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<nettime-ann> [ann] Discussion on Chinese Media Culture. Online and live
Martijn de Waal on Wed, 22 Mar 2006 14:46:15 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime-ann> [ann] Discussion on Chinese Media Culture. Online and live in V2


.

Tangent_Leap


An evening on emergent media culture in the People's Republic of China


 

featuring 

Isaac Mao, activist blogger and software architect, Shanghai

Zhang Ga, media artist and curator, Beijing/New York

Karsten Giese, political scientist and sinologist, Hamburg

Guobin Jang, social scientist, New York online

 

moderator: Stephen Kovats, media researcher, V2_Institute

respondent: Martijn de Waal, journalist and media theorist, Amsterdam

 

Thursday March 30

19.00 - 21.00 (CET) 

V2_Institute for the Unstable Media

Eendrachtstraat 10/12, Rotterdam

in collaboration with IIAS (International Institute for Asian Studies,
Leiden)

 

Streamed live:

02.00 - 04.00 (Beijing, Hong Kong), 13.00 - 15.00 (New York), 10.00 -
12.00
(San Francisco)

www.v2.nl/live

Over the last few years, The Great Leap, has become a popular metaphor
to
describe the fast-paced modernization process in China. However, in spite
of
the turbulent economic growth some domains of Chinese society have
changed
very little during the past two decades. Many Chinese have seen their
private freedoms increase significantly. But, critics would argue that
the
official policies of 'opening up' have neither changed the political
system
nor the state control of public media. Others claim that new social
spaces
have emerged for citizens to voice their opinion and take action. The use
of
bottom-up media such as the web, e-mail and sms have enabled people to
self-organize creating a new form of middle landscape, somewhere between
the
official media landscape, and the private sphere. Minor reform rather
than
total revolution marks the cautious pace of such development. 

Nowhere has this middle landscape become more clear than in the new forms
of
media culture that have also exploded in China over the last few years.
Weblogs, bulletinboards, peer-to-peer distribution and chatrooms have
made
the traditional sharp division between public and private lives
problematic.
While most of the over 100 million Chinese citizens currently online are
using electronic networked media for mere entertainment, many employ a
number of tactics to find or distribute information outside the official
media system. In this middle landscape, or third places, news ways of
constructing identities are emerging. And while the line between
political
public sphere and commercial arena for entertainment is also becoming
blurry, new landscapes for discussion are opened up. Is this the
beginning
of a true civil society in China, emerging from these new middle grounds?


 

Isaac Mao (co-founder Social Brain Foundation, Shanghai) is one of
China's
earliest and most prolific media activists using blogs as a grassroots
voice-enabling technology and emergent democracy tool. He divides his
time
between research, leading the Creative Commons China team and running
China
based software technology businesses. His website <www.isaacmao.com> is
now
blocked in China.

 

Zhang Ga (New York Institute of Technology and Research Fellow, Tsinghua
University, Beijing) is an internationally recognised media artist and
curator active in Europe, North America and China who has written on new
media art and criticism while being active in organizing exhibitions,
conferences and digital salons in China. As one of the leading proponents
of
linking art and technology as a cultural practice in China, Zhang Ga
works
to identify the emergent Chinese artistic and cultural media landscape. 

 

Karsten Giese (Institute for Asian Studies, Hamburg) heads the 'Chinese
Urban Identities in the Internet Age' research program. His works
identifies
the internet as a third place, which 'exists on neutral ground' creating
conditions of social equality where conversation is the primary activity
and
the major vehicle for the display and appreciation of human personality
and
individuality. Such emergent interstitial spaces could play an important
role in new emerging processes of identity formation of (especially)
young
urban Chinese. 

 

 

Guobin Yang (Columbia University, New York) has written extensively
about
the Chin
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