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<nettime-ann> Free-Media / Cultural Hotspots Network Meetings
Drew Hemment on Wed, 25 Apr 2007 17:38:10 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime-ann> Free-Media / Cultural Hotspots Network Meetings


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Free-Media / Cultural Hotspots Network Meetings

There is today a grass roots open source movement that is sweeping across Brazil like wild fire and captivating the world's imagination.

A series of free-media events and gatherings over the coming weeks will draw together UK individuals and groups working in free-media, and culminate in a major conference and network meeting at Futuresonic 2007 in Manchester with the leading figures from the Brazilian open source movement joined by activists from across Europe.

www.futuresonic.com/07/freestudio.html

____

Network meetings :

Friday 27 April / Cambridge
NATIONAL NETWORK
MEETING AT ENTER_
UNKNOWN TERRITORIES
You are invited to a national meeting of
people and groups active in free-media.

Saturday 12 May / Manchester
CULTURAL HOTSPOTS
CONFERENCE AT
FUTURESONIC 2007
Meet the leading figures in an open source
movement sweeping across Brazil like
wild fire.

Sunday 13 May / Manchester
INTERNATIONAL
NETWORK MEETING
AT FUTURESONIC 2007
An international gathering seeding new
local groups on the Brazilian model.


See also:

ENVIRONMENT 2.0
AT FUTURESONIC 2007
Addressing the sustainability of
future arts and culture.
www.futuresonic.com/07/environmenttalks.html

MUTANT MEDIA
FESTIVAL
An event looking at new techniques to
evolve media activism.
http://mutantmedia.org.uk

VIDEO SNIFFIN'
& FREE-MEDIA
WORKSHOP
Hands-on experiments with video sniffin',
intercepting signals from wireless CCTV.
www.lovebytes.org.uk

____

More info :

____

Friday 27 April / Cambridge
NATIONAL NETWORK
MEETING AT ENTER_
UNKNOWN TERRITORIES
Temporary MediaShed, Dome 1, Parkers Piece, Cambridge

You are invited to a national meeting of people and groups active in open source media production and 'free-media' sustainable computing. The network meeting aims to reflect and draw together different approaches to open source media production. The meeting will explore the scope for a national tour of MediaShed's Gearbox free-media video toolkit resource and website, a one-stop space for low/no-budget film makers.

It will take place after the Gearbox launch on Friday 27 April 2pm-4pm, please come and meet us then. The venue is a temporary dome that will be erected for Enter_Unknown Territories on Parkers Piece in central Cambridge. For directions see the Enter_ website and search for Parkers Piece or the domes.
www.enternet.org.uk/unknownterritories


If you are interested in attending this meeting contact
damien {AT} isomorphic.demon.co.uk
(on behalf of the MediaShed www.mediashed.org)

Initiated by MediaShed, hosted by Enter and part of a programme of national activities led by Futuresonic. Gearbox is being implemented for the first time in a commission for the Futuresonic 2007 exhibition, Art For Shopping Centres.

____

Saturday 12 May / Manchester
CULTURAL HOTSPOTS
CONFERENCE AT
FUTURESONIC 2007
Saturday 12 May
Contact Theatre, Manchester

http://www.futuresonic.com/07/freestudio.html

There is today a grass roots open source movement that is sweeping across Brazil like wild fire and captivating the world's imagination.

A high profile session coinciding with the initiation of a local Ponto de Cultura (Cultural Hotspot) in Manchester, based on the Brazilian model, will be headed by Claudio Prado.

Claudio Prado (Brazil), 63 is the leading figure in the Brazilian movement. He was deeply involved in the countercultural movement in 1960's London - he was one of the organizers of the first Glastonbury Festival, and was involved in the launch of the International Times and of the first format of Time Out. In London he met the musician Gilberto Gil, now Culture Minister of Brazil, with whom he has had a lifetime friendship.

Claudio is now in a unique position, working in a very new frontier between government and media activists running the Digital Culture Department of the Ministry of Culture of Brazil. He is the man responsible for Brazil's involvement in international discussions around digital and open source culture, and all its consequences in IP regulations, cultural production and identity, creative economy and so on. He is also responsible for putting all these concepts into practice, through the Pontos de Cultura project - 600 grassroots cultural centers spread all around the country that receive a digital multimedia production infrastructure and take part in a series of meetings and workshops regarding free and open source software for multimedia production, open licensing, gift economy and similar subjects.

Claudio will be joined by other international open source activists including :
Cristiano Scabello (Estudio Livre/Brazil), James Wallbank (Access Space/UK), Matthew Edmondson (Open IT Up/UK), Dave Carter (Head of Manchester Digital Development Agency), Vicky Sinclair (Ponto de Cultura - Manchester), Pedro Zaz (Brazcast.tv), Phil Mayer (Fluxo.org), Francesca Bria (Ponto de Cultura- Rome), Dario Biagetti (Cultura Digitale Italia- Italy), Aoife Giles (Photographer from Pontos de Cultura Brazil), MediaShed, UHC.


Conference sessions at 2pm and 8pm, with informal presentations sessions in the afternoon.

____

Sunday 13 May / Manchester
INTERNATIONAL
NETWORK MEETING
AT FUTURESONIC 2007
Sunday 13 May, 12pm-5pm
Zion Centre, Hulme

http://www.futuresonic.com/07/freestudio.html

Followed by a workshop at Futuresonic 2007 drawing together people and groups active in open source media production, which will focus on the establishment and proliferation of local groups, with a focus on the goal of establishing a Ponto de Cultura (Cultural Hotspot)in Manchester based on the Brazilian model. The workshop will explore the local factors in different international contexts affect how open source and free-media communities can develop and take root.

____


READ: ARTICLE BY DOUGALD HINE April 2007

PONTOS DE CULTURA
www.futuresonic.com/07/pontos.html

"Our entire global system is a political construct, and Brazil is doing its best to hack that system to make it work better for the billions of people on this planet who dont own Microsoft stock. " - Alex Steffen

From the favelas of Sao Paolo to villages far up the Amazon, in the poorest communities in Brazil, a network of grassroots digital media centres are leading an open source revolution. At the last count, there were 600 of these Pontos de Cultura (Culture Hotspots) running on free software, recycled technology and a balance between government support and the dedication of local activists. Its a model which promises to extend open source culture through a whole society - and which is creating excitement around the world.

"Every license for Office plus Windows in Brazil means we have to export 60 sacks of soybeans," explains Marcelo DElia Branco, coordinator of the countrys Free Software Project. "For the right to use one copy of the software for one year or a year and a half, until the next upgrade, we have to till the earth, plant, harvest, and export 60 sacks of soybeans. When I explain this to farmers, they go nuts."

The adoption of free, open source software by the government of the worlds fifth largest country has a straightforward logic to it. But its the vision that goes beyond that logic which is increasingly drawing international attention. For Claudio Prado, the man who started the Pontos network, another world is not just possible - its already here. "The digital world is another world," he insists. "Industrial Age logic is no longer sustainable."

Soon after the election of President Lulas government in 2002, Prado went to see his old friend, the renowned musician Gilberto Gil, who had just been made Minister of Culture. He wanted to talk to him about an idea for using technology and cultural activity to help Brazils poorest communities find "a shortcut from the 19th century to the 21st".

"Because this wasnt something that could fit into the Ministry of Culture the way it was, he asked me to wait a few weeks." Instead of waiting, Prado decided to make a start - and so, as a few weeks turned into two years, he found himself building a new department out of good will and thin air. He would speak at international events on behalf of the government - yet with no budget, the Digital Culture programme was being run by activists and grassroots organisations, instead of civil servants.

This suited Prado down to the ground. He talks mischievously about how he "hacked the state" and built a government programme "from the outside-in". And two years later, when funding finally arrived, he was able to build on the network of artists, activists and hackers which had collected around the project in the mean time.

Prados suspicion of bureaucracy and top-down, one-size-fits-all solutions has influenced the way government interacts with the Pontos. Rather than parachute new facilities into a community, the programme works with existing local organisations. But although the resources attached are significant, the selection process favours organisations without previous experience of government funding.

"NGOs that are used to receiving money from government become experts in - receiving money from government!" Prado laughs. "So we dont choose the projects by whether they have their papers in order." Instead, potential applicants are judged on their cultural and social merit, and then provided with help to complete a formal application.

Each new Ponto gets a multimedia kit including a video camera and microphones, as well as a set of recycled computers. But its not about giving people a load of technology, then hiring a company to come in and fix things every time something goes wrong. The focus is on self-reliance and demystifying the grey box - opening up the machine and learning how to maintain it for yourself.

The convergence of artists, activists and hackers is not unique to Brazil. All over the world, groups are coming together and creating hubs of free software, recycled technology and grassroots creativity. The difference is, Brazil is the first country where a government has got seriously behind the idea.

The hope is that, as open source culture makes the transition from the margins to the heart of society, it can bring with it a different approach to development and economics - one based on collaboration, autonomy and decentralisation.

Text commission for Free Studio event at Futuresonic 2007 :
www.futuresonic.com/07/freestudio.html

____

FREE MEDIA

Free-media is an approach to technology and media production which makes use of the surplus of computers and electronics in society, promoting recycled computing and open source methodologies. It doesn’t cost much because it makes use of public domain Free and Open Source Software, and recycles freely available old equipment, waste materials and junk (FOSS). Free-media increases access to media technologies, especially to the people who need it most and can afford it the least, and lowers environmental impact of the media we produce and consume.

Free-media is about finding inspiration and resources in our built and natural environment that were previously dismissed as being without value or irrelevant. It is media that is open, transparent, unrestricted and outside proprietary controls, so you can freely change it, rewrite it or rebuild it to suit yourself. Free-media allows signals, things, objects, people and actions to pass “freely” between each other. It is about opening up the implicit meaning of media itself - to mediate not by controlling and ordering what can be said, shown or heard but by providing the means to unblock channels of access, release currents of energy and reveal the margins of what people can feel, sense, reason and imagine.




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