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<nettime> Free Bitflows
Konrad Becker on Fri, 21 May 2004 14:18:32 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Free Bitflows

Springtime in Vienna: Free Bitflows is an exploratory event focusing on
the politics of infostreams to advance free flows of information. A
variety of international speakers and presenters will discuss the role of
digital media culture and will inquire into strategies of a movement
guided by the idea of the commons.

-> K


Cultures of Access and Politics of Dissemination

Conference: 3-4 June 2004
Location: Semperdepot, Prospekthof, Léhargasse 6, 1060 Vienna

Exhibition: 3-17 June 2004
Locations: Kuenstlerhaus, Karlsplatz 5, 1010 Vienna and temporary locations
on Karlsplatz

Free Bitflows, will bring together artists, researchers, activists, and
hackers from Europe and beyond to investigate current strategies to build
sustainable, open and experimental cultures through electronic media. A
conference, workshops, performances and an exhibition will examine cultures
of access and the politics of dissemination from a broad range of 

The Internet came with a promise that 'everybody can be a publisher'.
Although not everybody wants to be a publisher, those who actually do, find
it very hard to make it work. As it turns out, this promise is only true in
an extremely limited, technical sense. Yes, I can set up a website, or put
my song on the net, but what next? The problem becomes not so much technical
as social- there is lots of sharing, but little in terms of making a living.
Money remains squarely in the hands of the old industry.

The issue of distribution is not just an economic question. It's also a
political one. At stake is the "semiotic democracy", that is the ability of
the largest number of people to create and share culture freely. It is about
making sure that despite of heavy-hitting marketing machines, new, 
independent content can still find its audience. In short, the question is
how do innovative production and distribution come together to support each
other. Free Software seems to have found a way to do just that, but what
about the rest of cultural production? How do we get from technological
visions to actual cultures that are open yet sustainable in a climate were
funding runs short? 

14.00 - 16.30

Session 1: Organizational Intelligence for Independent Producers

The content gap is encroaching on the independent information providers. The
ruthless efficiency of the market not only shapes content and the quality
and depth of information in the mainstream channels - the pressure of a
global neoliberal regime also affects the not-for-profit intelligence nodes.
Being able to compete in certain standards and formats of culture and
knowledge dissemination requires smart, mobile and flexible solutions which
make best use of the tools of information technology. Global informational
networking seems too obvious to mention... but how can it be made into an
actual practice and real asset for independent content providers?

Pit Schultz (DE) / Reni Hofmueller (AT): Radio Syndication over the Internet
Pauline van Mourik Broekman (UK): The Mothership and the Flock
Marco Deseriis (IT): The art of causing troubles: Italian strategies of
resistance to media monopoly
Moderation: Menno Grootveld (NL)

17.00 - 19.30 
Session 2: The Future of File Sharing: Darknet Reloaded?

The famous Microsoft study concludes that the powers that be don't stand a
chance against the reality of the so called "Darknet". A somewhat optimistic
note from an unexpected side. At the same time, the legal and technical
assault on file sharing and anonymity is in full swing. What is the future
of free information exchanges? More anonymity? Or will uncontrolled p2p
disappear into social networks?

Ian Clarke (IE/US): The Freenet Project
Janko Roettgers (DE) : A darknet full of friends 
Sjoera Nas (NL): Digital anonimity and the law


14.00 - 16.30 
Session 3: Archives for the Digital Public Sphere

Archives are a key component of the cultural landscape, now more than ever.
In the context of individualized access and on-demand cultures, the live
aspect of digital production has grown comparatively less important. The
fact that more is being produced than anyone of us can access in real-time
puts emphasis on ways to store, archive and retrieve cultural production
after the fact. Last, but not least, in an age where sampling and editing
have become basic operations of cultural production, archives and open
access to their treasures are central to cultural evolution. Commercially,
the increased value of archives has been recognized for a long time, and
corporations like Corbis and GettyImages have already privatized and
commodified large parts of our (digitized) pictorial heritage. But what we
need are archives that make their contents available freely and
promiscuously, or experimental culture cannot flourish.

Paula Le Dieu (UK): The Creative Archive: fuel for a creative nation
Brewster Kahle (US): Universal Access to All Knowledge 
Istvan Rev (HU): Open Society Archives
Moderation: Thorsten Schilling (DE)

17.00 - 19.30 
Session 4 : Compensation Decentral
What are the new models and alternatives for a direct distribution and
dissemination beyond the big gatekeepers of the music industry? With only 5%
percent of the value going to the creators, there are chances to cut out the
media cartels to achieve a fair compensation for artists and a broad
distribution of "stuff". What are existing examples and what should we learn
from their experience? To reclaim utopias in defense of imagination might
provide enough room of manoeuvre to allow the emergence of new practices
beyond the all too real dystopias of digital restrictions at the end of the
world as we know it.

Volker Grassmuck (DE): In Favor of Collectively Managed Online Rights
Kristin Thomson (US): The Future of Music, for Musicians
Wendy Selzer (US): Voluntary Alternative Compensation Systems
Bjoern Hartmann (DE/FR): Netlabels vs. Brick-and-Mortar Distribution – Notes
from the Trenches of the Electronic Music Scene
The whole conference will be streamed live http://freebitflows.t0.or.at


Artists from the enlarged Europe examine cultures of access and politics of
dissemination from a broad range of perspectives. Amongst others the
exhibition will feature: Beat Brogle (CH) / One Word Movie, James Brown (UK)
/ apology, Ewen Chardronnet  (FR) / Ground Control, Petko Dourmana (BG) /
Out of recession, Eastwood - Real Time Strategy Group (CS) / Civilization
IV, Maia Gusberti (CH/AT) and Michael Aschauer (AT) / e_etc.tv, Christoph
Kummerer (AT) / 0penM1nd, Anja Neitzert (DE) / Release early release often –
diary and Max Moswitzer (AT) / HUD_DEMO. 


Wednesday 2 June, 16.00 - 20.00
Exhibition opening:  Live Streaming Performance TRAMJAM - VIENNA RUSHHOUR by
Mumbai Streaming Attack (CH) (Shu Lea Chang, Niki Schawalder a.o.)

Location: Temporary Location on Karlsplatz

Thursday 3 June,  23.00 - 01.30 
An evening of performances employing computers, humans and heterogenous
streaming technologies. X-powered-by: xdv.org (gl03, pxp, it's not fair, >
epy), Kate Donovan, Chris Kummerer, and others 

Location: Semperdepot, Prospekthof, Léhargasse 6, 1060 Vienna


Hands on’ Stream Studio Workshop
Wednesday 2 June, 10.00 - 17.00
with Stoyan Kostadinov (BG) 

The workshop enables direct experience with innovative Open Source streaming
solutions. It will demonstrate a series of practical streaming scenarios and
explained how they can be realized most effectively with free and open
source software. 

Location: Public Netbase/t0, Burggasse 21, 1070 Vienna

Workshop 'Radio Syndication Seminar'
Saturday 5 June, 9.00 - 13.00 
organized by Bootlab (DE)

While numerous non-commercial radios exist, the aim is to combine the old
analog practice with digital media. During the seminar radio makers will
examine existing usages and technologies, and map out best practice models
for the future.

Location: Public Netbase/t0, Burggasse 21, 1070 Vienna

Artist Software Presentation Workshop
Thursday 3 June, 10.00 – 13.00

Artists including Georg Lauteren (AT) will present their latest projects in
the field of software development. 

Location: Semperdepot, Prospekthof, Léhargasse 6, 1060 Vienna

The People Speak
Friday 4 June, 10.00 – 13.00
with Saul Albert (UK) and Michael Weinkove (UK)

The People Speak is a set of ideas and strategies for stimulating debate,
conversation, and self-expression. It develops experimental communication
forms where the power structures are obvious and no instruction manual is
required - the people speak!

Location: Semperdepot, Prospekthof, Léhargasse 6, 1060 Vienna


Free Bitflows is realized in the framework of exStream, a two-year
collaborative project of Hull Time Based Arts (Hull, UK), V2_ (Rotterdam,
NL), Bootlab (Berlin, DE), InterSpace Media Art Center (Sofia, BG), and
Institute for New Culture Technologies/t0 - Public Netbase (Vienna, AT).

Concept and Conference Editors: Konrad Becker, Felix Stalder
Conference Co-Editor: Pit Schultz

Institute for New Culture Technologies/t0
Zwischenquartier Burggasse 21
1070 Vienna, Austria
phone: ++43,1,522 18 34
fax: ++43, 1, 522 50 58
e-mail: office {AT} t0.or.at

Free Bitflows is realized with the support of the Culture 2000 programme of
the European Union.

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