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[ox-en] What's going on here - Announcement and Call for Participation


The following is from

So now we have [ox3] on May, 20-23, this one on June, 3-4, and WOS3 on
June, 10-12. Ahm - these three weeks look somewhat crowded...

						Mit Freien Grüßen


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What's going on here?

In early June 2004 a digital culture event will be held in Vienna to
examine the theories and practices for making new cultures of access

The problem is clear, but not the solution. As some means of
production are becoming as cheap as to be practically freely
accessible (last year's computer equipment, software, basic Internet
access), a new question confronts independent cultural producers: "how
can we organize access to cultural works to match the new freedom of

The Internet came with a promise that 'everybody can be a publisher'.
Although not everybody wants to be a publisher, those who actually do,
find it very hard to make it work. As it turns out, this promise is
only true in an extremely limited, technical sense. While, yes, I can
set up a website, or put my song on Kazaa, but what next? The problem
becomes not so much technical as social- there is lots of sharing, but
little in terms of making a living. Money remains squarely in the
hands of the old industry.

The issue of distribution is not just an economic question. It's also
a political one. At stake is the "semiotic democracy", that is the
ability of the largest number of people to create and share culture
freely, and it is about making sure that in the context of
overabundance and heavy-hitting marketing machines, new, independent
content can still find its audience. In short, the question is how do
innovative production and distribution come together to support each
other. Free Software seems to have found a way to do just that, but
what about the rest of cultural production?

We invite the interested public to participate in this event. There
are many ways to do that. Coming June, you can join is in Vienna.
Before that, artists, theorists, observers, activists or space aliens
are invited to propose presentations for the conference and themes for
the workshops, to submit works for the exhibition, or apply for a


The conference will take place on June 3-4, 2004. In format it will
proceed along a series of relatively dense presentations, organized
into larger themes, to facilitate the interaction among the presenters
and with the audience. We expect this to allow us to deal in depth
with four themes, roughly three speakers each. We invite those
interested to submit a proposal for a talk. Below are the four main
themes, please indicate which of these your talk would address.

Organizational Intelligence for Independent Producers:
"Content Syndication and Sharing"

The content gap is encroaching the independent information providers-

The ruthless market efficiency not only shapes content, the quality
and depth of information content, in the mainstream channels but the
pressure of a global neoliberal regime also has various effects on the
not-for-profit intelligence nodes. Being able to compete in certain
standards and formats of culture and knowledge dissemination requires
smart, mobile and flexible solutions which make best use of the tools
of information technology. Global informational networking seems too
obvious to mention... but how can it be made into an actual practice
and real asset for independent content providers?

Possible Topics:

    * Reconfiguring Independent radios
    * Content Sharing for Independent Publcations
    * Independent TVs and the crisis of content

Search and Destroy
"The politics of search engines and retrieval systems"

Search engines are essential aspects of pull media. Yet, as the recent
rumors of Microsoft\x{2019}s takeover of Google have indicated again,
the search space is not neutral. "Access for all" is not only about
hardware and bandwidth, digital restrictions or passwords for gated
content, but also about the makeup of the data space structure
retrievability - of autonomous machinic intelligence, literacy for
networked computers and distributed processes. The next digital divide
between state/corporate powers and independent actors of civil society
is manifest in this realm of advanced systems pattern recognition and
computer aided decision making and semi-intelligent memory
construction or information deflection. Database politics are at the
heart of Homeland Security and geomarketing, of the Intelligence
Business and the electronic mass media. We would like to investigate
the cultural and political implications for an emancipatory practice
look into the tools that are available to the public vs. the means
that are accessible to select entities and corporations and how to be
able to find independent content in the massive information flood.
Distributed processing power and P2P search systems could provide
Information filter capabilities that outperform corporate CPU farms
similar to a SETI project that looks for life on earth.

Possible Topics:

    * The political economy of searching: tools and access
    * A Critique of Google: one search engines to rule them all?
    * Network Indexing: metainformation, p2p indexing and other strategies

Darknet Reloaded
"Secret Infotunnels and the Net Beyond DRM"

The famous Microsoft study concludes that the powers that be don't
stand a chance to the reality of the so called "Darknet". A somewhat
optimistic note from an unexpected side. What exactly is the Darknet
and how can its dynamic, which seems to be able to humble mega
corporations, be applied to further the levels of freedom and
independence in digital networks. How can the privileges of the
corporate structures be used against the logic of the free markets and
how can the invisible hand work its occult spells in favor of the
streets. Alternative (infra)structures and hybrid solutions after the
WiFi hype and the next generation of anonymous P2P

Possible Topics:

    * Anonymity: a relic of the 1990s?
    * Freenets and other anti-censor technologies
    * Kingdom of Crack and the State of Warez

Compensation (De)Central
"Alternative systems and concepts for compensation of authors"

What are the new models and alternatives for a direct beyond the big
gatekeepers of the music industry? With only 5% percent of the value
going to the creators, there are chances to cut out the media cartels
to achieve a fair compensation for artists and a broad distribution of
"stuff". What are existing examples and what should we learn from the
experiences being made. To reclaim utopias in defense of the
imagination might provide enough room for manoeuvre to allow the
emergence of new practices beyond the all too real dystopias of
digital restrictions at the end of the world as we know it.

Possible Topics:

    * If we fail: The world according to DRM
    * Alternative Compensation Schemes for digital content: the vision
    * Alternative Distribution of Music: the reality today


Workshops are organized in various locations for hands on skill

Proposals are welcome.

Exhibition Call

The show will present examples of artistic practice in net cultures
that provide a deeper understanding of the dynamics of information
distribution, accessibility and retrieval. Projects that fit into the
overall context of the event theme include, among others, applications
that handle structuring of heterogeneous media and data sources or
combinations of push and pull media applications and the use of live
streaming as well as installations that deal with distributed content
or investigating a balance of exchange in file sharing.

The exhibition is intended to provide a broad view that looks into
data mapping and indexing, the ambiguity of data processing and
machinic analysis, as well as ways to explore alternative carriers for
data transmission, privacy and secrecy. Staging works dealing with
overarching issues from intellectual property and restrictions
management to new network charts will give a complementary artistic
perspective to the conference talks and workshops.

We are looking for a selection of works to be presented or installed
in an exhibition for a 2 week period in Vienna June 2004

Submitted works should address the issues above and reflect on the
conference themes on a technically manageable level.

Please provide us with concept, description and a detailed list of the
technical equipment for a suggested installation setup. Please
indicate if you need to be present for setup and installation and/or

Residencies Available

The project includes a small number of residencies for artists to
develop a project for the event in June. There are still residencies
available which are intended to allow applicants to develop a project
in Vienna to be presented at Free Bitflows. These short term
residencies (up to one month) include travel within Europe/
accommodation/ subsistence and artist fee.

All applications should refer to the format and space requirements of
their proposed presentation/installation in Vienna, including maps and

Please apply with concept, description and detailed technical list of
the equipment for your project as well as additional requirements
during the residency.


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