Maral Sotoudehnia: Encrypting Enclosure

Living Description Maral Sotoudehnia: Encrypting Enclosure


Fractionalized Real Estate on the Blockchain

Over ten years after a global financial recession that was triggered in large part due to the financialization of real estate, activists, artists, politicians, and scholars continue to grapple with questions surrounding property and finance. The recent emergence of sharing economy applications like AirBnB and fractionalized real estate via distributed ledger technologies, commonly known as blockchains, confound dominant understandings of property and global real estate flows, and raise questions surrounding the liberatory potential of “disruptive” digital tools.

Proponents of blockchains laud the technology’s capacity to re-common or redistribute property by increasing the diversity of and access to housing options. To date, however, there exists limited research supporting such claims. This comparative case study examines the social dynamics and spatial impacts of blockchain real estate solutions. It will look at uses of the technology that purports to increase inclusion of diverse populations; specifically, those seeking to enter global real estate markets through sharing schemes or fractionalized ownership (e.g., using a blockchain to split and distribute one “piece” of property across a variety of potential owners). This study contributes to recent scholarship and creative interventions on social good and post-capitalist use cases for blockchains.

Read "Encrypting Enclosure," a BACP-commissioned research paper by Maral Sotoudehnia, here.

Living Description

Living Description is an education initiative convened by artist Aislinn Thomas that conceptualizes access not as an accommodation, but as a relational process of shared sense-making. Beginning with a series of alt-text and visual description workshops led by Aislinn Thomas and Ramya Amuthan in 2021, the project culminates in the launch of 1-833-SEMI-PUB: a toll-free listening space featuring six commissioned audio descriptions that offer multiple non-visual ways to experience the x̱aw̓s shew̓áy̓ New Growth《新生林》garden as a living system.