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Pre-Proposal: The Indeterminacy Festival and Immersive Decentralization


New member
Hi Dash DAO!

This proposal is now live here: https://www.dashcentral.org/p/IndeterminacyFest

My name is Stanzi Vaubel and I was introduced to this community by my cousin Sevan Chorluyan (CEO of Bad Mirror) I run a project called The Indeterminacy Festival and this past year Sevan joined me for the summer tour portion of the project. As we traveled, he talked to me about the Dash community and the way in which Dash functioned. The more he talked, the more it became clear that there were deep philosophical alignments between the Dash network and the approach I take to creating my festival. I have not read any proposal that sounds anything like mine on the Dash proposal board and that makes me feel like an outlier here, but also someone who I think (and hope you will think so too) has the potential to bring something really new and exciting to the approaches that might be taken to mainstreaming Dash.

Thanks and I am excited to hear feedback from everyone here.




I create immersive events which change people. My current project called The Indeterminacy Festival is focused on experiencing what a decentralized world looks like. I am an artist, PhD student, classically trained cellist, and community organizer whose focus is emergent order. I live and work in Buffalo New York, which is a place where community networks are far more important to the functioning of the city than the centralized alternatives that exist in so many other cities. For this reason, Buffalo is primed for digital cash because Buffalo is already living in an informal economy, ripe for further decentralization. Of the cryptocurrencies, Dash and the Dash DAO most closely align with my vision. My interest is not just about promoting Dash, but that Dash is an extension of the whole philosophical framework that my projects are based upon. People in Buffalo have a limited reference point for cryptocurrencies, so by partnering with Dash we are going to create an initial impression that will be the city’s formative reference point.

Details about my project

When people walk into The Indeterminacy Festival, they will be located in a place called Silo City, which is a complex of grain silos located in Buffalo, New York.

Dash Proposal_SILO CITY_MarineA.jpg

Marine A (one of the structures on the silo city campus)

On the silo campus there are a number of structures that are separated by large swaths of gravel. When audience members arrive to Silo City they will have to navigate between these various structures by using an elevated net (2 feet off the ground), which will carry them from one place to the next. The net gives the physical experience of the network in which unlikely ideas and people are connected. The nets and the ideas they connect form relationships which mirror complexity* over hierarchy, encouraging decentralized modes of interacting.

*Complexity characterizes the behavior of a system or model whose components interact in multiple ways and follow local rules, meaning there is no reasonable higher instruction to define the various possible interactions

In this emergent structure, the buildings function like nodes, inside of which there will be various opportunities to collect Dash, which they will be able to able to use at the marketplace at the final installation. These opportunities to collect Dash are not simply passive situations where a consumer sees Dash advertising and then orders a beverage with Dash. Instead the festival offers audience and performers a first-hand experience with what a decentralized network feels like and why an alternative currency structured on decentralization radically alters our connections with each other and the kinds of economic structures we might create.

Dash Proposal_silo city campus.jpg

Silo City Campus

Likewise, vendors who will be hosted in the marketplace are businesses that I have developed relationships with over the course of the year. They are smaller organizations, some of whom I worked with for previous festivals and some of whom are new to the project, such as The West Side Bazaar which describes themselves as a community of vendors who “sell quality authentic products from all around the world and has enabled many immigrant, refugee, and low-income individuals to pursue their dreams of small business ownership, providing them with a space to incubate their small business all while bringing the best of many different cultures to a one-stop-shop right here in Buffalo!” These local entities are already pushing outside of the conventional economic model. It is these kinds of initiatives which will come together in the festival marketplace to buy and sell items with Dash.


During the festival, individuals collect Dash at touchstone points, such as when they exit one exhibit and navigate their way across the net to another installation. Throughout the experience, I won’t be selling them Dash, they will understand Dash in the gut, in a way that can’t be done with simple advertising and promotion. For example, last year I installed thirteen large-scale inflatable bubbles at the same site. Inside of these giant bubbles, thirteen unique dance, music, and lighting performances took place, to eventually converge at the end of the show in the final bubble. In an entirely different way, the festival explored how within a decentralized structure, new social interactions become possible.

Here’s a short video of the show:

"Vaubel’s social practice works are invested in creating possibilities for re-imagining ourselves and communities, by plunging audiences into strange and richly textured environments porous to participation." - The Public

“There was no exact time limit for each part to follow, which I would consider the middle of the performance. Throughout different sections you could see musicians and dancers interacting with each other. To get to each space you had to duck through small tunnels and weave between the performers. You had to be extra alert at all times. This was all new for me and I had no formal directions on what was to happen. At one point we even got lost inside these connecting silos. It added some adventure and fun to our journey.” – Audience member

This year one of the primary modes that the festival will be using to materialize emergence is through string. For the first installation my team has been building unique large-scale string instruments that are designed specifically for the varying acoustics of Marine A (the building where the first installation will take place). These instruments will be placed in relationship to an eighty-person orchestra, who will be performing with the festival this year. Audience members will weave their way through the interlocking silo structures gathering Dash while being immersed inside this musical score.

When they leave this building, they will walk onto the net, where aerial artists will be hanging from the sides of the silos on a rope apparatus, they will be distributing large quantities of rope to an ensemble of dancers. As they receive this material, they will be stretching it further and further (750 feet) as the audience makes their way across the net to the subsequent installations - which include collaborations with physicists and earth scientists interested in emergent structures.

Dash Proposal_silo_climbing_.jpg

Aerialists on the side of silo – distributing rope

Finally, the performance will ascend onto the net once more to make their way to the market place, the destination of the present. Where audience and performers may experience how an economic order could mirror the emergent order of these installations. It is where emergent order is not just experienced as a visceral encounter, but as a reality.

This is the way decentralization can be mainstreamed, through a visceral experience. One that enacts the philosophy as an alive and active reality, that doesn’t have to be explained as an abstract concept, or sold, or posted on a billboard, where all that’s changed is the currency. I don’t think that’s enough. I think we have to step inside decentralization to truly understand what differentiates the real crypto from the ones that are just pretending. As cryptocurrencies becomes more mainstream by the day – there needs to be a felt experience of what the difference is between Dash and all of the other competing options. Otherwise, people wont make the right choice, because they won’t know what their choices are, and the explanations of the differences are too complicated. The Indeterminacy Festival is an embodiment of what decentralization and Dash can do to change everything.

As an artist who works with these concepts, I have the unique ability to serve as a translator and make these complex ideas felt viscerally by the non-crypto community. Participants will crave a way to continue this experience that has altered their perception of reality and with Dash this transition can happen, as a long-term reality. The DAO should not wait to begin creating these inroads for digital cash in small cities like Buffalo, it needs to happen now, with a local artist like myself who plays an invaluable role as a social influencer.

My total request is for $37,225. For a total request of 36 Dash.

1. $15,000 for re-circulation of Dash

2. $12,000 for festival costs

3. $5,000 marketing

4. $5,225 Recoup cost of entry fee

The Breakdown:

1. Re-Circulation of Dash: There are around 100 participants in the festival itself and I anticipate over 400 people attending the event and I want each of them to acquire a reasonable amount of dash so they feel like it’s valuable. I would like to give each performer/festival participant as well as the first 400 persons $30 worth of Dash to spend in the market

2. Festival Costs: for material costs, sound, lighting, artist fees, and guest speakers. I will be purchasing netting and metal to build the net structure that will carry audience members from one installation to the other, this will be around 1,200ft of net ($3800) and enough metal to create 100 stands and 50 turnstiles to support the net ($3,000). I will be purchasing 500ft of nylon shock bungee rope in 3 different colors to be stretched from the first installation to the second ($1000). I will be paying Indigo Productions (a lighting and sound company in Buffalo) to create a sound and lighting system that covers the entire of the silo city campus ($2,000)

3. Marketing: I want to bring in new audience from all over Buffalo and promote the Dash brand. I would use Semcasting, a data driven digital marketing plan, which would target individuals in Buffalo based upon their past digital history and interests. I will hire street teams that will travel around Buffalo weekly handing out flyers and promoting the festival. I will have an article published in Business First, a business oriented newspaper that would emphasize Dash and the role crypto currency was playing in the festival. My co-producer has more than 20 years of experience with marketing and PR in Buffalo and we expect to be able to leverage those contacts for articles and features in the local media as well as surrounding areas. ($2,200)

4. My cousin, Sevan Chorluyan, an early member of the Dash network and CEO of BadMirror, has generously offered to put up the funds for my Dash Proposal, however, I have agreed to pay him back if my proposal is accepted. ($5,225)

For a total request of 36 Dash

Background about me

I started out as a classical cellist and trained at Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard Pre-College. I have collaborated on projects at Robert Wilson's Watermill Center and performed at venues such as Tanglewood, The Long House, and Carnegie Hall. I was hired by the Whitney Museum to design an interactive web project focused around teen engagement with contemporary American art. I graduated from Northwestern University where I ran a radio show called "Ready to Talk" which featured artists from around the world. Subsequently, I worked for New York Public Radio and was the first person to produce video content for the culture page online. My audio documentary Practice, Practice, Practice was featured by the Third Coast Audio Festival, my short film We're Apart of the City won Directors Choice at the Black Maria Film Festival. In 2012 I was selected to participate in The Telluride Film Festival's Student Symposium. In 2013 I produced a series for Chicago Public Radio called The Gift which dropped inside poetry and great literature from the past and present. In 2014 I was a fellow at UnionDocs Center for Documentary where I made and premiered my first feature film called This Place.

Currently I am a PhD student at The University at Buffalo. Since arriving, I have hosted large-scale events, which have only gotten bigger each year. In 2016, I staged Excursions into Unknowable Worlds, in 2017 I launched the first year of The Indeterminacy Festival, Following the festival, I toured the project to four different cities around the U.S. which I plan to continue this year, traveling to different locations and developing new relationships with museums and community partners.

for burchfield_smallersize.jpg

A view from a bubble, Indeterminacy 2017

These projects have been well received and covered in the press within Buffalo, and I’ll include below links to articles from The Public, UB News, Buffalo Rising, and Buffalo News - all of the city’s most read news papers for art, culture, and news:

Buffalo Rising for this year’s festival fundraiser

The Public:

UB News

Buffalo Rising

Burchfield Penney

Buffalo News
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Hi Mike, thanks for the response. Yes, I think Buffalo is a place that will become an early adopter if the cards are played right. I have been living in Buffalo for 4 years now, and I have experienced first hand how important peer to peer relationships are. It is a place where the impossible can become possible, because there are so many people who want to be apart of meaningful social and economic experiences that represent their own interests. Buffalo is a place where community ties are what make the unlikely happen. My festival and the projects I have staged here are a testament to the kind of place Buffalo is - the festival relies on over a hundred citizens, faculty members, artists, engineers, businesses etc. to get involved in a yearlong commitment, to give there time, energies, and skills, all because they believe in the project and the model of the future that I am presenting. As this festival becomes a more and more important part of the city, I feel it is essential that a currency that represents the festival philosophy be integrated into its future.
Do you have plans to document your learnings from pulling something like this off? I imagine they will be helpful for others trying to socialize cryptocurrency as well.
Yes. I have a team of videographers I work with. They are involved in documenting the yearlong process, the workshops I host that introduce the community to the underlying philosophy of the project and provide a hands-on way to engage with these concepts. The videographers will also be involved in documenting all aspects of the festival experience in May.

I'm also working on a PhD, so everything I do is documented and written into the framework I am constructing around decentralized immersive performance as a vehicle for social and economic transformation. This will serve as a roadmap for future projects and other organizations.

After the festival in May, I take the work on tour. This is another opportunity to share these ideas and the framework around the country, with other communities. Unlike other festival proposals, where you're counting on disseminating an interest to thousands of people through advertisement - this is a much more grassroots approach. Its premised on the belief that change happens person to person, one person at a time, with the knowledge that good ideas spread fast, especially when grasped in the gut.

Should I be funded, I would include Dash in the framework of this work, as the economic backer of this philosophy.
thanks for your interest and to answer your question: previous festivals have been funded by crowdfunding campaigns, individual donors, and fundraising events, and this festival (which is bigger in scale and has more of a track record now) has additional support from more conventional money streams like New York State Council for the Arts, an internal university grant called The Mark Diamond Research Fund, as well as significant monetary support from the Physics Department at UB and individual donors in Buffalo (note: I am not asking Dash to support the entire cost of the festival, but to support costs that aren't currently being covered).

It should also be noted that Buffalo has its own internal ecosystem which works on something like a barter system. Many many individuals have donated their time, skills, labor, and equipment to the festival because they believe in the larger philosophy of the project. Over 50 of the current participants have been involved for several years now and they will be involved again this coming year. Each year, the relationships amongst participants deepens and expands outwards from a powerful core who have been involved from the beginning. I believe this makes the possibility of incorporating Dash powerful, because this isn't a transient project, with transient investment. Its a city and a festival nested within that city which has a growing impact within many sectors beyond just the arts.

This year introduces the festivals involvement to include the sciences, many local community organizations, as well as local businesses, all to be involved in the framework. This is a festival which is focused on envisioning a new social and economic future for the city.