Pit Schultz on Sat, 5 Dec 1998 19:04:48 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> [Interfund] - Create Your Solutions

appearing at artsevers unlimited in london http://asu.sil.at/ this idea
about other modes of organization (and distributing money) for small media
projects found a substantial update at an informal meeting in Riga lately,
it is also relevant within the context of EU funding policies and
administration of media culture along the lines of representationial
usefulness.  please feel invited to write your own update, comment and
extend, ask frequently and supply related topics... 

--- HIER BEGINNT DIE WEITERGELEITETE NACHRICHT ------------------------------
    Von: epk@xs4all.nl (Eric Kluitenberg)
  Datum: 03.12.98, 21:54:24
Betreff: Syndicate: [Interfund] - Create Your Solutions

Subject: [Interfund] - Create Your Own Solutions

Interfund meeting @ Xchange Unlimited, Riga November 29, 1998.

During the Xchange Unlimited Baltic New Media Culture Festival in Riga a
meeting was held to discuss the creation of the Interfund. The
participants were Diana McCarty, Rasa Smite, Manu Luksch, Pit Schultz,
Eric Kluitenberg, and others. 

* What is the Interfund?

The Interfund does not actually exist yet. The Interfund should be many
things at the same time, a self funding project, a tool to create open
spaces for sovereign experimentation in the digital networks, neither a
network, nor a community, it should be a means for collaboration and

The Interfund was envisioned in Riga as a co-operative, decentralised,
non-located, virtual but real, self-support structure for small and
independent initiatives in the field of culture and digital media. What
follows is a summary of the ideas that were discussed and the problems
raised in connection with the possible shape of the Interfund. 

First of all the Interfund is an idea to create better ways to access
funding and create funding possibilities of itself. The Interfund can also
act as a redistributor of financial resources from the affluent enclaves
to the impecunious. Funding and financing, however, is only one of the
tools the Interfund will employ to achieve its aims. 

The Interfund should rather act as a "Resource Pool", shared by each of
its members. These resources encompass a wide range of tools: 

- knowledge & know-how
- skills (a.o. translations in local languages)
- software
- open source development
- access to servers, especially for streaming media in the net
- reserving bandwidth and protocols (for example the registration for web
  multicasting, domain names, etc.)
[- providing informal and mobile frameworks of enhancing and exchanging
   skills, technical and theoretical, artistic and pragmatic.
- embrace rather modular and distributed than monolitic and centralised
   system architectures
- how about legitimizing moderators and representatives though some
  kind of vote? /pit ]

- support in dealing with official structures;
	- finding appropriate funding for projects
	- visa requirements
	- official letters of support, both in English and the local language
	- official invitations
	- official endorsements

- access to surveys and information sources about activities in the field
of culture and digital media

One practical way in which actual funding might work is that the Interfund
creates its own capital to give micro-funding to individual projects. The
organiser can then claim that the project in question is supported
financially by the Interfund (complete with a letter of acceptance by the
"board" of the fund). Funding may be as little as US$ 10,- for a project,
but can help to create interest from official institutions and structures.
Moreover the actual amount of funding by the Interfund need not be
specified in all cases. 

The possibilities for acquiring donations (not sponsorship) to extend the
financial basis of the Interfund will be an area of attention. 

Important is that there should always be a variety of models which should
be investigated to support individual projects, based on the local
situation in which the project operates or is set up. 

* Goals:

Some general goals have been proposed for the Interfund:

- to enhance small independent cultural and new media initiatives,
- create a pool of shared resources,
- promote co-operation between small organisations in this field,
- offer support (practical, financial, legal and moral) to find means to
produce art and culture projects in the field of new media,
- to educate policy and decision makers about the importance of supporting
independent media culture.

The Interfund can also serve as a forum for the critique of (the
inefficiency of) large institutions, particularly in the field of new
media and culture, and large and overfunded ICT development programs. 

* Form:

Though the Interfund will not have a fixed physical location, it should
become a real virtual organisation (it is not a simulation). For this
purpose a letterhead and design for the Interfund will be developed, as
well as a web-site, e-mail address, a logo.... and... (a local Latvian
speciality) an official Interfund stamp. All graphical elements will be
made down-loadable from the Interfund site for its members (PDF files).
The Interfund will be run as a strictly virtual office (a decentralised

Possible legal forms and their implications for establishing the Interfund
as an international state-less entity are currently investigated. Should
it become a registered society, a charity, a foundation, or yet something

* Projects are prime

The Interfund initiative also wants to address the need to create less
bureaucratic structures. By dealing with official structures the Interfund
is an attempt to prevent artists' run and independent initiatives from
becoming institutionalised themselves. It should act as an effective
bureaucracy protection shield. 

The emphasis of the Interfund will lie on horizontal co-operation, which
is anti-hierarchical and fundamentally decentralised. Nonetheless the
question cannot be escaped who will take responsibility for making the
structure work, co-ordinate activities, deal with requests, etc. (who is
doing what?). This division of responsibilities should be worked out. The
Interfund will have to be multi-nodal. To develop the Interfund as a
democratic structure a voting system will have to be considered, for
instance when accepting individuals to the "board" of the Interfund. The
membership of this board would then be temporary and rotating between

The Interfund should always be open to new members. However, every new
member has to commit him- or her-self to contributing to the shared pool
of resources in some way, by donating skills, knowledge, non-propriety
software, financial means if possible, and a willingness to multilateral

These issues of membership, representation and expertise have to be

* Actions: 

- Contacts will be established to other cultural activists in the new
media scene, via networks such as Xchange, Syndicate, Rhizome, <nettime>,

- In the local Nordic/Baltic context, where this initiative was discussed,
connections will be established to existing and emerging cultural networks
in the region (BIN, PCC, Nordic Arts Council, etc.), and other parties who
share similar or related interests (a.o. the EFF). 

- For the Next 5 Minutes conference, March 12-14, in Amsterdam and
Rotterdam, a meeting will be prepared to lay the foundation for the

Contact: Rasa Smite <rasa@parks.lv> Diana McCarty <diana@mrf.hu> Eric
Kluitenberg <epk@xs4all.nl>

The Interfund initiators finally wish to make the following claims:

- Work of artists and independent cultural initiatives in the field of
digital media, including innovative technical experimentation, should be
considered as valuable in and of itself. This work should not be supported
solely if it fits within an established policy framework (like social
innovation, employment, etc..). 

- Technology should be seen as an integral part of contemporary culture. 

- The Interfund demands less politicisation of culture. What independent
new media culture needs is support, not political rhetorics or
questionable historical narratives. 

- No competitions. 

- Create your own solutions. 

Thank you very much for your attention.

       [*The Interfund*]
     (under construction)

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