• 9 SEP , 19:30h - 21:30h
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Black Swan. Image Courtesy of Laura Lotti, Penny Seidler, Max Hampshire, Cathrin Mayer and Calum Bowden

Discussion and Talk , Digital , Project space

Introducing Black Swan: organising interdependent art worlds

Live talk and live stream online
9 SEP, 7.30—9.30pm

Trust presents Black Swan in a panel with Penny Rafferty, Laura Lotti and Calum Bowden. Join us in Berlin and online at

Today there is a mounting awareness among art workers of the ways in which contemporary art is instrumental in extending the logic of finance. The rampant neoliberalization of the cultural sphere concentrates risk on the individual art workers who go head to head for increasingly limited opportunities and resources. Within this context, what organisational forms supported by advanced technologies might enable interdependent art worlds?

Black Swan is an experiment designed to rethink the mechanisms that produce new generations of creative practitioners, proposing collaborative institutional forms to allow a redefinition of what art can be. In Black Swan, galleries, museums, and funding bodies have no influence over how their resources are used. All decisions are made by the members, cultural practitioners who currently fall between the cracks of existing art infrastructures.

The single observation of black swans in the 17th century invalidated the ‘fact’ that only white swans existed, only to later be rendered explainable and predictable, according to the theorist of probability Nassim Taleb. Black Swan has a utopian and conspiratorial edge: some day self-governed and self-curated funding organisations will seem so obvious that people will imagine they always existed.

The event has limited capacity, please sign up using this form to attend in person.

Penny Rafferty is a writer and visual theorist based in Berlin. Her theoretical essays and creative texts have been commissioned for Cura, Kaleidoscope Magazine, Keen on, NRW Dusseldorf, Flash Art and Elephant Magazine amongst others. She was the in-house critic at STATISTA, Berlin 2020 and is one of the co-founders of both Ishtar Gate and The Black Swan DAO. She co-developed the think tank series Artworld DAOs with Ruth Catlow in co-ordination with Serpentine Gallery, Furtherfield Gallery and Goethe Institute 2019/2020 and continues to work as both a writer, auditor and researcher at the intersection of art, culture and technology.

Laura Lotti is a researcher investigating the relations between technological, economic and cultural systems. She is a research partner at Other Internet, where she collaboratively explores headless dynamics in networked cultures. She co-founded Black Swan.

Calum Bowden creates stories, worlds, and platforms that reimagine relations between organisms and algorithms, humans and nonhumans, the Earth and the cosmos. He co-founded Trust and Black Swan. Calum took part in the post-graduate program at the Strelka Institute, Moscow. He has an MA in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art and a BSc in Anthropology from University College London.

Trust is an interdisciplinary research and development lab in Berlin for artists, designers, technologists, and ecologists. Trust nurtures new forms for creative practice, assembling and accelerating mutual interests, objectives, standards, and sympathies. Trust’s motto is utopian conspiracy. Utopian because the focus is on narratives and technologies that envision societies beyond industrial capitalism, alienation, debt, precarity, and climate catastrophe. Conspiracy because at the core Trust works with others to strategise against the status quo.

We wish you a pleasant visit! Please note the special access conditions 2020 and the ticket information