The Sphere Manifesto

We, the Sphere shapers, come from the contemporary circus world. We are also radical theorists, mechanism designers, visual artists, artful asset managers, fugitive planners, and so much more. We are interested in new media and web 3.0 technologies, and are inspired by the trust-making, risk-taking, boundary-pushing practice of circus.

The Sphere is a digital commons; a cryptoeconomic interface; a process-oriented (an)archive for the live arts; a virtual staking machine; a portfolio of social obligations and anarchic shares; a research-creation hub about weirding art & financial flows. At the speculative end of the day, we just got tired of writing endless grants and working for peanuts. So we decided, alongside many, many other people, to re-write the inner code of capital, and to initiate new ecologies of funding for the arts.

Our goal is to create a space with differential skin in the game, a space where the circulation and experience of value is felt differently. The performing arts make us feel in a particular way how we hold volatility together, how we collectively manage to engender patterns of speculative generosity even in the most precarious times. The circus community is indeed one bound by a corporeal economy: it is a floating, spinning, open air conspiracy that cultivates the capacity to direct the flows of life, in order for them to be reappraised as a new kind of abundance. This reappraisal allows risk to count as its own reward, as it is granted immediate value by the creative ensemble. So let it be clear: as much as we enjoy the eerie plasticity of financial abstractions, we don’t believe in armchair risk management. We embrace joyful indeterminacy and leverage it by all means possible. We reclaim, for ourselves and for everyone else, the power of shared metastability.

In order to reshape the economic gamespace toward commons-oriented purposes, we need techno-social devices and infrastructures that operate at the protocol level, digital governance tooling allowing for coordination at scale. This is how the Sphere takes shape, by developing techniques to resist the usual flattening of values against the horizon of the merely economically viable, playfully adopting frontend approaches to navigate the positive unconscious — the financial backend — of social life. Our hope is that the Sphere ecosystem, powered by our carefully crafted web 3.0 Karmic Engine and animated by an ever growing number of artists & anarchivists, can contribute to undoing business as usual by making performance mutual again, thus bringing ourselves closer to the great ecological challenges awaiting us.

We believe in the discreet charm of the precariat, in the art of belonging-in-becoming, in the power of precursive trust to bring new worlds into being. The Sphere is the (im)material support of our dreams. The Sphere is our digital soul in the making.

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