Hello Xavier, please tell us a bit about yourself, your background and what is it that you do at Aragon Black?
Hello! I’m Xavier, I’m a web3 and React developer at Aragon Black.
Before that I worked at various places for more than 10 years now, from French national railways (SNCF) to startups. 6 years ago, I started my own company, drangies.fr, where I mostly worked on connected objects for artists and events. I was working with web technologies and open source hardware. I was also working with electronics, and ended up doing PCB design, electrical setups, construction, and on site installation.
Now, I’m starting a new challenge with Aragon Black team!
You’ve worked on many artistic projects before diving into blockchain. Could you describe one of those projects, like the one you enjoyed most and were most proud of.
There are so many projects I could speak about! I’d speak about the very first one I did, which let me figure that I could make a living combining arts and technology. It’s maybe not the most complex, nor the most fancy, but it still have a special place in my heart.
With the collective “Etrange Miroir” (https://www.etrangemiroir.org/english-presentation/), I hacked some old rotary phones so when you use them, it would play testimonies from Rom population about their dreams, struggles and daily life stories.
Do you remember the first time you heard about blockchain and what were your thoughts about this new techno?
It was during the Transeuropa festival in Belgrade, in 2015. There was a conference about government resiliency through the blockchain. They took the example of Haïti and all the services that collapsed during the 2010 earthquake, and how the blockchain and its decentralized nature could have been a major asset to put the country back on its feet.
It blew my mind because it was one of the first time I saw such a various crowd (activists, journalists, artists, citizens, and so on) listening to a very technical presentation and directly understanding the benefits they could find working with such complex technology.
Your mate is the editor of Les Autres possibles, an activist and local eco-citizen publication in Nantes. Do you feel that what you are doing in Aragon Network is also politized, or that on the contrary, there’s a gap between your two worlds? What’s your thoughts about that?
Well, I think we try to pursue the same goal, not with the same tools and mindset though. And both are obviously politized.
On top of the subject of “Les Autres Possibles”, which is, without any doubts, political, we must also consider that they tend towards a horizontal organization, where the consensus is the decision making system, and towards a transparent organisation. Does it ring a bell to you ?
If you had to describe the perfect profile of a web3 developer in blockchain ecosystem, what would it sounds like?
To be honest, I don’t know! But being curious, motivated and having good communications skills are great to have.
Fork is a big issue in the Pando Network vision, let’s imagine we could roll back time for an instant, at the moment when “The DAO” crashed, were you a pro-fork person or a non-fork person?
I would have been a non-fork person. I can understand the fork motivations but it creates an uncomfortable feeling that immutability is illusory. The decision of the fork was motivated by money, but I value more the immutability than the money.
Collaboration is a very big issue in your project, so let’s talk a bit more about your team. How did you meet the rest of Aragon Black?
I first met Nolwenn and Olivier by chance at a gas station on my way back home after a party night :) Olivier is an old friend of my mate, so we stopped by and they came for coffee the next morning. Starting from that I got involved into the “Chaos Machine” project from the Distributed Gallery, a crypto-art collective they created with Alex, and now I’m here :)
In your opinion, what is it that keeps Aragon Black’s team motivated towards the same vision?
From what I see, I’d say it’s that we all tend to other forms of organisations and that we have a strong need for freedom. That doesn’t mean we’re not able to follow orders, but rather that we only follow the ones that makes sense to us. To me it makes a big difference, and it’s very precious since everyone can challenge ideas and sharpen its owns.
What is your personal and human contribution to your team?
Beside being developer, I try to focus on development workflows so everyone can be even more comfortable on its daily job. There’s still a lot of work to do on that, but I’m pretty confident it will be effective soon!
Conversely, what is the weird/annoying thing that you do, and that your team could or has noticed about you?
I’m sometimes chatting too much and end up writing down obvious and useless things :)
Let’s talk a bit more about you. Beside Pando and Aragon Black, what are your hobbies/interests?
I love rehabilitating old vehicles, I used to do that a lot, but I don’t have much time left these days. I love doing mechanics in the workshop during nights while listening to the radio and podcasts. I have old scooters (50’s Vespas and a weird 52 Magnat Debon) and a motorcycle (53 Terrot).
I also try to do as much basketball as I can.
If you had to choose an author that could be your leitmotiv author, which one would it be and why?
Since I love old vehicles and I also love travel stories, so I’d say Nicolas Bouvier for it’s “Usage du monde”, a travel story happening in the 50’s from Switzerland to Pakistan. Reading this book and imagining the 50’s landscapes always amazed me. I feel like it’s a trip that would never happen again in the way that the world has changed too much for a new trip to be the same as the one of Nicolas Bouvier and Thierry Vernet.
Can you give us a quote that has inspired you in many ways so far!?
It’s a quote from an old friend, I was joking about all the dreams he had, telling him that having so much dreams is the best way to achieve no one. He answered me that it’s “better to have a thousand dreams and fulfill 1% of them, than having none”. It’s obvious but it stroked me, and now I’m not scared of dreaming too much!
Let’s end with this, if you had to create “The” playlist of your journey within the blockchain ecosystem, what would you choose for your opening song?
Arcanum of Show me the body, and all of their songs!