Whitney Biennial 2017

Solo en Inglès

chairs seated around a glass rectangle structure

Irena Haiduk, SERVERS FOR .YU and Frauenbank, 2017. WiFi network,. YU domain, router hardware, mirror-and-metal housing, blockchain, and objects from former Yugoslav infrastructures privatized by foreign corporations. Dimensions variable. Collection of Yugoexport; courtesy Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago. Photograph Bill Orcutt

This sculpture hosts Irena Haiduk’s Frauenbank, named after the first women owned and operated banking cooperative from 1910 Berlin Frauenbank, manifests as a bank and a domain. Frauenbank is a blockchain, a decentralized organization that generates automated and immutable contracts.

Female-identified visitors to the Whitney are able to take part in Frauenbank by logging onto the Whitney Frauenbank wifi network. It occupies the former .YU, top level domain of Yugoslavia, a state that no longer exists. During the Whitney Biennial, visitors are guided through the process of acquiring membership and taking part in the development of Frauenbank. The blockchain uses contributions to buy Serbian land [belonging] to a 2017 law that allows foreign acquisition of public and private lands.

Annual cooperative meetings held at Frauenbank territory determine future projects, exhibitions, and the use of acquired assets. To facilitate voting and equalize power within Frauenbank, its blockchain contract cannot be changed and each member claims one vote, regardless of the number of shares held. Frauenbank generates a cooperative space and a new kind of property grounded in former Yugoslavia’s digital and physical domain. Because it is owned by a blockchain contract, Frauenbank’s cooperative territory in Serbia is neither private nor public.

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