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<nettime> More info about WorkSpace
Geert Lovink (by way of Pit Schultz <pit {AT} contrib.de>) on Sun, 4 May 1997 08:46:52 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> More info about WorkSpace

The Summer of Content
More info about WorkSpace, the media laboratory
Documenta X, june 21  -  september 28 1997

- first draft - 

By Geert Lovink/Pit Schultz

Table ot Content

A Letter to all
B Workspace FAQ 
C Workspace text
D addendum: DX 100/100


dear friends,

we would like to invite you to join the WorkSpace project which will take
place at the documenta in Kassel (Germany) from june 21 till september 28.
WorkSpace will be an informal production unit, a 'content machine', not
an art space or an exihibit hall. Once we have sent you allready a general
announcement of the project. In this letter we would like to be more
specific about the possibilities (and limitations) WorkSpace is offering.

WorkSpace has two goals:
1. to support and comment the '100 days' lectures series. Every evening
there is a big lecture, organized by Catherine David. The participants of
WorkSpace will have access to the guests (if she or he wants this) and their
textes, video and audio recordings. But we will not become an alternative
press conference space. If the atmosphere becomes too formal or if it get
too busy, then we can close the space. One can make an interview, arrange
a dialogue, organize a discussion (with remote participants), ask a lecturer
to response on ungoing threads etc. Much of this will depend on the person.
Some of them are there only one day, others might stay three days or longer.

WorkSpace is not supporting an art system. Allthough we are aware of the
environment, we think that institutional criticism is boring by now. There
are other, more urgent and less self-referential themes. This counts both
for the arts and for the field of new media. We hope that the participants
will all have enough social, political and cultural commitment to use this
space in a tactical and creative manner. To produce the weired stuff. It
should be more than an editorial office. More than the extension of your
working environment at home. It will for sure not be a cybercafe or techno
club. WorkSpace wants to be a experimental social interface to the many
realities which we bring to Kassel and to the ones of the lectures and
other (unexpected) guests.

Basically it is about providing facilities to combine different technical
media in a processual production of content. What is content? Any day
again it gets redefined. If it affects you it was done by yourself. We
assume that there are people which have something to say, that there are
shared fields of interest, expectation and desire outside the hype of new
digital media. It is about experimental transmissions, formats, genres,
the generation of events and room for decisions. The DX is mainly a place
where certain people meet during the summer 97. And about a lazy joy to
use electronic media to transmit, transpose and connect a heterogenity of
perspectives. Such a practise of d.i.y. publishing, operates from the
individual sphere opening up a collective field of possibilities to leave
trails which can later recombine to ensembles of collaborative imagination.


FAQ about *Hybrid* WorkSpace

How could one of those 100 days look like?

There is a five room appartment for the three months available for us. Its
four stops with the tram from the Orangerie, or 20 minutes by feet. 
We were thinking to have some daily, routine activities like a dairy about
the previous day, the answering of the WorkSpace mail, monitoring of
the newsgroup, initiating and announcing upcoming themes and lectures,
anwering faxes and phonecalls. Besides this, there is the possibility to 
produce RealAudio, or a radio program for a radio station that might
collaborate with us. Same with collaboration with newspapers or other media
channels. Some people will work on a video (we have access to a video studio
outside of the Orangerie), others might be somewhere in town with one of the
lecturers, again others will sit in the sun, on the terasse of the 18th
century building with a marvelous outlook on the baroque park. And some
are glued to the screens, like allways, in remote contact with some electric
souls from the other side of the globe.
When there are too many 'lurkers' (visitors) or too few people to run the
place, the WorkSpace will be closed alltogether. In the early evening
there is the lecture, after that the WorkSpace might open again, till late
in the evening and perhaps turn into a PartySpace (but not every evening!).

How did this WorkSpace idea start and how is it financed?

Officially, WorkSpace is a co-production of Documenta and the Berlin
Biennale. It's an off program space, never meant to be used to exibit semi
important art works. At the last moment, in february, it was decided to develop
an 'moveable architecture' for the space, which would have a social function,
parallel (and seperated) to the '100 days program'. Because WorkSpace is not an
hi-culture project like the others, there was no budget... anymore. But
Documenta helped with tech equipment and other infrastructure. And Berlin
found some money, of course not enough to pay for all the work. We will
try to pay the travel costs and see if we can get the money from cultural
foundations etc.  The basic idea is that people should not pay to work
during the 10 days periods. That's minimal. But we hope that you
understand this situation.

What will happen with the content that WorkSpace is producing?

Much of it will be stored on the server or will go out to affiliated
sites on other servers through a mailinglist or via a news-gateway.
We will try to build up a large network of persons and groups that will
be in contact with WorkSpace, like radio stations, on-line journals, web
sites, mailinglists, etc. Exchange with outside will be an important part
pf the project. The produced content of course belongs to each individual
or group that will be part of WorkSpace. At the end we will bring together
all the produced data. We are planning to publish a book and CD-ROM that
might appear at the opening of the Berlin Biennale, in 1998. The content
will be available under fair use copyright.

But what are the themes people will be working on in WorkSpace?

With the 100 days / 100 guests program of the DX each night there'll be
a different lecture. But besides this we could narrow it down to the
following: the current social, economical, political and
cultural situation of the world is full of unquestioned myths and dirty
realities. The so-called globalization is one aspect. There is the very
real unemployment, the not so real money markets, the hysterious
nationalism, migration and position of the illegal workforce, there are
cyberdreams and ecological nightmares. This is our world, after 1989,
before 2000. There is not the question (how) to engage. But there are
urgent questions about basic infrastructure and education, freedom and
survival, the public sphere and the victory of the markets. 

What are those media facilities and are we allowed to use it as we like?

A local server, a leased line, a server in Dortmund, a startpage at DX. 
The nuclues is build up on a local news-server and a realaudio-server.
Plus e-mail gateways and a wais-search-engine. All is running under
an easy to use interface which has a temporal and a social interface, 
a time schedule and segmented spheres signfying categories and aggregates
of content. There is also a user data base where participants of workspace
can set up their own profile. Through the news-gateway and a mailinglist 
the workspace server is communicating with neighboring projects. The teams
and participants of Workspace can easily use the 'engine' without any
HMTL design. There are several small daily tasks, like a maintaining a logbook
, scheduling events and certain responsibilities of the host. It is easy
to create new discussion groups or combine the formats based
on a flexible and easy to use interface. Some of you should be able to
write in English, others might bring some programming knowledge, and again
others will do the deformation, distortion and mixing of the media
realities with audio and video equipment or set up connections to 
various sound archives.

If I want to participate just a bit what should i do? 

There are several levels of participation beyond the basic teams which 
stay between 10 and 14 days. On another level we expect shorttime guests
which come with own stuff, give interviews, do short lectures, add new
views or data objects. Through the 100 days the project will mutate several
times. Via the internet there is a certain degree of possible partipitation.
It is easy to subscribe, and follow discussions and events from remote and
add on levels which may be not possible in Kassel.

What will I get back and how should i participate? 

In the summer of content... this you should answer yourself. You get back
what you invest and maybe more. Remember that it is an exclusive
production space. We'll organize official invitations to make
funding more likely.  We'll provide a big name list of participants, 
respect the rights of the authors and take care of the documentation and
publication afterwards. In any way it is not a back door to enter the art
system of dx but the serious trial to use the whole situation as a carrier
of free content generation.

Here again comes the official announcement and the address of the Berlin
office, please contact us <geert {AT} xs4all.nl> or Thorsten Schilling
<berlin.biennale {AT} kunst.b.shuttle.de> if you have any questions. 


Hybrid WorkSpace
a temporary laboratory in the Orangerie
at Documenta, Kassel (D) june 21 - september 28 1997

a project by Eike Becker and Geert Lovink/Pit Schultz,
Micz Flor, Thorsten Schilling, Heike Foell, Thomax Kaulmann, Moniteurs
the dX team and many others

intitiated by Catherine David (documenta X), Klaus Biesenbach, Hans Ulrich
Obrist, Nancy Spector (Berlin Biennial)

The Orangerie will be transformed into an open media studio to collect,
select, connect, record, and distribute information and content. It will
deal with current social, political and cultural issues. Hybrid WorkSpace
will provide possibilities to comment, interview, discuss and present the
resulting data objects and will forge connections with material brought in
from outside. Distribution beyond the Orangerie will be realised via
selected zones on the Internet as well as through print media and radio
broadcasting. A subsequent publication will allow the content flow produced
throughout the documenta X to be widely accessible.

Hybrid WorkSpace can best be described as a temporary laboratory that
produces its own type of content. It also condenses the viewpoints and
positions brought to Kassel by the '100 days - 100 guests' program into
streams of subjective approaches, represented in digital data. Most
importantly, it allows remote participants to directly access the
developments and debates in the Orangerie. This includes input from
external areas into the physical setting of the Orangerie.

The architecture itself reflects a non-hierarchical perception of different
functions, zones, images and situations. Similar to icons on a screen, the
different elements of the set can be decomposed and rearranged. Projection
columns, pedestals, and tables create an interface between the real and the
virtual. The polymorphous and movable architectural elements precipitate a
playful dialogue among themselves, including the hosts and guests.
Furthermore the chosen interior appears useful as a laboratory and
workshop for programmed and sponteneous interactions and presentations.
Multifunctional video and audio facilities are included into the movable
projection columns that structure and serve the space. The visitor can
expect Hybrid WorkSpace to appear dark or light, full or empty, full of
images or sound, noisy or completely silent.

Hybrid WorkSpace is an ambient space and document store; it is a pin-board
and global newspaper; and it is both local and world wide radio channel.
Out of this heterogeneity, the project constitutes itself professionally
improvised as a media laboratory involving both transparent and opaque
fields of activities. In this way, it becomes simultaneously a dynamic
system - open and closed, private and public.

Hybrid WorkSpace mixes old and new media, connecting data streams of
different sources. The polymorphous structure allows spontaneous
rearrangements to suit the demands imposed on the space by discourse,
presentations, events, and guests working in the Orangerie. This could be
interviews, dialogues, group discussions and informal gatherings.

It is a zone of critical thought and productive conflict, a social space to
manufacture consent, initialise dissent, a place where distribution,
reception and production compress and expand. Within the social context the
relation between senders and receivers make things happen. Meanwhile
traditional broadcasting media like radio, video or journals become
technical metaphors to put information onto the Internet. The organisation
of time, the scheduling, and the architecture of a collaborative archive as
an arena of memory will be modeled in space as in software. We strongly
encourage collaborations with radio producers, virtual communities, video
makers, magazines, etc. to provide the technical facilities to easily
produce vivid net content.

In addition to the co-ordinators of the space there will be temporary teams
of 2 to 4 editors who will be in Kassel for a 10-14 days period. After the
preparation and realisation in Kassel, the WorkSpace will be transferred to
Berlin as a part of the first Berlin Biennial scheduled for summer 1998 in
various locations throughout the city.

adresses will be:
e-mail: workspace {AT} documenta.de

the current office address:
Berlin Biennale 
Auguststrasse 69 - 10117 Berlin
berlin.biennale {AT} kunst.b.shuttle.de
tel: +49.30.285 99148
fax: +49.30.285 99150



the documenta X 100 days / 100 guests lists , see also www.documenta.de

BUNDMEDIA Berlin will provide full internet access to the lecture material
as realaudio, VDO recordings and transscribed text. We *can* connect
to this program, but it runs independently from Workspace.

 ABBAS, Ackbar   Kulturkritiker               Hong Kong
 AGAMBEN,        Philosoph                    Italien
 AL-AZM, Sadik   Philosoph                    Syrien
 AZOULAY,        Kunstkritikerin              Israel
 BALIBAR,        Philosoph                    Frankreich
 BASUALDO,       Kunstkritiker                Argentinien/ USA
 BECK, Ulrich    Soziologe                    Deutschland
 BENSLAMA, Fethi Psychoanalytiker             Tunesien/
 BIELEFELD,      Soziologe                    Deutschland
 BISHARA, Azmi   Philosoph                    Israel/
 BOERI, Stefano  Urbanist                     Italien
 BOMPIANI,       Literaturwissenschaftlerin   Italien
 BRAECKMAN,      Journalistin                 Belgien
 BRANZI, Andrea  Architekt/ Designer          Italien
 BUCHLOH,        Kunstkritiker                USA
 BURNETT,        Filmregisseur                USA
 CAMARA, Ery     Kunstkritiker                Senegal/ Mexico
 CIRET, Yan      Theaterkritiker              Frankreich
 CORNELIS, Jef   Filmregisseur                Belgien
 COUTO, Mia      Schriftsteller               Mozambik
 DAVIS, Mike     Urbanist                     USA
 DEFERT, Daniel  Schriftsteller               Frankreich
 DELISS,         Kunstkritikerin              Großbritannien
 DIEDERICHSEN,   Kritiker                     Deutschland
 DISERENS,       Kuratorin                    Frankreich
 EICHER, Manfred Musikproduzent ECM           Deutschland
 ENWEZOR, Okwui  Direktor der                 Südafrika/ USA
                 Johannesburg Biennale
 FARAH, Nuruddin Schriftsteller               Somalia/ USA
 FAROCKI, Harun  Filmregisseur                Tschechien/
 FEHER, Michel   Philosoph                    Belgien
 GARCIA          Philosoph                    Deutschland/
 DÜTTMANN,                                    Australien
 GATTI, Armand   Theaterregisseur             Frankreich
 GENTE, Peter    Literaturwissenschaftler     Deutschland
 GEORGE, Susan   Wirtschaftswissenschaftlerin USA/ Frankreich
 GHEZALI, Salima Journalistin                 Algerien
 GLISSANT,       Schriftsteller               Frankreich
 GODARD,         Filmregisseur                Schweiz
 GROSSARTH,      Künstlerin                   Deutschland
 GRUZINSKI,      Historiker                   Frankreich
 HUYSSEN,        Kulturkritiker               Deutschland/ USA
 JOST, Jon       Filmregisseur                USA/ Portugal
 JOXE, Alain     Geostratege                  Frankreich
 JULLIEN,        Philosoph                    Frankreich
 KEENAN, Thomas  Philosoph                    USA
 KELLEY, Mike     Künstler                     USA
 KOOLHAAS, Rem    Architekt                    Niederlande
 LACOUE-LABARTHE, Philosoph                    Frankreich
 LAMUNIÈRE, Simon Kurator website dX           Schweiz
 LERCH, Antonia   Filmregisseurin              Deutschland
 LIAN, Yang       Dichter                      China/Großbritannien
 LIPIETZ, Alain   Wirtschaftswissenschaftler   Frankreich
 LOUPPE, Laurence Tanzkritikerin               Frankreich
 LOVINK, Geert    Internetaktivist             Niederlande
 MARKER, Chris    Filmregisseur                Frankreich
 MASHARAWI,       Filmregisseur                Palästina
 MENDES DA ROCHA, Architekt                    Brasilien
 MIYOSHI, Masao   Kulturkritiker               Japan/ USA
 MONÈNEMBO,       Schriftsteller               Guinea/Frankreich
 MONSIVAIS,       Schriftsteller               Mexiko
 MUDIMBE,         Schriftsteller               Zaire/ USA
 Valentin Y.
 NANCY, Jean-Luc  Philosoph                    Frankreich
 NORDEY,          Theaterregisseur             Frankreich
 OPPITZ, Michael  Anthropologe                 Schweiz
 PAPOULIAS,       Architekt                    Griechenland
 PECK, Raoul      Filmregisseur                Haiti
 PELJHAN, Marko   Künstler                     Slovenien
 PHILIPP, Claus   Filmkritiker                 Österreich
 PISTOLETTO,      Künstler                     Italien
 POCOCK, Philip   Künstler                     Deutschland
 RANCIÈRE,        Philosoph                    Frankreich
 ROLNIK, Suely    Psychoanalytikerin           Brasilien
 RUIZ, Raoul      Filmregisseur                Chile/ Frankreich
 RYKLIN, Mikhail  Philosoph                    Rußland
 SASSEN, Saskia   Urbanistin                   USA
 SEITTER, Walter  Philosoph                    Österreich
 SHIVA, Vandana   Wirtschaftswissenschaftlerin Indien
 SINGER, Wolf     Neurobiologe                 Deutschland
 SISSAKO,         Filmregisseur                Mauretanien/
 Abderrahmane                                  Frankreich
 SOJA, Edward     Urbanist                     USA
 SOKUROV,         Filmregisseur                Rußland
 SOYINKA, Wole    Schriftsteller               Nigeria/ USA
 SPIVAK, Gayatri  Kulturkritikerin             Indien/ USA
 TELLES, Sophia   Architekturhistorikerin      Brasilien
 TEN CATE,        Theaterregisseur             Niederlande
 VAN DER KEUKEN,  Filmregisseur                Niederlande
 VATCHAGAEV,      Historiker                   Tschetschenien
 WALL, Jeff       Künstler                     Kanada
 WEIBEL, Peter    Medienwissenschaftler        Österreich
 WEINBERGER, Lois Künstler                     Österreich
 ZOURABICHVILI,   Philosoph                    Frankreich


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