Andreas Broeckmann on 20 Sep 2000 00:56:53 -0000

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Re: <nettime> remember the kosovo war on this list?

>esmaggbe@cetus.zrz.TU-Berlin.DE (Mon 09/18/00 at 11:33 PM +0200):
>> Also I can remember that the moderators of this list turned on the
>> censorship button quite heavily during the war. Maybe I can get some
>> statements about how many mails were sorted out, and why, without raising a
>> long debate about censorship in general? Or please correct me if I'm dead
>> wrong on this subject,

can i just also add my mit of mustard here - if you will excuse the german
expression ...

i did not keep all those mails, but there was a lot of traffic last spring
in the background of several lists about how the dynamics of the
communications would fare during the war. there was strong concern about
the lists collapsing under too much traffic, as well as about the need for
open, uncensored lines. the Syndicate list, a smaller and less discursive
forum for media art and culture in deep/east/west/europe, was also
exploding at the time, both with reports and some heated exchanges.
because of the smaller nature of the syndicate list, it was possible to
leave it open and unmoderated throughout the kosovo war, a fact that even
long-time syndicate subscribers were astonished about. we anonymised not
more than a handful of messages at the time, and closed the list archive
as a mere gesture of resistance against spies. we tried, on the list, not
to be at war with each other.

in a way, nettime took a much heavier burden, because on a list with over
1000 subscribers any sense of shared culture must get lost, so you have a
lot of people who will violently disagree with each other, and at the same
time the debate on nettime was covering the political and military as well
as the personal and cultural dimensions of the crisis. i am still
impressed by the fact that, one way or the other, these lists and, to some
extent, communities have survived these crisis discourses.

i admit: being a list maintainer myself, i tend to be very understanding
of the moderators, cause there is so much shit flying around and you see
all the unsubscribe and GET ME OFF THIS LIST messages, disheartening stuff
at times. i also tend to believe that for somebody to take the
responsibility to keep a channel like this open and cut out the spam and
attachment and html crap that people post quite carelessly, deserves

in the case of nettime this has not always been a fortunate condition - i
get annoyed by this sudden flush of messages that come over the atlantic
once or twice a day, rather than at the irregular pace that they get
posted originally, but then i also chicken out from subscribing to nettime
bold ...

sorry, i'm rambling.

if you are curious to look back, you may want to check out a student
project from the Hochschule fuer Kunst und Gestaltung Zuerich which Annina
Rüst <> put together in May 2000 - a timeline of some
of the self-reflective discussions on nettime.

(does not seem to work equally well on all browsers ...)


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