Florian Cramer on Wed, 18 May 2011 10:08:37 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> ISEA2011 Istanbul and some financial realities

It surprises me to read such a convoluted response, rich with repetitive
rhetoric while thin on hard facts, by the person in charge of putting
together ISEA 2011.

> A very interesting debate is going on with some facts and some
> clarifications needed - since most of you seem to be discussing the
> issue of fees but also making wild assumptions that do not reflect
> neither the community nor the organization of ISEA2011 Istanbul.

Since the statement lacks, as previously noted by someone else, any
budget figures, it doesn't exactly help to do away with those

> *Fees:* are 300 and 250 euros for students and academics respectively.

Questions should not only be asked to Lanfranco, but also to the overall
ISEA board that decided in favor of the pitch from Istanbul: Did initial
agreements made with the local organization include clear targets for
conference fees, guaranteed minimum budget and expected amount of
sponsorship/third-party support? Which measures were in place to make
sure that there was not just a concept that looked good on paper (an
ISEA outside the usual regions and linked to a contemporary art
biennial) but also a local organization with the necessary networks and
experience to make it happen?

> As some of you have noticed we extended the early bird fees in April
> and it was our plan to let the fees stay as they were all along.  Why
> have a large 'jump then' was on the website? some of you may ask: it
> was more of an organizational issue in order to have as many people
> close their registration process as soon as possible and be able to do
> the program and look at the financial knowing were we stood.

So, in other words, you're admitting that this was a bluff. I find this rather
irresponsible. Since my school (although not me personally) is involved
in an ISEA panel, I know that this has cost my co-workers blood, sweat
and tears because they suddenly had to get budget unfrozen for
registering our students and staff, get fast-tracked by our financial
administration etc.etc.

> "I am not sure if I am more outraged by the fees or by the complete
> acceptance by a number of colleagues and friends of said fees."
> If someone will be coming from Egypt or Canada with a few waiver to
> ISEA2011 Istanbul, for example, it is because of the complete
> acceptance of this number of colleagues (to which I am extremely
> grateful).  Are the very fees paid by these colleagues that are in
> part assisting with the conference but also allowing the University to
> allocate a number of fee waivers to people that have not had the
> chance to register or are from disadvantage international nations.

So, in other words, fee waivers have been granted behind the scenes.
Less damage would have been done if registration fees had been announced
early, along with a mention of the possibility of fee waivers, and if a
transparent application and selection process for those waivers had been


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