Nettime mailing list archives

pressl_eva on Sat, 21 Dec 2002 01:02:27 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]



++ World-InfoCon Conference "The Network Society of
Control" (6 and 7 December, 2002, Amsterdam) ++
Upcoming: World-Information.Org  {AT}  Yugoslavia ++
++ World-InfoCon: Streams ++  World-Information.Org
 {AT}  Amsterdam: Documentation ++
++ Interviews with Sheldon Rampton and Arun Metha ++
++ http://world-information.org ++ compiled by
World-Information.Org ++



While the World-Information Exhibition in Amsterdam'
s  "Oude Kerk"  --  on show from 15 November to 15
December, 2002 - displayed state-of-the-art
technologies, a survey of the politics of
information and some of the most advanced examples
of digital art, the two-day World-InfoCon conference
"The Network Society of Control" concluded
World-Information.Org's program in Amsterdam.

Taking place on 6 and 7 December, 2002, at De Balie
"The Network Society of Control" represented a
crucial event in connecting two discourses that can
no longer be treated separately: surveillance and
privacy on one hand, and digital commons and
intellectual property on the other. Whereas on the
first conference day, titled "Security Paranoia in
the World-Info-Sphere", speakers addressed issues of
security and control, difficult to disentangle form
paranoia and panic, the second day was dedicated to
the issue "Building the Digital Commons".

In the course of the starting session on Friday
morning, presentations given under the heading
"Control Anxiety" included cyborgologist Chris
Hables Gray and World-Information.Org director
Konrad Becker. Gray's presentation of cyborg theory
provided a stimulating entry point for developing a
coherent understanding of policies that affect both
knowledge and bodies and was followed by Becker's
lecture, which constituted a colorful and disturbing
review of the historic origins of information
manipulation, a rapid succession of flash lights on
centuries of secret and clandestine knowledge. On a
more secular note, capitalism theorist Brian Holmes,
showed a rather practical side of his work
presenting maps that criticize global power
structures and Ryan Schoelerman, a young ex-Marine,
provided a first hand insight of electronic data
collection as practiced by the US Forces on behalf
of the NSA - the daily nitty gritty of surveillance,
performed by young boys whose job description knows
no question marks. Later, in a gripping
presentation, Steve Kurtz from the Critical Art
Ensemble left no doubt that biology is part of the
info-sphere - and an arena of molecular invasion:
the appropriation of biological information by
biotech corporations amounts to the final seizure of
bodies by informational capital.

The afternoon sessions of the first conference day
were focused on "Public Mind Control" and featured
perspectives of the corporate influencing of the
infosphere. Sheldon Rampton, PR Watch editor,
presented views of the PR business that were as
clear as they were disconcerting. Yet any sort of
governmental regulation, according to Rampton, seems
counterproductive, making step-by-step
awareness-building at the grassroots level the
necessary alternative. The latter insight also
emerged from Eveline Lubbers, when she introduced
her work leading to the publication of her book
"Battling Big Business". Anyone who was not quite so
sure what corporative disinformation strategies such
as "greenwash" meant was left without a doubt. The
fact that there is hardly any critical reporting to
be found in the mainstream media in this regard
comes as no surprise to Ben Bagdikian, the
Grandsigneur of critical media theory in the US, who
attached some hope to the Internet: "The Internet
plays an important role in breaking through the
overwhelming influence of the ordinary commercial

Day two was dedicated to the digital commons and
participants spoke on issues from within the
wide-ranging area of intellectual property, the
"spectre" that has come to haunt the politics of the
infosphere. Here, free software and open source were
addressed by two of the top people in this field,
Volker Grassmuck and Felix Stalder, both of whom
underlined the importance of open source for the
digital commons and gave an impressive view of the
creative opportunities open source can unlock. From
a non-European perspective, Arun Mehta stressed the
damaging effect of the copyright industry on India's
attempt of developing software suited to its needs.
"Writing software is like walking on a pavement
where individual squares belong to different people"
, Mehta said. As Darius Cuplinskas and Steve Cisler
portrayed the challenges intellectual property
constitutes for public libraries and knowledge
networks  --  exorbitant subscription fees to
specialized journals have meant that scientific
knowledge has become a privilege for the few  --  a
development which has given rise to novel forms of
information sharing among the scientific community.
Felix Stalder's conclusion of World-InfoCon: "The
conference has been successful in connecting the
surveillance and the copyright issues in a way that
you start to understand what the connections between
them are. And it has been able to build a bridge
from the specialist community to a much wider

World-Information.Org  {AT}  Amsterdam is a collaborative
project of Public Netbase (AT), the Waag Society
(NL),  De Balie (NL), and Montevideo (NL)

Conference Report by Steve Cisler



Conceived as an ongoing effort to critically observe
and investigate new technologies in a societal,
economic and artistic context World-Information.Org
will soon open its doors again. This time the venues
are located in Yugoslavia, where the
World-Information Exhibition will be shown from 27
March to 9 April, 2003, in Novi Sad's Museum of the
Revolution and from 19 April to 15 May, 2003, in the
Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade. Accompanying
the exhibitions will be a World-InfoCon conference
held on 20 April, 2003, in Belgrade that will once
more bring together international and renowned
speakers from diverse fields to discuss questions
concerning the future of the network society.



Explore Amsterdam's World-InfoCon and have a look at
the video streams of the conference lectures.
While recordings of all presentations will be coming
up soon, already now streams of Steve Kurtz (US,
Critical Art Ensemble and Carnegie Mellon
University), Sheldon Rampton (US, editor of PR
Watch), Felix Stalder (CH/CA, economist and media
researcher) and Arun Metha (IN, activist and
educator) are available.

>>> http://world-information.org/wio/mediafiles



Watch out for a video documentation of
World-Information.Org at Amsterdam that will be
coming up in early 2003.



PR Watch editor Sheldon Rampton (US) on improving
grassroots techniques of advocacy.


Arun Metha (IN), media activist, educator, and
President of the Society for Telecommunications
Empowerment (STEM) on access, open source, and
community radio.



The Institute for New Culture Technologies/t0
is the carrier of World-Information.Org
Zwischenquartier, Burggasse 21
A-1070 Vienna, Austria
phone: ++ 43.1.522 18 34
fax: ++ 43.1.522 50 58
email: info-office {AT} world-information.org

Under the patronage of UNESCO.
To unsubscribe from this list send an email to:
Reddfishlistserver {AT} world-information.org with
unsubscribe world-info-news <yourmail>
in the message body

To resubscribe to this list send an email to:
Reddfishlistserver {AT} world-information.org with
subcribe world-info-news <yourmail>
in the message body


----- End forwarded message -----
#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net