Andreas Broeckmann on Tue, 24 May 2011 23:02:45 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> ISEA 2011 fees

dear kevin, folks,

thanks for these interesting thoughts and your description of the academic validation aspects. a crucial problem seems to be that at ISEA two different types meet: the academic e.a. people who can raise money to speak at a conference (unlike at cultural events, you pay to be on stage, whereas in istanbul the people in the audience get in for very little money), and the independent art people who (rightly) expect to get rewarded for presenting their work. how to reconcile these different reward expectations?

even though i think kevin's proposals are partly unrealistic (this is speaking as someone who has been involved in the organisation and fundraising for quite a number of events of different scale), they are also a refreshing shake-up to the debate and, in my eyes, well worth considering. (however, for instance: the conference has around 100-150 speakers in every ISEA edition - how do you get all those presentations into the annual journal? and isn't Leonardo that journal, with its own editorial and economic particularities?)

the internet and relatively cheap flights have created the desire and the possibility to move and meet friends and colleagues across the globe; even though this practice is unsustainable in the long run, we are yet enjoying it naively. how can the desire for a complex exchange be regionalised (?) and made less costly (money-wise, and ecologically)? (and what do we learn from the failure of the ElectroSmog festival that eric mentioned? keep on trying?!)


ps: what i find most curious is the total absence in this debate of the ISEA Foundation Board that is responsible for the continuity of the symposium. it is, i guess, one of the strange peculiarities (maybe virtues?) of ISEA that it has a weak, slow and virtually invisible 'core'.


Kevin writes: What none of us need, I would argue, is participation in the conference/festival/tourism market of hotels and conference centers.

kevin, in what kind of venues do the conferences take place that you go to? who organises those conferences? and where do you sleep when you go to a city where you don't have friends or family? - your claim reminds me of the wise graffiti on one of the Yorckbrücken (bridges) in berlin, under which in the 80s there was always heavy traffic: "You're not standing _in_ the traffic jam, you _are_ the traffic jam." by analogy: "kevin, you're not _participating in_ the conference market, (if you go) you _are_ the conference market."


i confess: i like the big conventions with excessive programmes of varying quality and a totally unlikely mix of people getting together, exchanging ideas and having fun together. i'm convinced that, like other communities, the people in this one need bodily proximity from time to time.

My suggestions for how to productively preserve, with great care and caution, both the academic and spectacular dimensions of ISEA:

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