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Next Five Minutes 3 on Thu, 24 Dec 1998 15:31:47 +0100 (CET)


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CONCEPT OF NEXT FIVE MINUTES 3
Conference and Festival on Tactical Media 
Amsterdam & Rotterdam, 12-14 March, 1999 
http://www.dds.nl/n5m

(the program will be released mid february)

The third Next 5 Minutes, an Amsterdam based conference on tactical
communications culture, featuring do-it-yourself media, dissident art and
electronic media activists from around the world, will take place on the
12th, 13th and 14th of March 1999. 

The term 'tactical media' refers to a critical usage and theorisation of
media practices that draw on all forms of old and new,sophisticated and
lucid media for achieving a variety of specific non-commercial goals and
pushing all kinds of potentially subversive political issues. N5M3 will
move beyond the mere assertion of the net as new medium and question what
the wider social, cultural and political impact is of the fact that
several media are now turning digital. Furthermore, N5M3 will critically
investigate the new political and economic constellations that evolve
around the new information and communication structures. The homogenising
forces of convergence show how important it is to maintain disparate,
varied and independent media practices that make tactical usage of any
kind of medium. 

This subject matter will be taken on at two levels: a structural
examination of empowering strategies in the new informational environments
which focuses on the notion of 'tactical networks', and a more intrinsic
analysis which concentrates on the idea of 'electronic borders'. The
latter refers to the fact that in the information societies, social,
political and also cultural divisions are increasingly drawn along the
lines of electronic media. In discussing this, we are also looking beyond
the West, highlighting the significance of different media in different
political and economic environments. 

N5M3 will be a working conference, which will consist of a focused public
program surrounded by a variety of smaller-scale working sessions,
seminars and workshops. The focus of the event will be on exchange of
ideas, experience, working methods, and the construction of long-term
partnerships and network structures. 

Further contents of this message are: 

Core themes:
- The Art of Campaigning
- Post Governmental Organisation
- How Low Can You Go
- Tactical Education

Additional themes:
- Cyber Feminism / Feminism & Media Strategies
- Inter East Forum
- South Asia Forum
- Streaming Media / web.tv.radio.text.net
- Amsterdam Media Debate
- Interfund Launch Meeting
- European Affairs
- Do It Yourself Space
- Screenings
- Insular Technologies

-----

CORE THEMES:

THE ART OF CAMPAIGNING

The idea for the Art of Campaigning topic originates from the works of the
McLibel group [http://www.mcspotlight.org]. Their type of net.campaign
questions previous forms of activism, which was focused on the mass media
and their ability to influence public opinion, by staging direct action
(targeted at known media makers). Big NGO's such as Greenpeace have built
up experiences with this model for decades. The scenarios they use have
not changed much since the seventies. There is the usual PR material:
official reports, books, folders, flyers, magazine and original video
footage, shot on location. Campaigns are being planned long in advance.
The way of working does not differ much from a campaign to launch a new
product. Professionalism has taken over the task of volunteers. Their role
is being reduced to that of a local support group, doing the actual grass
roots work with the population. 

Political campaigns these days do not just offer counter- information.
When done the right way, in good spirits, the Internet sites of these
campaigns highjack data, hack into the corporate/state site, or at least
they try to do so. Such campaigns are living networks of people, groups,
databases, not just dead information. 

Why campaigns?

Campaigns these days are so important, because there are less and less
radical, fast critical movements, that can gain momentum over a short
period of time. The format of the campaign seems to be an appropriate
answer to the (apparent) lack of political activities in the late
nineties. Campaigns are less local. They can be done in a fragmented time
frame, prepared over the Net and other communication means. Campaigns
usually culminate into actual events; summer camps, demonstrations, the
occupation of a certain object, where they bring people together from very
different locations and backgrounds. Most campaigns require the work of
dedicated technical (media) specialists and are multi-disciplinary by
nature: video, dance, music, cooking, communication, radio, print, web
sites, support groups elsewhere, etc. 

The Art of Campaigning, for us, consists of two aspects. The first one
deals with the question of methodology, the question of strategy and
tactics. It deals with the question also why campaigning is becoming more
important these days, in part as a sign of poverty, of the lack of real
social and political movements. Though this issue is not specifically
media-related, it does point towards the current attempts to break out of
the closed autonomous and alternative ghettos, the leftovers of the
eighties. 

The time is over to be sentimental or pitiful about the amateurish "good
will" character of campaigns. These days, campaigns have changed their
directions and topics, and are surprisingly ahead of the time. They truly
embody and express all the urgent (global) political themes. Rather than
being in need of help from professional advertisement specialists, we
think they need to reconnect with tactical media. This touches the second
aspect: the political aesthetics of campaigning.  Alternative campaigns
could learn a lot from designers, artists and other new media experts. And
they in turn can learn a lot from the urgent agenda's that seek to express
themselves through the new media channels. 

For the conference we target at an open show element, in which a lot of
different people can show their work and speak about them on stage. The
program will conclude with a panel, in which the different strategies,
models, and problems are being discussed. For this show, new guests can be
brought in till the last five minutes... 

But of course we will also invite some of the most interesting campaigners
we encountered beforehand. First of all the "Sans Papiers" campaign from
Paris [http://bok.net/pajol], and its German counterpart, the "Kein Mensch
ist Illegal" campaign [http://www.contrast.org/borders], that both deal
with the issue of refugees and immigration. These campaigns are both
radical and media aware, overcoming the laming shift of the eighties when
the notions of "alternative" and "media" (-technologies) seemed to exclude
each other. 

Another campaign, which is touching the PGO issue, is the anti- MAI
campaign and the Global Action Network [http://www.agp.org] (which deals
with trade issues). Another remarkable example is the Clean Clothes
Campaign [http://www.cleanclothes.org], a global campaign that addresses
working conditions in the textile industries around the world, with a
particular emphasis on developing countries where the production work for
the international garment industries is out-sourced, and working
conditions are often appalling. 

Next to a central debate there will be three additional
workshops:

1. Net.activism 

This is a forum on the current practices of counter Information and
'Electronic Civil Disobedience', critiques from activists and more
technical criticisms from hackers. Is it enough to offer counter
information on the web?  Mailinglists and newsgroups these days are
essential tools for political groups and social movements.  (see for
example: http://www.ecn.org, http://www.tao.ca) There are more and more
independent servers, but does the content ever leave the self-created
information ghetto? Is it possible to escape alternative realms and
attack the state and corporations in a more direct way? In
what way hackers and activists could collaborate?
Coordination:  Geert Lovink, Patrice Riemens (patrice {AT} xs4all.nl), Carl
Gunderian (carlg {AT} pop.net)

2. Panel discussion: Media campaigns against multi-nationals,
counter strategies of corporations. 

"The greatest threat to the corporate world's reputation comes from the
Internet, the pressure groups newest weapon. Their agile use of global
tools such as the Internet reduces the advantage that corporate budgets
once provided." Quoted is a PR- manager who is trying to teach
multinationals how to deal with modern day pressure groups, creatively
using the power of the media sound bite. 

Loosing control of the situation as result of the activities of a pressure
group has become a nightmare scenario for the modern multinational
enterprise. Some of them learn fast, from their enemies, from us that is.
PR-companies are hired to change the worst scenario into a business
opportunity. What are the modern times strategies of present day
companies? How to pass by the PR- department of your local multinational?
How to deal with these modern spin-doctors? See also:
http://www.xs4all.nl/~evel/brenteng.htm.
Coordination: Eveline Lubbers (evel {AT} xs4all.nl) 

3. Meeting of the initiatives that deal with migrants and 'illegal'
people (Sans Papiers, Kein Mensch Ist Illegal, Autonoom Centrum, Fabel van
de Illegaal etc.) Coordination: Florian Schneider (fls {AT} ibu.de) 

* Art of Campaigning contact person: Geert Lovink (geert {AT} xs4all.nl)

POST GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATION

One of the four main themes of the N5M3 is the 'Post- Governmental
Organisation', a title that is meant more polemically than descriptively. 
The 'PGO' label raises the question of the practical, political and
ethical implications of strong, potentially global, independent
organisations. The theme will be approached from different critical,
analytical and ironic perspectives in a public debate, and the PGO
Design-Show ("Get Organised!").

The PGO Theme

The notion of the 'Post-Governmental Organisation' is obviously an ironic
variation on the now well established concept of the NGO, the
Non-Governmental Organisation. Over the past twenty or so years, NGO's
have become important actors in the arena of national, international and
global politics. The role of NGO's in the struggle for human rights, the
ecology, debt relief, migrants' rights, humane working and living
conditions, etc., is increasingly recognised by official political bodies.
As a result, NGO's are now regularly represented at global eco- summits,
they advise different UN institutions and are used as experts in court
cases. Thus, NGO's are taking over tasks that traditionally were the
domain of nation states, whether democratic or not. They become part of
what Saskia Sassen has referred to as a 'crisis of governance', in which
political decision-making and control is shifting away from national
governments towards private and public NGO's of all sorts and types. 

NGO's which do not only survey, criticise and complement such governmental
structures, but which take on an active role in replacing government
functions, can be called PGO's. The PGO theme will focus specifically on
new non-institutionalised ways in which people organise themselves around
cultural, social, and political concerns that emerge in the
internationally networked communication environments. 

This implies that the PGO cannot be seen as generally good or bad. Rather,
the hypothesis of the PGO suggests that for many independent initiatives
and organisations, the question of responsibility and power is changing in
a fundamental way.  Whereas they used to be able to define themselves as
the 'other' of given power structures, the erosion of hierarchical
political structures has created a more heterogeneous political arena in
which public agency is 'up for grabs'. Much of the political vacuum is
created and filled by unholy alliances between political and private
actors, who make sure that they benefit from the retreat of the nation
state. But many well-meaning, morally sound, independent PGO are also
finding themselves in a position where they have to switch from strategies
of protest and campaigning, to strategies of political agency and the
building of organisational structures. 

The PGO theme at the N5M3 tries to straddle the double- sidedness of the
theme. It tries to formulate a constructive critique of the PGO, pointing
out its dangers and, at the same time, analysing the most creative and
inspiring models for building PGOs. After all, there is a continuing need
for new, critical and independent organisations that are able to challenge
the debilitating and exploiting political structures that stifle large
parts of the world. And why not learn from the successes and failures of
Saatchi&Saatchi, Soros, the IMF, financial consulting companies and
informal networks of independent radio producers? 

Experience has shown that, in many ways, organisations like Greenpeace and
Amnesty International are better equipped to deal with the conditions the
new system of power create. This is partly due to the fact that they have
always been organised as distributed, international entities, relying
heavily on their communications infrastructures. They also seem to be more
fit for the new environment because they are organised around spheres of
interest rather than traditional geographic and socio- political
structures. However, while the NGO's have become important actors in the
arena of international and global politics, they have also become
bureaucratic structures that often act as a 'state without the state',
with little or no democratic accountability or legitimisation. 

The PGO is neither East nor West, North or South, nor Post
East/West/Modern, it is rather an attempt at an answer to the
contradictions and the syndromes of globalisation. Therefore, some people
prefer to translate PGO as Post Global Organisation.  For them, the
crucial question at this stage is not so much the relation with
governmental structures, but how we can get over the myths of
globalisation, and what the necessary organisational structures for this
era beyond the ideology of globalism would be.

The challenge for the PGO strand at the N5M3 will be not to get stuck in
an impasse, but to use the critical debate as a starting point for a fresh
approach to the construction and the shaping of strong static
organisations, both beyond stifling debates about the nation state as well
as beyond the NGO question.

The PGO Design Show

Get Organized!
Design Your Own Post-Governmental Organisation

As a part of the PGO debate, N5M3 will host a unique 'PGO Design Show, in
which contributors will present the most and the least effective
strategies for achieving global presence. The PGO Contest will offer
models and counter-models, witty and serious, inspiring and ridiculous
proposals for organisations that just _might_ change the world for the
better. 

An open call is issued to all those who have the blue-print for a
Post-Governmental Organisation and who want to present it to an
international audience of enthusiastic, desperate, and power- hungry
minds.

After an initial selection, the most promising 15-20 model PGO's will be
demonstrated and discussed during the PGO Design Gala at the N5M3.

Categories can cover a wide variety of areas like:

- the independent tactical Internet Service Provider
- the PGO that legally issues passports to the Sans Papiers
- the attorney who got rich on fighting the McLibel-case
- the first virtual trade union for digital workers
- the international company for helping illegal citizens
  crossing borders 
- the producer of the most effective infowar weaponry
- the video company that won an Oscar with its promo video for  
  the PMF (Proletarian Monetary Fund)
- the Culture Board for cultures in ruin, which fights the
  state's disregard for culture
- the PGO that recycles redundant, y2k-incompatible computer
  hardware to Silicon Alley's next generation
- the Interfund that replaces public funding for media culture
  (Create Your Own Solutions)
- the Bureau of Investigation and Counter-Surveillance that
  tackles racism in police and other public organisations

Do Your Own PGO!

If you want to enter your own NGO design, please, get in touch with the
editorial team at n5m3 {AT} waag.org, with a short outline of your achievements
and future plans. 

* PGO contact person: Andreas Broeckmann  (abroeck {AT} v2.nl)

HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?
The Technical and the Tactical

Technology in The Next 5 Minutes

Next 5 Minutes 3 will counter the obsession with high technology that has
been fashionable in media circles for quite some years. Instead of
glitching the high-tech fantasies of many of the international art&tech
events, N5M3 will make a vigorous effort to go low-tech. 

Most media, and certainly common media, heavily depend on technology.
"Media", actually is a term which is very hard to define; in many meanings
of the word "media", technology is already implied. N5M3 will focus not
only on the tactical potential of (new) media, it also wishes to reflect
on the developments of media and media technology. The choice of media
that we use, and the way we use these media is not completely self-evident
or coincidental. Nor is it fully our own conscious decision. The
construction of media technology instead is deeply political and
political-economical. 

The current technohype, propagating the consumption of computer technology
with increasing speed, is an example of technology development that is
hardly questioned. Even in 'leftist' environments it is taken for granted
that every few years all computers must be replaced by brand new ones in
order to be able to run the latest Windows or Mac version. 

Showing long-forgotten media, redundant computers or provocatively silly
machines, N5M3 will ironically glamorise obsolete technology, and thus
create some historic awareness and maybe form some kind of antidote to the
hype. We will attempt to rewrite media history, perhaps to learn that the
technology that survives is not necessarily the best. 

Our high-tech hype is not just temporarily bound, but also spatially. What
can high-tech computers do in countries where villages hardly have water
or food, let alone electricity and phone connections? Which media are most
effective in rural mainly illiterate areas in India? How to develop media
strategies if high-tech is for economic or political reasons completely
absent? 

Of course, N5M3 will also look at campaigns where current technology is
being used. Can armchair electronic civil disobedience be an effective
campaigning strategy? Will the latest generation DV camcorders really
contribute to the democratisation of the tv image? How can consumer
technology be used in a struggle for emancipation or for raising
awareness? 

How low can we go?

The core of the low-tech theme will be the grand "How Low Can You Go?"
show on Friday night. The show will bring together a host of ironic,
artistic, subversive attempts to ditch the tech barrier. The show will
present work of international groups who explore the aesthetics and charm
of low-tech, and the amazing power of forgotten media. How low can we go?
We see no reason to stop until the show is the over, which ultimately
means that we will have to go from "low-tech" to "no-tech", which is
exactly what we plan to do. 

Additional workshop:

1. Tactical Radio Today: small transmitters and narrowcasting...The
architectures of net.radio, both related to live events and sound archives
(MPEG 3)... A taskforce to develop an open standard for streaming
sounds... Laptop radio stations using real.audio and handy phones... 

* How Low contact person: Gerbrand Oudenaarden
(gerbrand {AT} waag.org)

TACTICAL EDUCATION

Education can happen in many different contexts. Besides the formal
learning institutions, education and learning is happening all the time in
cultural and social contexts where people exchange ideas and experiences
in a concentrated way.  Art, culture and social action in the field of new
media technologies contribute in an important way to creating awareness
about the powerful effects of media, and help to raise media-literacy. 
Education can also play a critical role in situations where profound
social and political change is taking place. The profusion of electronic
media across many societies has accelerated the rate of social and
political change throughout the world, yet an answer as to how to develop
appropriate educational models that can operate under rapidly changing
conditions has not been developed.

N5M3 wishes to explore new models of education and learning that can play
a critical role in processes of social and political change. The emphasis
will be placed on non- institutional forms of education, where media can
play an empowering role for local communities and people's real-life
concerns.

The Tactical Education strand within Next 5 Minutes 3 will bring together
alternative strategies and models for learning that testify to a critical
awareness of the powerful effects, and the multiple roles of media in our
societies. The choices for a particular medium in an educational process
will depend to a large degree on the local context in which an initiative
operates. While a critical examination of distance learning models and the
use of networked media for educational purposes may, for instance, be
critical to bridge the traditionally large information gaps between urban
centres and rural periphery in central and eastern Europe, community radio
projects might be of much more importance in Nepal. In the US, on the
other hand, a web centred project such as the Computer Clubhouse could be
one crucial tool to involve inner-city youth in a learning process, whilst
poetry slam sessions could be another. 

Tactical Education will deal with new learning environments and media
related models of learning that happen very much outside of the
traditional context and institutions of education. The theme rather tries
to develop the connection between the tactical, the media, and education. 

The question of access to media and communication systems is only one side
of the coin. Access without competence is a struggle already lost before
it has begun. Media-literacy and competence in the use of both the old and
the new media, is a crucial concern for Next 5 Minutes 3. Especially the
innovative independent new media cultures that have emerged in recent
years across the world, provide a fascinating insight in the new ways in
which local communities can indeed be empowered by new media tools. At the
same time they show an ability to see through the golden promises of the
international media and ICT industries, and make a wide audience aware of
the critical roles these media and technologies play in our daily lives,
around the globe. 

The theme will be organised through one main event, which consists of a
grand Saturday night event in the Paradiso venue, and through three
subthemes: 

1. The Bottom-up Learning Debate.

2. Conflict Resolution in Education.

3. Teaching the Teachers: How do we teach new media from political,
cultural and tactical perspective?  The aim is to create a model for more
critical educational stance and an educational syndicate (local or
translocal) for local media-initiatives. 

* Tactical Education contact persons: Eric Kluitenberg
(epk {AT} xs4all.nl) and David Garcia (davidg {AT} xs4all.nl)

ADDITIONAL THEMES:

CYBER FEMINISM / FEMINISM & MEDIA STRATEGIES

The Next Cyberfeminist International conference will be held in Rotterdam
from the 8th to the 11th of March 1999. This conference, initiated by the
cyberfeminist group Old Boys Network, is a follow-up on the first
Cyberfeminist International, which took place in 1997 at the Documenta X
in Kassel, Germany. The three main topics at nCI will be Feminist Hacking,
Women/Media/Politics, and Activism. Conclusions, problems and points of
view raised at nCI will be the further developed and put in a larger
context at n5m3. 

Cyberfeminism opens new possibilities for several forms of feminist zeal,
both in the field of theory as in everyday practice. Issues of
geographical embodied versus virtual identity and subjectivity, of
feminist activism and hacktivism through the net, of the relation to
current everyday women's experiences, of the intersection with discourses
on class, ethnicity, sexuality and geographical location, and of the
relation with feminist histories will be addressed. Furthermore, the
connection of cyberfeminism to various other media forms like the printed
press, film, fax and e-mail used for feminist purposes will be explored at
n5m3 as well as potential activist and theoretical alliances regarding
common feminist goals. 

* contact person: Ingrid Hoofd (ingrid {AT} waag.org)

INTER EAST FORUM

Ever since the sudden collapse of the Thai baht, in June 1997, the
currency crisis in the Asia-Pacific region has grown into an economic
crisis, and one not contained within the region. In the west, the crisis
hit with all the force of a global media event, shattering the impression
of an 'Asian economic miracle'. Of course there were those in both the
west and the east who knew the shaky foundations of crony capitalism and
global finance capital opportunism on which the miracle was built, but
these voices subsisted in the margin. Now that economic recession has
triggered political crisis, particularly in Indonesia, and in a different
way, Malaysia, it is worth asking what role the media plays in the
globalisation of capital and the growth dynamics of developing states. 
This forum will examine the ways in which social movements, trade unions
and NGOs navigate the restricted information circuits -- not only in the
East but also between East and West.  How can tools such as video and the
Internet be used? Can 'tactical media' make a difference? 

* contact persons: Toshiya Ueno (VYC04344 {AT} niftyserve.or.jp) and
Geert Lovink (geert {AT} xs4all.nl)

SOUTH ASIA FORUM

During Next 5 Minutes 3 we want to devote special attention to media
developments in the South-Asian region. A recent workshop for on the
development of the Internet in South Asia asserts that "South Asia is the
world's most illiterate region, and confronts myriad man-made and natural
problems", and questions what role in particular networked media such as
the Internet can play in overcoming these problems. Key representatives of
important media-initiatives from the region will be invited for N5M3.  We
want to investigate how both the established media, as well as the
Internet, can strengthen local communities. What are the specific problems
the new media forms pose? The organisation of the media- and
communications infrastructures differ strongly amongst the various
countries. Local issues of censorship, lack of access for the local
population, difficulties in accessing media production means, if not
direct obstruction of the free distribution of media products (film,
video, tv programs, web sites, etc) are some of the issues that will be
discussed in the wider international framework that N5M3 can provide. 

* contact person: Eric Kluitenberg (epk {AT} xs4all.nl)

STREAMING MEDIA / web.tv.radio.text.net

Net.radio and even Net.tv is growing. More and more local radio stations
are going virtual. It makes worldwide audiences possible and provides
possibilities to circumvent local regulations. This relative freedom is
dependent not on airwaves but on ISP's and increasingly on national
regulations applied to Internet streams. How free can net.radio/tv be, and
what obstacles can be expected? How can blockades be prevented by using
streaming media networking, mirroring sites, etc? B92 and other streaming
media organisations are invited to talk tactics for the free flow of
streaming media. Is there a need for some public domains ISP's where
access for streaming independent mediamakers is guaranteed or is this the
wrong model? Do we need networked distribution, or a central point of
webcasting? 
Streaming media makes hybrid media use possible. During the N5M3 we want
to give a platform for different groups to exchange formats, methods and
content. Different working methods, techniques, and enticing combinations
of audio/video/texts and scripts, tactics for changing old into new media
and vice versa will be explored. 
Many small-scale radio stations think it is beyond their means to start a
virtual station. For them, special hands-on workshop for local community
radio and tv stations will give an idea of what is needed and how a
station can turn virtual. 

* contact person: Nina Meilof (meilof {AT} dds.nl)

AMSTERDAM MEDIA DEBATE

In tactical media circles the Amsterdam local media environment has always
been looked upon as an almost utopian model. However, the recent
rescheduling of the two 'open channels', the blocks of broadcasting time
that several organisations and initiatives had managed to keep intact over
the past few years, has been fragmentised, if not almost obliterated.
Furthermore, although the design of the digital public domain is an
important question, we should not merely focus on this specific issue. The
'old' media are still very relevant today and will probably be so in the
foreseeable future. 

Since N5M has its roots in the unique and incredibly rich and diverse
media culture that once existed in Amsterdam, we see it as our task to
explore the mechanisms that have brought about the decline of this
particular culture and to discuss potential future developments of the
Amsterdam media infrastructure. We will do this in the form of a research
project that will be launched during the N5M3 conference by a lecture and
a panel discussion. 

* contact person: Menno Grootveld (menno {AT} waag.org)

INTERFUND LAUNCH MEETING

The idea for the Interfund started in the context of a number of meetings
of independent artists' initiatives in the field of net culture, such as
Art Servers Unlimited in London, the Net Radio Days Berlin and Xchange
Unlimited in Riga. The Interfund is conceived as a real virtual fund for
independent digital media art projects, a pool of shared resources, and a
co- operative translocal structure. It is also an attempt of independent
new media culture initiatives to stay independent and built a joint
protection shield against bureaucratic structures and procedures. The
Interfund is an ironic post- governmental critique of the lack in interest
by official cultural and political structures to support this kind of
independent new media culture, where these initiatives start to fund
themselves rather than waiting for outside support. On a more practical
level the Interfund will be an access point to shared resources, skills
and knowledge, as well as to (international) funding. 
The purpose of the meeting at N5M3 is to continue the discussion that
started on how such a structure could actually work, and to develop a plan
how to set up the Interfund and start its operation

* contact persons: Rasa Smite (rasa {AT} parks.lv) and Eric
Kluitenberg (epk {AT} xs4all.nl)

EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

The Europe Debate: 
Recently, several attempts have been made to bring together European
independent initiatives, which work in the field of new media and cyber
culture. Some of meetings have stressed on 'art and industry' whereas
others have tried to counter balance the influence of big corporation,
state-owned research labs and museums. Following the 'Practice to Policy'
conference (Amsterdam, November 1997) and Linz (October 1998), the debate
is now focussing on workable models, which are not competing with small,
existing networks but instead function as a sustainable support systems. 
At Next Five Minutes a proposal will be put on the table to create a
'European Cultural Backbone', a network of networks, aimed to distribute
resources such as bandwidth and expertise. 

Additional presentations:

1. presentation of the P2P (Practice to Policy) Book titled 'New Media
Culture in Europe', dealing with issues like innovation, art, education
and the public domain in contemporary Europe.

2. presentation of the Hybrid Media Lounge Site & CD-ROM:  The Hybrid
Media Lounge, a searchable web database and spinoff CD-Rom, will begin the
visual mapping of electronically-driven cultural networking in Europe.
Hundreds of organisations, mailing lists, projects and individuals across
Europe will be invited to contribute information about themselves, their
activities and their thoughts on networks via a special online response
form. The response page will open in mid-December 1998 and close at a
mid-January deadline. The database will be set up by the Society for Old
and New Media in Amsterdam, then passed on to another institution to be
maintained, updated and altered, and passed on many more times after that.
It is thus intended to be an ongoing collaborative project, which will
periodically be saved in "freeze" form to provide a record of its
development over time. 

In general we seek to make a searchable database of initiatives that
concern themselves with some culturally productive mission (1) involving
the exchange and co-production of ideas and (2)  making use of electronic
networks. Each organisation's entry will list contact info, projects,
publications and events;  provide space for the entity to explain its
mission and philosophy; and collect meaningful data that can be used to
build an overall picture of relative resources and cultural- political
contexts. Using information supplied by the organisations and individuals
themselves, we will attempt to map the links and other relationships
between them. This database will be contained on a website, and a "freeze"
of the database contents will be made available on CD-Rom, which will be
presented at N5M3. The CD-Rom will be publicly distributed by Hybrid Media
Lounge organisations, will be for sale during N5M3, and will be
distributed together with the book "New Media Culture in Europe". 

For more information, please contact the database editor at
laura {AT} waag.org or go to: http://www.medialounge.net

DO IT YOURSELF SPACE

Besides the core programme, Next Five Minutes 3 offers a range
of platforms and facilities which participants can use. There
will be the possibility to set up meetings, presentations,
screenings and debates, even on short notice. There is a similar
open structure for the live radio, television and internet
channels, where individuals and groups can get time slots to
tactical media they find of interest. The open structures will
exist besides the edited and curated parts of the event. If you
want to do such a workshop or program, please contact the
editorial team at n5m3 {AT} waag.org.

SCREENINGS: CALL FOR TAPES

A series of films and videos related to the tactical media theme will be
screened at N5M3. There is also space available for screening recent
material that deals with the conference themes. Suggestions, together with
the tape content, title, format, running time, author/producer and contact
person can be sent to the editorial team at n5m3 {AT} waag.org.

INSULAR TECHNOLOGIES 

After the conference, V2_Organization in Rotterdam will host a five-day
N5M3 workshop (15-19 March 99) on 'Insular Technologies', in co-operation
with PACT Systems Ljubljana (Marko Peljhan and Borja Jelic). 'Insular
Technologies' is a system for creating an autonomous, encrypted short-wave
radio- based Internet backbone between media labs world-wide, set up with
the aim of becoming less dependant on the current proprietary
infrastructure. 

The proposal for this IT project is the implementation and construction of
a High Frequency (HF) radio, point to point secure analog-digital network
first within Europe and its tactical media centres and further around the
globe in the range of 1.6-30 MHz. The workshop will serve to discuss the
technical, legal, political and organisational implications of the
project, debouching into specific topics regarding wireless technology,
encryption, international media law and marketing. In the long run, it
will aim at the formation of the IT Consortium of media centres that will
form the basis of the IT network. 

* contact person: Andreas Broeckmann (abroeck {AT} v2.nl)

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