Janos Sugar on Sat, 7 Dec 96 20:34 MET

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nettime: MetaForum (c) Bueno Bye!

MetaForum, Select All/Clear

With MetaForum III / UNDER CONSTRUCTION / Budapest Content Conference came
the closing of the MetaForum Conference Series in Budapest.
The series, primarily organized by the Media Research Foundation, began in
1994, with the topic of multimedia. This small, chaotic event included
CD-ROM and the World Wide Web, which was just gaining attention in the
explosive hype of the Internet. There were no commercial Internet providers
in Hungary, and just three Hungarian CD-ROMs. The lack of a working
Internet connection during the event led to a heated debate between
representatives of the Hungarian Telecom and East Edge- a group of
Hungarian students  well acquainted with the Internet.
This debate led to  MetaForum II/NO BORDERS/Budapest Networking Conference
in 1995. These were international topics, and perhaps even more important
in Hungary, where bad telephone lines and a general lack of expendable
wealth magnify the issues of new communication technologies in the West.
MetaForum III followed with the  subject of content, which  has become the
crucial element in the New Media discourse.

While the series enjoyed a certain amount of fame in its time, we preferred
to stand back for just a moment to critique the media in motion rather than
become mesmerized by its speed. This moment was that of the wide spread
growth of the Internet internationally- perhaps the most important event of
the 90's and which has already become the definitive metaphor of a post
2000 global society. We, as organizers, took this moment to take a living
snapshot- to bring up topics that exist in the present tense, and look at
how these technologies effect culture.

In planning these events we used something like a guerrilla tactic with
much less emphasis on showing the new, choosing instead to  take part in a
critical phase of development of the new- posing questions, presenting
conflicting ideologies, and building on existing dialogs in a timely
fashion. Our goal was to spark discourses that were in the making.
MetaForum was more and less than a conference, lacking proper funding, we
focused on the topics at hand rather than the fancy objects that tend to
represent new technology. In remaining a small independent organization, we
are better able to follow the media and act quickly, thus we were able to
achieve a certain level of success without forcing MetaForum to become an
We have found that New Media calls for a new way of working, one that is
more fluid, open to change and that allows for speedy responses to ongoing
developments. This allows a great deal of freedom in how we approach New
Media, and in the projects that we pursue.
Now it is time to begin production of the MetaForum book and CD-ROM.

We would like to thank  our guests  for their  enthusiasm  and participation:
Richard Barbrook, John Perry Barlow, Konrad Becker, Tamas Bodoky, Heath
Bunting, Vuk Cosic, Nina Czegledy,  H. C. Dany, Erik Davis, Manuel
Delanda,Matthew Fuller, David Garcia,  Ferenc Gerloczy, Mieke Gerritzen,
Rop Gongrijp, Debra Guzman, E. "Gomma" Guarneri, John Horvath,  Heiko
Idensen, Gábor Kelemen, Max Kossatz,  Attila Kotanyi, George Legrady, Olia
Lialina, Alpár Losoncz, Eveline Lubbers, Oliver Marchart, Masuyama, András
Nyírô, Benjamin Perasovic, Miklos Peternak, Gereon Schmitt, Pit Schultz,
Alexei Shulgin, Mark Stahlman, Marleen Stikker, Barbara Strebl, Tamás
Szalay, Katalin Timar, József Tillman, Laszlo Tolgyes, Toshiya Ueno, Walter
Van Der Cruijsen, Salvatore Vanasco, Willem Velthoven, Charles Wessel, and
Peter Lamborn Wilson

The MetaForum Conference Series was made possible by the generous support of:
the Budapest Autumn Festival, iSYS Hungary,  the Hungarian Ministry of
Culture, the Soros Center for Contemporary Art,  the Austrian Cultural
Institute, The British Council, the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Pro
Helvetia,  Austrian Federal Ministry of Science Research and Art, Westel
900, Polaroid, Albacomp, Copy General,  Delta Airlines, The Budapest Sun,
Magyar Narancs magazine,  HVG magazine, Springer magazine, Elet es irodalom

MetaForum (copyright by Media Research Foundation) Organizing Committee
Geert Lovink, Diana McCarty, Janos Sugar

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