Thomas W. Keenan on Thu, 5 Dec 96 21:07 MET

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

nettime: Data Conflicts

Here's news of a conference I've organized together with my colleague Tom
Levin, on the politics of cyberspace in Eastern Europe, for next weekend
in Potsdam.  Admission is open and all are invited to join us.

Tom Keenan (



Datenkonflikte - Osteuropa und die Geopolitik im Cyberspace
Data Conflicts: Eastern Europe and the Geopolitics of Cyberspace

Friday, December 13 - Sunday, December 15, 1996
Einstein Forum
Am Neuen Markt 7
14467 Potsdam

Organized by: 
Thomas Keenan, Department of English, Princeton University, 
Thomas Y. Levin, Department of Germanic Languages, Princeton University


Did television bring down the Berlin Wall, or induce mass migrations from
the former Eastern Bloc to the promised lands of Italy and beyond?  Once
they reach a critical mass, do information technologies, from telephones
to faxes to the Internet, pose a threat as such to totalitarian regimes?

Powerful images and cultural narratives -- the 1989 television revolution
in Romania, for instance -- suggest that the erosion of the "iron curtain" 
was due in no small part to the power of electronic media.  Without
assuming that is the case, we need to ask about the role played today, in
the new Eastern Europe, by cyberspace -- i.e. everything cultural that
travels in the electromagnetic spectrum, from telephony, radio and
television, but especially new media and information networks.  If the
former boundaries, and their familiar East-West polarity, have been
fundamentally transformed, the technologies that at least partially
reshaped them remain, and indeed are proliferating.  What new divisions,
stresses and conflicts are emerging?  How, where, and by whom are these
information technologies being used, and with what implications for
politics, theory, and the future?

If we probe beyond the mythic model of a homogeneous "global village," and
the cynic's attitude that "nothing has changed," what maps can be drawn of
the new geopolitics, and micropolitics, of cyberspace in Eastern Europe? 
How has the East-West dichotomy been replaced by less visible oppositions
like data-rich vs. data-poor, or fiber vs. copper?  Or have dualistic
explanations in general been rendered obsolete by the fungible flow of
information in and across networks?  How have the Wall and Curtain been
supplanted by new structures and divisions in the former East, articulated
along putatively ethnic or linguistic lines and fueled by mass
entertainment and information saturation? What role have new media
technologies played in the emergence not of homogeneity but of conflict --
whether the apparently regressive conflicts of a so-called tribalism or
the fruitful turmoil of a democratic public sphere?

Gathering together a group of information-activists, journalists,
data-workers, cultural historians and media theorists of all sorts, DATA
CONFLICTS seeks to bring together empirical reports on the state of things
informational in the ex-East with more theoretical meditations on the
consequences and stakes of these sorts of developments for the future of
information culture. 



Friday, December 13       

Dr. Gary Smith
Director, Einstein Forum, Potsdam         

Keynote Address
Friedrich Kittler
Professor fuer Geschichte und Aesthetik der Medien, Humboldt Universitaet
zu Berlin
Cold War Networks
Roundtable Response

Saturday, December 14


Opening Remarks:        
Thomas Y. Levin
Department of Germanic Languages, Princeton University
Thomas Keenan
Department of English, Princeton University 

Panel 1: Regional Prohibitions, Transnationalized

Robert Horvitz 
International Coordinator, Open Society Institute Internet Program, Prague
Liberty's Torch Sputters

Masha Gessen 
Journalist, "Itogi," Moscow
Inter-Nyet: Russian Information Control

McKenzie Wark 
Department of Communications, Macquarie University, Sydney
Cultural Integrity amidst the Media Vectors

Panel 2: European Communities?

Frank Hartmann 
Forum Sozialforschung, Vienna
Metaphern und Mythen der Medienwirklichkeit

Pit Schultz 
Agentur Bilwet/Adilkno, "Nettime," Amsterdam
On Nettime: Content or not Content?
Tamas Bodoky 
Internet Columnist for "Magyar Naranc," Budapest
Fear & Loathing in Hungary

Inke Arns 
Curator, Berlin
Media and the East
Panel 3: Archaeologies

Wolfgang Ernst and Alexander Nitoussov 
Kunsthochschule fuer Medien, Cologne
Digital Memory vs. Archaic Archives: The Russian Past on the Net

Erich Moechel 
Editor with "Quintessenz" and contributor to "Wirtschaftsblatt," Wien
Medienkoexistenz und -kannibalismus 

Sunday, December 15

Panel  4: Former Yugoslavia

Novica Milic 
Institute for Literature and Arts, Belgrade
Ambiviolences - On Line

Boris Buden 
Editor, "Bastard," Vienna/Zagreb
Die intellektuelle Sehnsucht nach dem Ausermedialen

Panel 5: Former Yugoslavia: Sites and Providers

Jim Bartlett 
Freelance journalist, ex-correspondent "Beserkistan in Bosnia," Santa Fe 
Independent Media and Journalism and the Internet:
        Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs

Wam Kat 
"Zamir Transnational Net," Belzig/Brandenburg
Using E-mail in War

Frank Tiggelaar 
"Bosnia and Croatia Information Pages," Amsterdam
Internet: Im Osten nichts Neues

Eric Bachman
"Zamir Transnational Net"
ZaMir Transnational Net -- Peacemakers in the Balkans?

Concluding Roundtable 


Eintritt frei, Voranmeldung nicht erforderlich.

Weitere Informationen beim Einstein Forum oder 
im Internet:

fur die USA:
fur Europa:

*  distributed via nettime-l : no commercial use without permission
*  <nettime> is a closed moderated mailinglist for net criticism,
*  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
*  more info: and "info nettime" in the msg body
*  URL:  contact: