This is a very exciting tome. It is about 'Distributed Autonomous Organisations' (DAOs) in the arts. DAOs are essentially a method of leadership of organisations with distributed leadership among members, often using technologies like blockchain to help decision-making. The book has so many ways to be used that it's hard to know how to describe or review it. It is simultaneously an artwork about distributed leadership, a guide to establishing and running DAOs, a philosophical and theoretical exploration of radical friendships, a documentation of existing projects and a more-than-human object that speaks beyond itself. It is really wonderful.
Radical Friends is divided into essays, artworks, conversations and other short sections. It is wonderfully edited and laid out, and is very beautiful throughout – the tarot card deck Hexen 2.0 by Suzanne Treister divides the book sections, and other artistic and aesthetic/design choices are perfect.
Naturally, with so many voices in many chapters, there are things that I didn't agree with or didn't particularly enjoy, including a very blithe conversation featuring an NFT artist, but as an object the book is magnificent and a great achievement for the editors Ruth Catlow and Penny Rafferty. Hard to pick a highlight, but Rafferty's own essay The Reappropriation of Life and Living is extraordinary, as is Cassie Thornton's contribution.