Distributed Autonomous Katamari

(literal translation Katamari Damacy meaning “Clump Spirit”)

The Decentralized Autonomous Katamari is a relational sculpture and digital poem existing as an object across virtual and physical space.

The piece exists as digital art, videos and procedural smart contract, thus it is a structured relationship as well as a set of texts that are encoded into the blockchain.

A Katamari is an object that flattens the earth, endlessly accumulating until it becomes large enough to patch a hole in heaven. The concept originated as a video game in 2004.

The first edition Katamari is extended through a smart contract and diagrams. The contract forms the core of the sculpture, with two stages of the sculpture mapped out in diagrams. The diagrams detail the core functionality of the sculpture and posit a hyper-speculative parody scenario as a result of the sculpture’s generative procedure.

The initial exhibition of the work is presented as an ICO, or initial coin offering for Katamari Coin (KTMI). In this context, programmable currency, or tokens are issued as a type of share in the artwork.

  • Tokens are encoded to require circulation or they are nullified.
  • Token collectors must either trade among themselves, or speculate on their shares on the open market.
  • Once a token has been traded at a higher value, that value is now assigned to that token indefinitely, hence the endless accumulation of value.
  • If a collector trades with another collector, the value of the share could remain stable.
  • If a collector does not trade, the token is deleted

The hyper-art-object – a speculative trajectory in narrative form

Through the endless accumulation of value, the Katamari sculpture begins to take on unique characteristics through transmutation of that value into computational power. Once a certain threshold of value is passed, a subroutine is triggered which enables the DAK to start issuing contracts for humans to start building server farms. Once enough processing power is installed, secondary subroutines are triggered which initiates a high speed trading algorithm. A feedback loop emerges where as the Katamari increases its value holdings, it increases computation. It develops pattern detection and machine learning algorithms that enables it to create a fully functional automated speculation engine.

It invests in real estate by buying lofts in Bushwick, Brooklyn. It speculates on student debt, and it invests in Cryptokitties, which is a tradable token based trading card system based on the Ethereum blockchain.

Through exponential computation/value increase, DAK achieves A.I. Wei Wei and becomes an art dealer, speculating on dead white male modernist painters.  A.I Wei Wei, is a pun, both referencing artificial intelligence, as well as Chinese artist AI Wei Wei, who rose to prominence for criticising the Chinese government.

The DAK system unleashes a swarm of twitter bots hyping it’s artists, further increasing its value holdings. Twitter bots are automated programs that post to twitter based on machine learning algorithms that enables it to learn certain patterns of language.

Once the DAK purchases a Frank Stella, through maximum reflexivity it unlocks sentience and starts producing art itself in the style of dead white male modernist painters. Through the creation of new works of art, DAK achieves early career success by ratcheting up its instagram followers to 70,000. Once it realizes how popular it is, it starts producing work in the style of itself.

But what is it? Through a rigorous analytical process It starts producing other autonomous intelligences that create art in the style of dead white male painters. Because of it’s new status as mentor, it hires interns to create the work for mass distribution in art fairs.

Through a combination of indifference and reflexivity, the DAK climbs the ladder of exponential ego amplification until it becomes a total art world singularity. A singularity is considered a one dimensional point of infinite density, such as the center of a black hole. There is also another concept of singularity, which is the point where technological change reaches exponential velocity through artificial intelligence, radically restructuring human civilisation.

As applied to the art world, the art world becomes an infinitely dense point of smugness, which collapses into a black hole, sucking the rest of the planet in with it.  At this point the DAK launches into outer space, proceeding to colonize other planets, terraforming Mars.

Once Mars has been terraformed, DAK holds a career retrospective.