|becha on Thu, 13 Aug 1998 17:05:54 +0200|
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|Syndicate: Workshops, Conferences, Travels, Friendships (report)|
You can find this report in HTML version with lot of links on http://www.classroom.opennet.org/~becha/report.html Here comes the txt version. Greetings, mailto:email@example.com Workshops, Conferences, Travels, Friendships One Month Out Of Belgrade * Intro * Before + Budapest, part one * E-relevant Revelations * Travel, mostly through Germany * Graz (Face2face) * Lot of travels + A'dam * Hirisk Baby (Budapest again) * Tuzla, Bosna Intro It had to be July, but starting few days earlier and finishing few days after. My story will include lot of people and lot of places. It will be, at the same time, report to funding organizations that helped me do it at all: Fund for an Open Society, Belgrade, Zarko & Slavica, + APEX Changes but also evaluation to my fellow workshopers , answer to all the friends' questions "How was it?"; posting to Syndicate and Faces ; letter to my sister Nikolina - she don't like electronic mail, and maybe and finally article for Kulturtreger. Before + Budapest, part one My basic plan was to take part in Rotterdam Virtual Revolution workshop from 29th June to 3rd July, and in RealAudio workshop, part of one of the FACES meetings in Graz, from 5th till 11th July. There was CyberConf8 on 17th-19th in Budapest, but I planed to go there if I have time.. I got plain tickets costs Budapest-Amsterdam-Budapest covered, also visa, and promise that my costs for travel from R'dam to Graz will be reimbursed. I got multiple entry Shengen visa for one month, and I wanted to use it as good as possible, so I asked lot of my friends to help me find some part-time job for additional two weeks that I can stay on "west", 'cause I can earn in one week there like in two months in Belgrade.. I got some nice and some helpful answers, and among other things I applied to RIPE NCC. Daoud decided to take me to Budapest on Friday, 26th of June, and to spend weekend with me there. We stayed at my friend Steven Carlson, in beautiful building, nice, central part of town, but in remarkable example of taste(less) of Hungarian ex-police officer of landlord. After some difficulties in finding both place and Steve, we enjoyed their hospitality and nice Turkish fast food. Next day we were lurking around, hanging mostly in cake-shops, met Akos ... On Sunday we had picnic, then went to Turkish bath and had lot of joy there, then I left. On the plain I met one man, who just came back from Albania - he is organizing tours to that kind of exotic places. He is from Holland, and I told him where am I going, that I like Holland and that I would like to find a job there.. His both sons are working in software industry and he introduce me to on of them on Schiphol. We exchanged email addresses and that was it. E-relevant Revelations On Rotterdam station Graziella was waiting for me 'cause I called her from the airport. I saw her for the first time then, even that we "knew" each other for two years already, by e-mail, 'cause we have common friend, Yoshio Itagaki. She took me to her place, in typical Dutch narrow building, with steep staircase. She showed me her place, and my first surprise was that she is living there alone, and I found it big enough for at least one more person. Flat was big, spacy, light, equipped with just right balance of new technology and cosines... and my room was in the attic, three floors upper, and it had some more inhabitants - cats :) We made vague friends during my stay there, but I couldn't expect anything more from a cat. That Sunday evening Graziella and me were talking, getting to know each other, and then we saw "Heavenly Creatures", witch title was interesting for me like a parody of some Serbian politicians calling Serbs "Heavenly Nation". But the emotions, imagination and non-understanding in the movie were so strong, that it had a great influence on me. Monday morning we joined Virtual Revolutions workshop, in V2_Lab, witch was very close to our home. First impression of V2 was disappointing - such big and famous organization in so ordinary building, just among all the others?! But first sight of the Lab changed it all - it looked just unbelievable, floor that is not flat, complete grayness so you can't tell walls from floor or desk or ceiling, and inner "wall" witch was not dividing really the space, 'cause it was just a transparent plastic curtain, also curved, following the lines of the "hill" where the tables with equipment was standing. Rolling chairs that you can't stop from sliding, carrying you away, or jumping chairs, or just some ordinary chairs... People were already sitting around long table, but some were somewhere around Lab. I finally met Andreas, and he was not looking alike I was expecting: he was younger, taller and thinner. Others I haven't imagined, I knew only Branko before, and Daniel was one that I wanted to meet, and I thought that Katja's name sound familiar to me.. (First) post-festum e-relevant revelations (too late?) posted by Graziella to vr@v2-list and by Andreas to syndicate dear (in no particular order) andreas graziella daniel katja jukka anneke taylor terhi dimitrina nikolai branko stefan anna thank you for everything! i am very glad to finally meet you (ok, branko, to see you again :) i hope we will stay in virtual and also more real contact. i know i will meet some of you on some more confer-places, but i would like to have you as guests in belgrade - not just for my pleasure but also to take part in cultural, art, media and other "educational" events. for un-finished impressions of our first meeting, see http://www.v2.nl/Projects/vr/vesna/monday.html real revelation 1: one of my problems during gatherings like this or in every new situation that has a group involved (and almost every has) - was non-existing from the beginning, and that gave me lot of relief: i was not forced to "choose" anybody of you to fall in/make love with or to "seduce" in any way ('cause i was already in love -- but that gave me another problem, and that is that i was mostly absent with my spirit) http://www.v2.nl/Projects/vr/vesna/Daoud/ real revelation 2: i was very scared before i came - will i be able to take part in group work? will i be interesting enough? will i be helpful? will i learn something? how will i fit in? but, during the first day, it almost completely disappeared. we went walking, and i found that rotterdam is very interesting and nice city, even if not so _perfect_ like a'dam or cozy like some smaller cities in holland.. and i found in it *nature* - even if it is a port, and industrial zone, grass and flowers still can fight their way out, to the rain.. i even met two rabbits -- in the middle of the town! not afraid at all, munching the grass, bouncing around... see: http://www.v2.nl/Projects/vr/vesna/Monday/ real revelation 3: i was glad to find out more about cultural diversities: most i learned, naturally, about holland, as i already knew the most. but, i haven't know, for example, how big art and cultural center is rotterdam, and that art is very much supported by the state; then, i found out that woman groups from a'dam and delft academic circles are not so friendly among themselves; then, how difficult is to have internet access in bulgaria, and that soros is not "working" in spain; that in finland verbs have 15 cases ! and how to put chocolate drops on bread for breakfast (.nl)... + i got help for my ongoing international project with the working title "take care of the future" - unfortunately, i haven't time to finish it, but i will, and they will be (at least linked) at http://www.v2.nl/Projects/vr/vesna/Beware/ real revelation 4: it was very nice to see my old friends again (from last year's conferences) (like i will be seeing you from now on.. ;) - "brandon" launching i heard last year for, and i saw "de waag" for the first time, and met: patrice (without hinde, but i hope to see them on "hearts" in linz soon, together); zone, XU legend, gastarbaiter in nl, virtually sun-bathing; jesis (net.radio reminder/teacher of mine, but also my "consciousness", and that sometimes gives bad headache..); debra, who also came to introduce living (unfortunately, recording that i made last summer in kassel, on swans, was not good enough to stay in _living's_ archive); rop@x-xs4all (don't be surprised to find me in two years in cyber-village, portugal..); tamara, my dear girl who last year visited east europe and had lot of phun - together with me - in budapest & belgrade (also x-xs4all); hanno, "false chinese" but real hugging panda; alex, THE most crazy sysadm+dj; steph, linux wizard ... much much more friends i haven't got time/chance to see at all, and with all of these who i met i haven't talked enough.. maybe next time.. graziella: thanks for hosting me for all this time - it was nice to be your guest! thanks for my own room (i was not feeling too lonely in it), typical dutch stair-case, cats in the morning, cozy bed, bathroom with it's own will, interesting, funny and useful breakfast conversations and meals, and two important movies: "heavenly creatures" and "antonia". Additional Revelations - there was not enough time to meet all people, and to learn everything that i wanted, and to shaw them all that i wanted. and, some contradictions: - there were too many people, maybe it would be better to work in smaller groups - on the other hand, i was glad to meet all of them, and it would be even better if there were more - we spent too much time eating and sleeping, but every minute and every byte (bite?) was nice and it wasn't enough :) => time is a deficit issue. - one more complain - there was no (organized) gymnastics - weather was bad, but even when it was sunny we were not going out to enjoy it; and, since this was, after all, real-life meeting for real, flash'n'blood people (mEAting ;), maybe we could spent more time enjoying each other then machines. maybe i am victim of silva-method, but i do believe that it would be useful if we were hugging each other more, or even sometimes. for me it is necessity, way to be close to other person, to shaw warm feelings that i have - friendly, of course. - it was good to find out that working in a team can be productive - i was afraid that my knowledge and skills will be of no use to anybody, 'cause it's so common to know such things - but it wasn't like that. once again, i found out that things that i assume everybody knows just because i know them - are not wide-known, and i can share that knowledge with someone: basic network abilities, UNIX system, silicon graphics, even HTML. and, it was also nice that, even if there are really lot of new things that i don't know anything about, nobody will take that like major failure. it was very interesting to learn -at least a little- about artistic concepts (graziella), speak recognizers and synthesizers (jukka), VRML (taylor), palace (terhi), video (katja), activism (daniel)... - it was so nice to work in a lab that is still developing, and to see it growing :) it was nice that it was really used: two projects were on-going all the time, and other people were coming and going.. it was nice to see anna, directing all that with great strength, calmness, knowledge, patience, and smile. but it wasn't nice that the gray is basic color: ok, these experimental, colorful chairs will bring more life into interior, but with their unusual shape and usage they will bring some cheerfulness in sitting, too. - i missed music in the lab. and dancing, in the lab or elsewhere. did i mentioned hugging? - it was nice to see that art (& culture & media) are not useless and/or worthless, that state or some organizations in economically well-developed societies are actually supporting art and other non-commercial non-profit things. i was raised to think that you have to be the ant and not the cricket (from esoph tale..), and this is for me the new kind of freedom - i don't have to be electrical engineer and don't have to work for pension. Travel, mostly through Germany (noted in train) my heart aches every time i see autobahn. ow! if i can be on it - i am happy, but i get claustrophobia of this endless train ride, neverending and so slow, with all these people around but each of us in it's own cocoon, without any communication, even avoiding it.. i like hitch-hiking because it gives me feeling of freedom, independence and something like religious feeling: fate in fate, fate in people, giving my life into hands of chance, just proving that it is like that anyway all the time.. but, also: giving me selfconfidence, 'cause i have to have it if i want to succeed - i have firmly to believe that "someone always stops", and that that person will be friendly and won't hurt me.. I had to take a train, 'cause it was the best combination of price and speed - it was the cheapest of all ways of travel except hiking, but I haven't got enough time for that. Anyway, after crossing from train to bus and then back to train, just to get to the German border, I really got fed up with it. Instead of waiting another 45' in Venlo, just to cross the border to the next smallest German village to by a cheap weekend ticket, I stood up the road and one old gentleman took me across invisible border, to the bigger town with more trains, and I was practicing my Deutsch. One can travel for small amount of money through Germany if has more time then money, with weekend ticket that is for 5 people and lasting two days - you can use only 3-4 lowest in range of the trains, but in the worse of them you can sit on the toilet-seat, there is a paper and a soap in the toilet and there are separated places for non-smokers - and those conditions you can't find not in the best trains in Serbia, but almost not in the best restaurants or hotels, or, for example, in Sava Center. But, it took me whole day of sitting in the trains or waiting on small stations for the next junction in direction south, and those periods of time were divided in hideous little-big pieces, not big enough to sleep in the train but to large just to be bored in it, not enough to see anything of those places where i was waiting but too long just to sit and wait.. Finally, after midnight I got to Salzburg, and decided to stay in the waiting room and sleep there till the morning. One woman burned the scented stick inside, it was warm, not so clean or safe but who cares.. when, after half an hour spent in the toilet cleaning and refreshing myself I lurked once more around and finally found one desk for selling tickets, they also changed my money to Austrian shillings, I waited one more hour to the next train - and after half an hour had to go out again and to wait for the bus(!), 'cause they also were repairing railway here, like in Holland.. Graz... I got there in the morning, and I had address of Cloed's place - she invited me to stay with her. I found my way there, and on the door was a paper "Welcome, Becha! Come upstairs!". On the other paper, upstairs, there was a manual of using a house - where is my room, where is toilet and kitchen, and that Cloed had to go to sleep (she was expecting me in the evening) and that Daoud called twice (he was also expecting me in the evening). My room was small, with wooden floor and a bed in the corner, surrounded with dancing and running giraffes on the wall. The light was on. I went to sleep again. In the "morning" Cloed wake me up to answer the phone - it was Daoud! Then, she gave me a pink bike and took me to Forum Stadtpark. It is in the middle of the beautiful park.. but, Cloed's house is also worth describing: it's a HUGE house, facing two streets, with a back-yard approach and parking (for bikes); it also has veranda all around first floor from the back, and lot of rooms. There are about 10-15 people living there. It's almost squoted, but they are paying just a little for rent, and all the expenses. It should be crumbled down in December. And, there was a guest room for me there :) It was opened all the time, I didn't lock it, and anyway I haven't got anything important there.. About the whole FACE2FACE event I wrote to Josephine Bosma, who hadn't come. This is just a little bit expended (letter to jesis) it was.. strange, complicated, nice.. i liked reni & jogi, sol alSO(L), and other girls too, i don't know if you know them.. i was staying with one (cloed). my boyfriend came so i was spending (too?) much time with him.. or ra workshop there were also moni from berlin and katarina from belgrade/ljubljana. martin invited them 'cause they were involved in XLR. and that was very good, that they were there. so, basically, workshop was very relaxed and about exchange of experiences and experimenting together. on tuesday we took part in xchange, and on friday we were mixing with hamburg workshop and radio student again (borut). i came from rotterdam, and comparing to VR this was so much more relaxed, very different.. we were not pressing ourselves, were not forcing to produce something and specially not in any exact time.. we had sampler, mixer, lot of machines (linux server, pc,laptops, macs..) and basses and they made "piazzos" (small kind of microphone.. so we learned to use them, and were using 'em in all the strange ways :) i was so happy to meet katarina - we new the same people in belgrade but newer met, and we had (almost) same experiences with "power structures" there.. and in ljubljana.. and moni - she is very critical and analytical and thoughtful.. but reni - she made it all. it was her idea and concept of organizing the workshop, and she was so relaxed and gentle, explaining patiently for 10 times same things, being happy with every our success, full of energy... and then - cf came.. (cyberfeminist) exhibition and symposium started. it was very classical: lectures, short discussions and lectures again. topics were usually interesting, but presented in that way that gave you almost no way to participate.. moni had conflict with kathy, after her presenting "woman online communities". but, (on the other hand - i spent two 1/2 days with kathy in vienna), she was so upset 'cause diana didn't come (she had computer crash, with nettime bible inside..), and eva w. didn't come also.. soup was _interesting_. i didn't like the taste, but all the others did. and "iceman" was THE MOST interesting for me :) call me childish, but i like ice-cream, specially in three strawberry flavors, specially hanging on the wall in mail torso shape, licked together with bunch of punks and stabbed with spoons of loads of woman.. tomorrow was the banquet, witch i missed by mistake :( good food, lot of it.. some town representative came and pissed of reni by saying how "this is the first step towards year 2003", in witch graz will be the "capitol of culture".. some other man heard me the day before on the radio and proposed to help organizing next workshop in belgrade. financially :) one other offered me a job - to be web designer in his company in graz! hm... and.. fight with my boyfriend: he stayed to listen beverly's "encounter" presentation, and went completely mad by superficiality of the whole idea, project and relationships that english people made in general, and not only on line. he didn't want to recognize it like valid experiment or art piece.. i also didn't like it, but i tried to explain to him why is it important anyway, and.. fight fight fight.. other girls liked it. last diner - fight between sol and kathy - why she don't put some girls on faces, if they want.. so much more thing happened, but i am too tired to type any more.. "zlang" made GREAT concert - eva ursprung and solway haring were real ROCK DIVAS :)) graz is nice place - for holiday, for example - it's so flat and nothing is happening there, perfectly boring, just for resting :) *** Some more "revelations": - there was a big techno party on the last night. - i gave away more of Skart coupons, like last year on "First Cyberfeminist International" meeting; only, this year, they had additional few: for fear, relaxation, masturbation, power.. - i think i took it all wrong, this meeting - i expected something like last year, more like workshop and sharing atmosphere, and it was like that only in real-audio workshop, and all the other things were just for listening, not for taking part in. - we made a lot of nice plans for the future: to use "42" list for making new plans, to take part in some new projects, to make lot of things together, and to meet anywhere that we can - and the one possibility is proposed workshop in belgrade. - one big graz news: i got the invitation from RIPE to come to the job interview! to amsterdam, on friday, 18th of july, and they will pay the plain ticket.. Yuppie!! daoud agreed that, if i get a job, he will come to live in a'dam also, even if he don't like western life-style.. Lot of travels + A'dam I stayed in Graz one more day, to have a job interview with Mr. Wolfgang Croce. They needed web-designer and I needed a job, at lest before, so Eva recommended me. It was nice finding my way in the town on the bike, it was nice talking to them in the company, even if I was not so interested in making commercial web pages.. On monday I hiked to Wien (one lift ;), to help Kathy prepare for moving to America. There were so many books, and we had to get many "banana boxes" to pack them.. That was going on for three days, but I also enjoyed green market, the best that I ever saw, and I visited Knoll gallery that was in the Kathy's house, KulturKontakt where I met Nicole - she was so kind to me, and helped me a lot, and gave me a present: CD from Cavke; I went with Kathy and Maggie to "Public Netbase" and met another girl from Faces: they are having lot of problems with the city government and some political forces about pornography or net.sex... On Thursday morning I took metro to the motorway junction, and even before I walked to the real road one man stopped.. He was very interesting and amusing, he liked to practice English 'cause he was not very good in it (just like I was practicing my German during my previous drives..) and he took me all the way to Budapest. I hope I will see him again, in Amsterdam.. I took key from the Steve's office, went "home" to re-pack and relax, took bus to the airport, was there on time (miracle!), went to the KLM office where ticket was supposed too wait for me, and they said there is no ticket on my name!!! Ups.. I went to the check-desk to see if the answer will be deferent there, and then I remembered to ask do they maybe have a ticket for the name BECHA.. and YES, they had! Luckily, they knew Russian so it was not so difficult to prove that it is really my name, just on cyrillic, and I got the ticket. On the flight I met Rumanian girl, going to Canada. We were late in taking-off because weather in Amsterdam was too bad for landing, but then, through train window (from Schiphol to Central Station) the sun was coming, sun of the late afternoon, even evening sun, and also from the bus to Jaco's place I could see my favorite sight of old A'dam buildings covered with glittering light, and shiny reflection on canals, and to feel even little warmth on short walk to his apartment.. So, finally I met face-2-face another of my "email friends", he told me about company, I used his hospitality: email through leased line to xs4all, shower, guest bed with wheels, breakfast, and guided tour to RIPE offices. Two corners from Dam square. Nice building on Singel canal. Huge kitchen. Pleasant people. Exciting interview with three of my future bosses, with conclusion that training position and person responsible for courses, witch they planed to open, is more suitable for me then re-programming the database, if I want it; and it finished with invitation to the party in the afternoon. I met my friend Tamara and she drew me on the back of her bike to one cafe, and after that I showed her Frozen Fountain, and then she took me to the soup in "De Balie"; then I visited "Press Now" looking for the Geert Lovink, but I met Mira Oklobdzija and read in Vreme that Srba is not any more chief of Computing Center at my school, and that Badi sent info about new university law to Press Now recently., Then we went in supermarket where I did "shopping" of sweets for my friends: vla, salmiaki candies, peanut-butter... Then we shared Hagen Dash ice-cream on the weak rain on Dam square, but just after we had one haring each - they were giving them for free, and that was my first (a)live fish in my life. Not my favorite food, though.. Then, it was time to join the party, and it was not ordinary but very luxurious one.. too bad that I couldn't stay longer, but I had plain to catch. Luckily and Finally, Jochem find me. He is friend of Daoud, he speaks Bosnian and he asked me about all the people from Tuzla and Sarajevo that I met, and specially about Rumanian wedding party.. Flight back was just normal, I had separate seat, near to the exit, so I haven't meet anybody. Daoud was waiting for me on the airport. Hirisk Baby CyberConf was marked with people who was _not_ there: I was not there on the first day. Second day, Saturday, I tried to find them unsuccessfully in the morning, but anyway Bruce Sterling also wasn't there. In the afternoon there was a podster with "feminism" in title, and with my friends in charge: Vuk & Kathy + Sandy Stone, Shila, and, surprisingly, Douglas Rushkof. Two more girls from Graz were there. I stayed only for three hours, enough to sing along with them three songs and to hear few stories of their multi-combined spectacle. Third, esoteric day, jodi didn't come, and I was so looking forward to see them. And I haven't seen Diana or Pararadio stuff at all. But still it was very interesting: questions that they raised, and the final answer (and it's not 42). All the time we were on the web-cast. My friend Boba was part of the Hirisk Crew, who later took part in explaining the present (Internet) situation in Hungary. Oh, yes, neither etoy were there, to protect us. So, Liz haven't come from Wien. And I don't know what happened to Zana who was (also) supposed to come. Anyway, we had telepresence (witch was appropriate) of Maria, holistic Hungarian woman. I hope her book will be translated soon - I liked her ideas and explanations a lot. Real podsters were: Suzy (podmaster), one man from Hare Krishna, one man from Gaya village in Australia (an old hippie, just of the kind I like :), Sandy again, one man from Amsterdam (desk.nl or such..), Martin & Kathy. Later, some from the audience replaced them: Shila and Douglas, and many others also took part. Are we making bad karma by using computers and Internet? Or it depends of purpose? What will be the future way of communication? ... Ron mentioned Hacking in progress (last year) and Nettime nudist meeting and I was glad to remember both :) I met two "local" people: boy who is more interested in economy side of Internet culture, and girl Ana who is working in the library. I haven't talk with may others, 'cause they were already formed as a kind of group, and I was just coming and going.. Last evening there should be a party, but nobody seemed to know where or when until 6pm when I left. Ron called me tomorrow to tell me that I missed drumming in the woods and really nice time, but.. Other things about CyberConf: I came in for free - I had B92 press card. I haven't drink poisonous water. First day (my first day) I came and left by bus, witch was heroic thing to do in that heat. All the way till the end of the line 3, out of town.. and 4 times like that, 'cause I didn't know the right address (my mistake). So, I had to go _back_ to the town, to c3, to read from the web-page .. In Serbia we say "One who doesn't have in the head, has in the legs", so I used mine.. But, the next day I had a "driver" - Daoud took me there and came for me later. And that was the end of CyberConf8. (After coming back to Belgrade, I was working tuesday and Thursday, got final (?!) confirmation from RIPE NCC, and hitchhiked to Sremska Raca, border between Yugoslavia and Republika Srpska, on my way to Tuzla. One very funny guy took me there, singing all the time, and he was happy to meet me. Maybe we will see each other again in Amsterdam?) Tuzla There were two things going on there, witch I could help: making a book and making Internet center. The book will be about posters produced in Bosnia and around it during the war, or in the period 1990-1998, with also some other graphical and visual material presented, like magazine covers, postcards, exhibition catalogs.. It will collect two things: political and artistic visual expression. Daoud and Alina, from with Connect are working on that for one year already, they collected over 600 pieces, but not only in Bosnia, 'cause lot of people escaped during or after the war; also, lot of material is lost, or taken away with them. Also, propaganda material and artistic reflections from Croatia and Serbia influenced and followed events in Bosnia, so they were collecting them there, also, and that is how we at all met :) So, I was helping them sometimes, and I still do, looking for more connections. The project that I was invited to Tuzla in that time was making an "Internet classroom" for group of disabled people, that Connect was already helping in the past. They are called "Lotosice", and even if they started like woman group they are now gathering all the disabled people, also it's not important are they war invalids or not. They have some equipment, and they right now have training for work with computers, and special one for book-keeping, but Rupert wanted to help them to get Internet connection, to establish some kind of "cyber cafe" from witch they will be able to make some money later. And I had to estimate their needs and technical possibilities and requirements, to help putting project proposal together, to connect different people who will have to work together on that, to give advises about literature, skills, costs.. So i met Jovan and Sanda - he will build and maintain the network and she will be giving the courses; Dino will be in charge of the "classroom" in the future, and Janja and Kaca from "Lotosice" will invite their members to learn one more new thing.