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<nettime-ann> [event] [online] Tangent_Leap: Emergent Media Culture in C
Stephen Kovats on Tue, 28 Mar 2006 06:27:41 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime-ann> [event] [online] Tangent_Leap: Emergent Media Culture in China - online


  Tangent_Leap: Online V2_Event
  Emergent Media Culture in the People=92s Republic of China

  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

  Thursday March 30
  19.00 - 22.00 (CET - Central/Western Europe)
  13.00 - 16.00 (EST - New York)
  10.00 - 13.00 (PST - San Diego)
  02.00 - 05.00 (Shanghai + next morning)

  V2_Institute for the Unstable Media
  Eendrachtstraat 10/12, Rotterdam
  in collaboration with IIAS (International Institute for Asian Studies,


  For those unable to join us at V2_ this event will be streamed live
(REAL MEDIA) with a moderated IRC channel open for debate, interjection

and commentary at via 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 =91opening up=92 have neither =
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=92s 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 
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