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Immediate Gratuitousness

Finn Brunton (University of California, Davis, USA)

Defining Web3: A Guide to the New Cultural Economy

ISBN: 978-1-83549-601-5, eISBN: 978-1-83549-600-8

Publication date: 1 July 2024


“Immediate Gratuitousness” puts cryptocurrency and its sister industries into a history of performances of extravagance, daring, and waste. My assertion is that the people to read at this point in the development of crypto are not Mazzucato or Galbraith, Minsky or Perez (or Hayek and Mises), but Antonin Artaud, playwright of the theater of self-destruction and gratuitous gestures. This account of crypto situates it in a context of value produced through performance and ruinous waste, from burning a million British pounds on the Isle of Jura in 1994 to the production of proof-of-burn minting mechanisms, and explains how to make sense of our carnivalesque moment through the logic of the extravagantly destructive.



Brunton, F. (2024), "Immediate Gratuitousness", DuPont, Q., Kavanagh, D. and Dylan-Ennis, P. (Ed.) Defining Web3: A Guide to the New Cultural Economy (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 89), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 207-215.



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