities and time. In this way, we hope to increase a shared sense of agency, imagination, and alliances.
CultureStake Pilot commissioned by Leeds International Festival 2020
The CultureStake pilot was commissioned by Leeds International Festival 2020 as part of Furtherfield’s Future Fairness series. This is a family-friendly fair of art and technology activities to examine the future of the world we live in, and to invite participants to choose what they want to see in Leeds in the future. They gather scannable stickers for each activity, which act as proof of participation, and enable them to enter the voting booth. It’s first outing has been postponed due to Covid-19. But in the future using the CultureStake voting app 250+ people will decide together which artistic project they would like to see commissioned on a larger scale in Leeds and other towns and cities around the world.
It is now under development for use by online translocal arts communities.
Why does CultureStake Use Quadratic Voting and the Blockchain?
Quadratic voting (QV) was developed as an improvement on one-person-one-vote collective decision-making processes. It attempts to address the associated “tyranny of the majority” problems and data loss about voter intentions (so well understood by Post Brexit citizens of the UK). The significance of election and referenda results are dangerously open to interpretation and manipulation by authorities.
By providing more information QV has the potential to allow communities of people to better understand what vote results say about their values and intentions.
How Does Quadratic Voting Work?
All participants receive the same limited number of voting credits that they can distribute to express nuanced preferences. For this reason, voters only use their voting credits on things that matter to them. The quadratic system also enables participants to express the intensity of their preferences for all options, but it costs them proportionately (quadratically) more credits to express strong feelings.
How Does CultureStake Work?
The CultureStake system will store voting data about each artwork on the Ethereum blockchain to guarantee ongoing access to tamper-proof public data.
CultureStake tests the ability of QV on the blockchain to produce trusted voting data – secure, transparent, and permanent – about culture experienced in places:
CultureStake Software is published under a GNU Affero General Public License v3.0 AGPL-3.0Main
Repository URL: https://github.com/lazaruslabs/culturestake
Smart Contracts Repository URL: https://github.com/lazaruslabs/culturestake-contracts
Subgraph Repository URL: https://github.com/lazaruslabs/culturestake-subgraph
Infrastructure Provisioning URL: https://github.com/lazaruslabs/culturestake-provisioning
Contributions by Sam Hart, Irene Lopez de Vallejo, Gretta Louw, Rob Myers, Stacco Troncoso, and Ann Marie Utratel.
Technical development by Sarah Friend & Andreas Dzialocha
Visual identity by Studio Hyte