The Next 5 Minutes

tactical media event
Amsterdam & Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 12-14 March, 1999
(Source: Updated announcement Feb 11, 1999)

The third Next 5 Minutes, an Amsterdam based conference on tactical communications culture, featuring do-it-yourself media, dissident art and electronic media activists from around the world, took place on the 12th, 13th and 14th of March 1999.

From its beginning in 1993, the Next 5 Minutes 1, 2 and now 3 has followed the growth of tactical media. The term 'tactical media' refers to a critical usage and theorisation of media practices that draw on all forms of old and new media for achieving a variety of specific non- commercial goals and pushing a plethora of potentially subversive political issues.

Moving beyond the mere assertion of the net as a relatively new medium, the N5M3 will be debating the wider social, cultural and political implications of an ever growing impulse to digitalise information. Plus the conference will be looking at the recent political and economic constellations evolving from currently emerging information and communication structures. While analyzing these more homogenizing forces of convergence, there will be an emphasizes on the necessity of employing and deploying a variety of tactical and independent media.

These issues will be addressed on two levels: a structural examination of empowering strategies in new informational environments with an emphasis on the notion of 'tactical networks' and 'electronic borders'. The latter refers to the disturbing fact that in information societies, social, political and cultural divisions are increasingly drawn along the lines of accessibility to electronic media. In discussing this, we will also be looking beyond the West, highlighting the significance of different media in diverse political and economic climates.

N5M3 will be a working conference comprised of a focused public program plus a variety of smaller-scale seminars and workshops. Essential to the conference is the exchange of ideas, experience, working methods, and the construction of long-term partnerships and network structures.


Further contents of this message:

Core themes:

- The Art of Campaigning
- Post Governmental Organisation
- The Technical and the Tactical
- Tactical Education

Additional themes:

- Cyber Feminism & Media Strategies
- Inter East Forum - South Asia Forum
- Streaming Media
- Amsterdam Media Debate
- Interfund Launch Meeting
- European Affairs - Do It Yourself Space
- Screenings - Insular Technologies



The Art Of Campaigning

The Art of Campaigning as a topic was inspired by the works of the McLibel group []. Their type of net.campaign challenges previous forms of activism, which concentrated on mass media and its ability to influence public opinion by staging direct action .  For decades, larger NGO's such as Greenpeace have worked from and developed this model, and their strategies haven't varied radically since the seventies. The strategic course has now been well plotted: the usual PR material, ie. official reports, books, folders, flyers, magazines and original video footage shot on location. Campaigns are planned long in advance allowing very little space for informal and/or immediate interventions. The process of campaigning in this sense has become acutely similar to the marketing strategies of consumer goods and the role of the volunteer has become a highly professionalised.

However, today's political campaigns have the potential to offer much more than counter- information. Internet sites can be used to highjack data or hack into corporate/state sites, or at least attempt to do so. Rather than simply disseminating information these campaigns are continually changing and adapting a multitude of strategies to respond to a variety of situations. This form of campaigning consists of dynamic networks of people, groups and databases.

Why campaigns? The Art of Campaigning is important to address because there are fewer radical, fast-acting critical movements, that have the ability to gain momentum in a short period of time. The format of the campaign seems to be an appropriate answer to the (apparent) lack of political activities in the late nineties. Campaigns are less local;  they are diffused, fragmented and prepared over the Net and other communication media. Campaigns usually culminate into actual events; summer camps, demonstrations, the occupation of a certain site, gathering people together from very different locations and backgrounds. Most campaigns require the work of dedicated technical (media) specialists and are multi- disciplinary by their very nature: video, dance, music, cooking, communication, radio, print, websites, support groups elsewhere, etc.

The Art of Campaigning, for us, consists of two aspects. The first dealing with methodology, strategy and tactics. The second dealing with necessity.  Why has campaigning become more important these days? In part, the need for campaigning can be read as an index to poverty, lack of voice and the absence of effective social and political movements. Though this issue is not specifically media-related, it does point towards the current attempts to break out of the closed autonomous and alternative ghettos, the leftovers of the eighties.

The time is over to be woefully sentimental about the amateurish "good will" character of campaigns. These days, campaigns have changed their directions and topics, and are surprisingly ahead of their time. They truly embody and express all the urgent (global) political themes. Rather than soliciting the aid of professional advertisement specialists, campaigns need to reconnect with tactical media. This touches on the second aspect: the political aesthetics of campaigning. Alternative campaigns could learn a lot from designers, artists and other new media experts, and conversely visual practitioners have much to gain from the urgent agenda's that seek to express themselves through new media channels.

For the conference we intend to create an open show element, in which a lot of different people can display their work and speak about them on stage. The program will conclude with a panel discussion, in which different s trategies, models, and problems are discussed. For this show, new guests and participants are welcome until the last five minutes...

But of course we will also invite some of the most interesting campaigners we have encountered beforehand. First of all the "Sans Papiers" campaign from Paris [], and its German counterpart, the "Kein Mensch ist Illegal" campaign [], that both deal with the issue of refugees and immigration. These campaigns are both radical and media aware, overcoming the laming shift of the eighties when the notions of "alternative" and "media" (-technologies) seemed to exclude each other.

Another campaign, touching on the PGO issue, is the anti- MAI campaign and the Global Action Network [] dealing with trade issues. Another remarkable example is the Clean Clothes Campaign [], a global campaign that addresses working conditions in the textile industries around the world, with a particular emphasis on developing countries where the production work for the international garment in dustries is out-sourced, and working conditions are often appalling.

Next to a central debate there are three additional workshops:

1. Net.activism

This is a forum on the current practices of counter Information and 'Electronic Civil Disobedience', critiques from activists and more technical criticisms from hackers. Is it enough to offer counter information on the web? Mailinglists and newsgroups these days are essential tools for political groups and social movements. (see for example:, There are more and more independent servers, but does the content ever leave the self-created information ghetto? Is it possible to escape alternative realms and attack the state and corporations in a more direct way? In what way hackers and activists could collaborate?
Coordination: Geert Lovink, Patrice Riemens, Carl Guderian

2. Panel discussion: Media campaigns against multi-nationals, counter strategies of corporations

"The greatest threat to the corporate world's reputation comes from the Internet, the pressure groups newest weapon. Their agile use of global tools such as the Internet reduces the advantage that corporate budgets once provided." Quoted is a PR- manager teaching multinationals how to deal with modern day pressure groups, creatively using the power of the media sound bite.

Loosing control of the situation as result of the activities of a pressure group has become a nightmare scenario for the modern multinational enterprise. Some of them learn fast, from their enemies, from us that is. PR-co mpanies are hired to change the worst scenario into a business opportunity. What are the modern times strategies of present day companies? How to pass by the PR- department of your local multinational? How to deal with th ese modern spin-doctors? See also: brenteng.htm.
Coordination: Eveline Lubbers

3. Meeting of the initiatives that deal with migrants and 'illegal' people (Sans Papiers, Kein Mensch Ist Illegal, Autonoom Centrum, Fabel van de Illegaal etc.)
Coordination: Florian Schneider

Art of Campaigning contact person: Geert Lovink


Post Governmental Organisation

One of the four main themes of the N5M3 is the 'Post-Governmental Organisation', a title that is meant more polemically than descriptively. The 'PGO' label raises the question of the practical, political and ethical impli cations of strong, potentially global, independent organisations. The theme will be approached from different critical, analytical and ironic perspectives in a public debate, and the PGO Design-Show ("Get Organised!").

The PGO Theme

The notion of the 'Post-Governmental Organisation' is obviously an ironic variation on the now well established concept of the NGO, the Non-Governmental Organisation. Over the past twenty or so years, NGO's have become im portant actors in the arena of national, international and global politics. The role of NGO's in the struggle for human rights, the ecology, debt relief, migrants' rights, humane working and living conditions, etc., is in creasingly recognised by official political bodies. As a result, NGO's are now regularly represented at global eco- summits, they advise different UN institutions and are used as experts in court cases. Thus, NGO's are ta king over tasks that traditionally were the domain of nation states, whether democratic or not. They become part of what Saskia Sassen has referred to as a 'crisis of governance', in which political decision-making and co ntrol is shifting away from national governments towards private and public NGO's of all sorts and types.

NGO's which do not only survey, criticise and complement such governmental structures, but which take on an active role in replacing government functions, can be called PGO's. The PGO theme will focus specifically on new non-institutionalised ways in which people organise themselves around cultural, social, and political concerns that emerge in the internationally networked communication environments.

This implies that the PGO cannot be seen as generally good or bad. Rather, the hypothesis of the PGO suggests that for many independent initiatives and organisations, the question of responsibility and power is changing i n a fundamental way. Whereas they used to be able to define themselves as the 'other' of given power structures, the erosion of hierarchical political structures has created a more heterogeneous political arena in which p ublic agency is 'up for grabs'. Much of the political vacuum is created and filled by unholy alliances between political and private actors, who make sure that they benefit from the retreat of the nation state. But many well-meaning, morally sound, independent PGO are also finding themselves in a position where they have to switch from strategies of protest and campaigning, to strategies of political agency and the building of organisatio nal structures.

The PGO theme at the N5M3 tries to straddle the double-sidedness of the theme. It tries to formulate a constructive critique of the PGO, pointing out its dangers and, at the same time, analysing the most creative and insp iring models for building PGOs. After all, there is a continuing need for new, critical and independent organisations that are able to challenge the debilitating and exploiting political structures that stifle large parts of the world. And why not learn from the successes and failures of Saatchi & Saatchi, Soros, the IMF, financial consulting companies and informal networks of independent radio producers?

Experience has shown that, in many ways, organisations like Greenpeace and Amnesty International are better equipped to deal with the conditions the new system of power create. This is partly due to the fact that they hav e always been organised as distributed, international entities, relying heavily on their communications infrastructures. They also seem to be more fit for the new environment because they are organised around spheres of i nterest rather than traditional geographic and socio- political structures. However, while the NGO's have become important actors in the arena of international and global politics, they have also become bureaucratic struc tures that often act as a 'state without the state', with little or no democratic accountability or legitimisation.

The PGO is neither East nor West, North or South, nor Post East/ West/Modern, it is rather an attempt at an answer to the contradictions and the syndromes of globalisation. Therefore, some people prefer to translate PGO a s Post Global Organisation. For them, the crucial question at this stage is not so much the relation with governmental structures, but how we can get over the myths of globalisation, and what the necessary organisational structures for this era beyond the ideology of globalism would be.

The challenge for the PGO strand at the N5M3 will be not to get stuck in an impasse, but to use the critical debate as a starting point for a fresh approach to the construction and the shaping of strong static organisatio ns, both beyond stifling debates about the nation state as well as beyond the NGO question.

The PGO Design Show

Get Organised! Design Your Own Post-Governmental Organisation

As a part of the PGO debate, N5M3 will host a unique 'PGO Design Show, in which contributors will present the most and the least effective strategies for achieving global presence. The PGO Contest will offer models and co unter-models, witty and serious, inspiring and ridiculous proposals for organisations that just might change the world for the better.

An open call is issued to all those who have the blue-print for a Post-Governmental Organisation and who want to present it to an international audience of enthusiastic, desperate, and power- hungry minds.
After an initial selection, the most promising 15-20 model PGO's will be demonstrated and discussed during the PGO Design Gala at the N5M3.

Categories can cover a wide variety of areas like:

- the independent tactical Internet Service Provider - the PGO that legally issues passports to the Sans Papiers - the attorney who got rich on fighting the McLibel-case - the first virtual trade union for digital workers - the international company for helping illegal citizens crossing borders - the producer of the most effective infowar weaponry - the video company that won an Oscar with its promo video for the PMF (Proletarian Monetary Fund) - the Culture Board for cultures in ruin, which fights the state's disregard for culture - the PGO that recycles redundant, y2k-incompatible computer hardware to Silicon Alley's next generation - the Interfund that replaces public funding for media culture (Create Your Own Solutions) - the Bureau of Investigation and Counter-Surveillance that tackles racism in police and other public organisations.

Do Your Own PGO!

If you want to enter your own NGO design, please, get in touch with the editorial team, with a short outline of your achievements and future plans.

PGO contact person: Andreas Broeckmann


The Tactical and the Technical

From hacktivists to satellite pirates, the Next 5 Minutes 3 will feature projects that bend and stretch the possibilities of media technology. All levels are possible but we will definitely not fetishise high tech solution s. In fact N5M3 will counter the obsession with high technology. Instead of glitching the high-tech fantasies of many of the international art & tech events, N5M3 will make a vigorous effort to go low-tech.

Most media, and certainly common media, heavily depend on technology. "Media", actually is a term which is very hard to define; in many meanings of the word "media", technology is already implied. N5M3 will focus not only on the tactical potential of (new) media, it also wishes to reflect on the developments of media and media technology. The choice of media that we use, and the way we use these media is not completely self- evident or coi ncidental. Nor is it fully our own conscious decision. The construction of media technology instead is deeply political and political-economical.

The current techno-hype, propagating the consumption of computer technology with increasing speed, is an example of technology development that is hardly questioned. Even in 'leftist' environments it is taken for granted that every few years all computers must be replaced by brand new ones in order to be able to run the latest Windows or Mac version.

Showing long-forgotten media, redundant computers or provocatively silly machines, N5M3 will ironically glamorise obsolete technology, and thus create some historic awareness and maybe form some kind of antidote to the hype. We will attempt to rewrite media history, perhaps to learn that the technology that survives is not necessarily the best.

Our high-tech hype is not just temporarily bound, but also spatially. What can high-tech computers do in countries where villages hardly have water or food, let alone electricity and phone connections? Which media are most effective in rural mainly illiterate areas in India? How to develop media strategies if high-tech is for economic or political reasons completely absent?

Of course, N5M3 will also look at campaigns where current technology is being used. Can armchair electronic civil disobedience be an effective campaigning strategy? Will the latest generation DV camcorders really contribute to the democratisation of the TV image? How can consumer technology be used in a struggle for emancipation or for raising awareness?

The How Low Can You Go Show

On Friday night there will be the grand "How Low Can You Go?" show. This event will bring together a host of ironic, artistic, subversive attempts to ditch the tech barrier. The show will present work of international gro ups who explore the aesthetics and charm of low-slow-no-tech, and the amazing power of forgotten media. How low can we go? We see no reason to stop until the show is the over, which ultimately means that we will have to go from " low-tech" to "no-tech", which is exactly what we plan to do.

Additional workshop:

1. Tactical Radio Today: small transmitters and narrowcasting.. .The architectures of, both related to live events and sound archives (MPEG 3)... A taskforce to develop an open standard for streaming sounds... Laptop radio stations using and handy phones...

Tactical/Technical contact person: Gerbrand Oudenaarden


Tactical Education

Education can happen in many different contexts. Besides the formal learning institutions, education and learning is happening all the time in cultural and social contexts where people exchange ideas and experiences in a concentrated way. Art, culture and social action in the field of new media technologies contribute in an important way to creating awareness about the powerful effects of media, and help to raise media-literacy.  Educat ion can also play a critical role in situations where profound social and political change is taking place. The profusion of electronic media across many societies has accelerated the rate of social and political change t hroughout the world, yet an answer as to how to develop appropriate educational models that can operate under such rapidly changing conditions has not been developed.

N5M3 wishes to explore new models of education and learning that can play a critical role in processes of social and political change. The emphasis will be placed on non- institutional forms of learning, where media can p lay an empowering role for local communities and people's real-life concerns.

The Tactical Education strand within Next 5 Minutes 3 will bring together alternative strategies and models for education that testify to a critical awareness of the powerful effects, and the multiple roles of media in ou r societies. The choices for a particular medium in an educational process will depend to a large degree on the local context in which an initiative operates. While a critical examination of distance learning models and t he use of networked media for educational purposes may, for instance, be critical to bridge the traditionally large information gaps between urban centres and rural periphery in central and eastern Europe, community radio projects might be of much more importance in Nepal. In the US, on the other hand, a web centred project such as the Computer Clubhouse could be one crucial tool to involve inner-city youth in a learning process, whilst poetry slam sessions could be another.

Tactical Education will deal with new learning environments and media related models of learning that happen very much outside of the traditional context and institutions of education. The theme is an attempt to develop t he connection between the tactical, the media, and education.

The question of access to media and communication systems is only one side of the coin. Access without competence is a struggle already lost before it has begun. Media-literacy, and competence in the use of both the old and the new media, are crucial concerns for Next 5 Minutes 3. Especially the innovative independent new media cultures that have emerged in recent years around the world, provide a fascinating insight in the new ways in which local communities can indeed be empowered by new media tools. At the same time they show an ability to see through the golden promises of the international media and ICT industries, and make a wide audience aware of the critical roles these media and technologies play in our daily lives, around the globe.

The Tactical Education theme divides into three parts:

1. Media Literacy and Competence

This panel discussion is devoted to innovative models for the transfer of critical skills and competence in using and interpreting media, and that offer ways in which media can be used as truly empowering practice. The panel presents initiatives from such diverse backgrounds as Columbia, Bangladesh, the USA, the UK, and Serbia.

2. Conflict Resolution in Education

It is a well known fact that media often play a critical role in stirring up social and political conflicts. By affecting perceptions and representations of conflicting issues, media can also be instrumental to resolve th ese issues. Media related learning models can provide instruments to resolve political and other tensions on a grass-roots level. The workshop brings together successful examples of such models from various parts of the world to learn from each other, and inspire future acti on.

3. Slam Poetry, Rap and Spoken Words

On the Saturday evening Next 5 Minutes 3 will host a show program involving projects that explore the border area between street poetry, highly localised music cultures, and the contemporary media landscape in a tactical format. The show is organised in co-operation with the Spoken Word series at Paradiso in Amsterdam, which explores the cross over between rap music and contemporary poetry.

Tactical Education contact persons: Eric Kluitenberg and David Garcia



Cyber Feminism / Feminism & Media Strategies

The Next Cyberfeminist International conference will be held in Rotterdam from the 8th to the 11th of March 1999. This conference, initiated by the cyberfeminist group Old Boys Network and titled 'Strategies for a New Cyberfeminism', is a follow-up on the first Cyberfeminist International which took place in 1997 at the Documenta X in Kassel, Germany. One strong impetus for initiating this conference was to make information available about the many ways in which new communications, imaging and medical technologies are having profound impact on the lives, work and health of women locally and globally. Therefore, the NCI will start off with discussing the myths, utopias and histories of Cyberfeminism so far, and will continue with considering how new technologies are used by and affect women nowadays. This will be assessed through the three main themes of Feminist/Female Hacking, Women/Media/Politics/Technology, and Activism/Resistance. Conclusions, problems and points of view raised at NCI will be then further developed and put in a larger context at N5M3 through several presentations and lectures.

Cyberfeminism as a whole opens up new possibilities for several forms of feminist zeal, both in the field of theory as in everyday practice. Issues of geographical embodied versus virtual identity and subjectivity, of feminist activism and hacktivism through the net, of the relation to current everyday women's experiences, of the intersection with discourses on class, sexuality, ethnicity and geographical location, and of the relation with feminist histories will be addressed. Furthermore, the connection of cyberfeminism to various other media forms like the printed press, film and e-mail used for feminist purposes will be explored at N5M3 as well as potential activist and theoretical alliances regarding common feminist goals.

Contact person: Ingrid Hoofd

Inter East Forum

Since the sudden collapse of the Thai baht, in June 1997, the currency crisis in the Asia-Pacific region has grown into an economic crisis, and one not contained within the region. In the west, the crisis hit with all the force of a global media event, shattering the impression of an 'Asian economic miracle'. Of course there were those in both the west and the east who knew the shaky foundations of crony capitalism and global finance capital opportunism on which the miracle was built, but these voices subsisted in the margin. Now that economic recession has triggered political crisis, particularly in Indonesia, and in a different way, Malaysia, it is wort h asking what role the media plays in the globalisation of capital and the growth dynamics of developing states. This forum will examine the ways in which social movements, trade unions and NGOs navigate the restricted in formation circuits -- not only in the East but also between East and West. How can tools such as video and the Internet be used? Can 'tactical media' make a difference?

Contact persons: Toshiya Ueno and Geert Lovink

South Asia Forum

During Next 5 Minutes 3 we want to devote special attention to media developments in the South-Asian region. A recent workshop for on the development of the Internet in South Asia asserts that "South Asia is the world's most illiterate region, and confronts myriad man-made and natural problems", and questions what role in particular networked media such as the Internet can play in overcoming these problems. Key representatives of important media-initiatives from the region will be invited for N5M3. We want to investigate how both the established media, as well as the Internet, can strengthen local communities. What are the specific problems the new media forms pose? The organisation of the media- and communications infrastructures differ strongly amongst the various countries. Local issues of censorship, lack of access for the local population, difficulties in accessing media production means, if not direct obstruction of the free distribution of media products (film, video, TV programs, web sites, etc.) are some of the issues that will be discussed in the wider international framework that N5M3 can provide.

Next 5 Minutes 3 will host amongst others a workshop on the development of the Internet as a tactical medium in South Asia. The workshop will address local policy issues and discuss recent developments, in particular (the possibility of) independent Internet service provision. The workshop intends to promote co-operation with similar initiatives in other parts of the world. Himal, the South Asian Magazine, has expressed interest to carry this discussion further via its magazine locally, after the conference.

Contact person: Eric Kluitenberg

Streaming Media ( Journals) and even Net.TV is growing. More and more local radio stations are going virtual. It makes worldwide audiences possible and provides possibilities to circumvent local regulations. This relative freedom is depend ent not on airwaves but on ISP's and increasingly on national regulations applied to Internet streams. How free can be, and what obstacles can be expected? How can blockades be prevented by using streaming me dia networking, mirroring sites, etc.? B92 streaming media organisations are invited to talk tactics for the free flow of streaming media. Is there a need for some public domains ISP's where access for streaming independent mediamakers is guaranteed or is this the wrong model? Do we need networked distribution, or a central point of webcasting? Streaming media makes hybrid media use possible. During the N5M3 we want to give a pl atform for different groups to exchange formats, methods and content. Different working methods, techniques, and enticing combinations of audio/video/texts and scripts, tactics for changing old into new media and vice ver sa will be explored. Many small-scale radio stations think it is beyond their means to start a virtual station. For them, special hands-on workshop for local community radio and TV stations will give an idea of what is ne eded and how a station can turn virtual.

Contact person: Nina Meilof

Amsterdam Media Debate

In tactical media circles the Amsterdam local media environment has always been looked upon as an almost utopian model. However, the recent rescheduling of the two 'open channels', the blocks of broadcasting time that several organisations and initiatives had managed to keep intact over the past few years, has been fragmented, if not almost obliterated. Furthermore, although the design of the digital public domain is an important question, we should not merely focus on this specific issue. The 'old' media are still very relevant today and will probably be so in the foreseeable future.

Since N5M has its roots in the unique, incredibly rich and diverse media culture that once existed in Amsterdam, we see it as our task to explore the mechanisms that have brought about the decline of this particular culture and to discuss potential future developments of the Amsterdam media infrastructure. We will do this in the form of a research project that will be launched during the N5M3 conference by a lecture and a panel discussion.

Contact person: Menno Grootveld

Interfund Launch Meeting

The idea for the Interfund started in the context of a number of meetings of independent artists' initiatives in the field of net culture, such as Art Servers Unlimited in London, the Net Radio Days Berlin and Xchange Unlimited in Riga. The Interfund is conceived as a real virtual fund for independent digital media art projects, a pool of shared resources, and a cooperative translocal structure. It is also an attempt of independent new media culture initiatives to stay independent and built a joint protection shield against bureaucratic structures and procedures. The Interfund is an ironic post- governmental critique of the lack in interest by official cultural and political structures to support this kind of independent new media culture, where these initiatives start to fund themselves rather than waiting for outside support. On a more practical level the Interfund will be an access point to shared resources, skills and knowledge, as well as to (international) funding. The purpose of the meeting at N5M3 is to continue the discussion that started on how such a structure could actually work, and to develop a plan how to set up the Interfund and start its operation.

Contact persons: Rasa Smite and Eric Kluitenberg

European Affairs

The Europe Debate: Recently, several attempts have been made to bring together European independent initiatives, which work in the field of new media and cyber culture. Some of meetings have stressed 'art and industry' whereas others have tried to counter balance the influence of big corporation, state-owned research labs and museums. Following the 'Practice to Policy' conference (Amsterdam, November 1997) and Linz (October 1998), the debate is now focusing on workable models, which are not competing with small, existing networks but instead function as a sustainable support systems. At Next Five Minutes a proposal will be put on the table to create a 'European Cultural Backbone', a network of networks, aimed to distribute resources such as bandwidth and expertise.

Additional presentations:

1. presentation of the P2P (Practice to Policy) Book titled 'New Media Culture in Europe', dealing with issues like innovation, art, education and the public domain in contemporary Europe.

2. presentation of the Hybrid Media Lounge Site & CD-Rom: The Hybrid Media Lounge, a searchable web database and spin-off CD- Rom, will begin the visual mapping of electronically-driven cultural networking in Europe. Hundreds of organisations, mailing lists, projects and individuals across Europe will be invited to contribute information about themselves, their activities and their thoughts on networks via a special online response form. The response page will open in mid-December 1998 and close at a mid-January deadline. The database will be set up by the Society for Old and New Media in Amsterdam, then passed on to another institution to be maintained, updated and altered, and passed on many more times after that. It is thus intended to be an ongoing collaborative project, which will periodically be saved in "freeze" form to provide a record of its development over time.

In general we seek to make a searchable database of initiatives that concern themselves with culturally productive goals (1) involving the exchange and co-production of ideas and (2) making use of electronic networks. Each organisation's entry will list contact info, projects, publications and events; provide space for the entity to explain its mission and philosophy; and collect meaningful data that can be used to build an overall picture of relative resources and cultural-political contexts. Using information supplied by the organisations and individuals themselves, we will attempt to map the links and other relationships between them. This database will be contained on a website, and a "freeze" of the database contents will be made available on CD-Rom, which will be presented at N5M3. The CD-Rom will be publicly distributed by Hybrid Media Lounge organisations, will be for sale during N5M3, and will be distributed together with the book "New Media Culture in Europe".

For more information, please go to:

Insular Technologies

After the conference, V2_Organization in Rotterdam will host a five- day N5M3 workshop (15-19 March 99) on 'Insular Technologies', in co-operation with PACT Systems Ljubljana (Marko Peljhan and Borja Jelic). 'Insular Technologies' is a system for creating an autonomous, encrypted short- wave radio- based Internet backbone between media labs world-wide, set up with the aim of becoming less dependent on the current proprietary infrastructure.

The proposal for this IT project is the implementation and construction of a High Frequency (HF) radio, point to point secure analogue-digital network first within Europe and its tactical media centres and further around the globe in the range of 1.6-30 MHz. The workshop will serve to discuss the technical, legal, political and organisational implications of the project, debouching into specific topics regarding wireless technology, encryption, international media law and marketing. In the long run, it will aim at the formation of the IT Consortium of media centres that will form the basis of the IT network.

Contact person: Andreas Broeckmann

Crisis between Aesthetics and Tactical Media

It has been seriously questioned whether art has a role or even a meaning within serious political campaigns. As Dee Dee Halleck put it in a recent mail:.... ?What does it mean to talk of art in a society in which Phillip Morris has a partnership with the Whitney Museum, in which Monsanto is sponsoring the rain forest exhibit at the Museum of Natural History? We are all living in a Banana Republic?... Nevertheless the Next 5 Minutes itself originated from within the visual arts community. And a primary goal of the conference was to provide an environment where media artists with a social agenda and groups committed exclusively to political action could meet, form alliances and learn from each other. Despite this radical pragmatism the relationship between these worlds remains uneasy and will probably continue to do so. As many leading protagonists in this argument will be present it is clearly the moment for a debate which moves beyond crude polarisation?s and seeks to identify the conditions for a renewed and viable relationship between art and political activism.

Contact person: David Garcia

Tactical Autonomous Zone (TAZ)

Besides the core programme, Next Five Minutes 3 offers a range of platforms and facilities which participants can use. There will be the possibility to set up meetings, presentations, screenings and debates, even on short notice. There is a similar open structure for the live radio, television and internet channels, where individuals and groups can get time slots to tactical media they find of interest. The open structures will exist besides the edited and curated parts of the event.

Media Output and Platforms

A combination of media platforms including Radio, TV and Webcasting will be an integral tool of the Next 5 Minutes. The main goal of these open media platforms will be to facilitate active collaboration with visiting groups as well as create environment for a artists to realise new works. As well as collaborations with visitors the cable TV team will be covering debates and other live-events, as well as transmitting a selection of the tapes brought by guests. In addition there will be an on-line journal allowing for extensive online coverage of the event . An extensive video library and archive will also be available to all visitors.

Contact person: Menno Grootveld


During the conference there will be a program of formal screenings related to the themes of this conference. And we are also continuing to develop our already extensive archive of tactical media. During the previous editions of the Next 5 Minutes we have asked tactical media practitioners to contribute to our growing archive of tapes (and other media, CD roms etc.). This archive is available to visitors during the conference for both formal screenings and informal viewings. In previous conferences many groups agree to donate their work to the archive which is permanently housed at the Dutch not for profit, Foundation for Social movements where it is both conserved and also made available for researchers. The Next 5 Minutes 3 is an ideal opportunity to continue to develop this archive with its accompanying data base, which will be an invaluable source of information both for today's activists and researchers and for generations to come.

A series of films and videos related to the tactical media theme will be screened at N5M3. There is also space available for screening recent material that deals with the conference themes.

The Next 5 Minutes 3 is a joint effort of:

- The Society for Old and New Media (
- De Balie (
- Paradiso (
- V2_ Organisation (
- The Digital City (
- Montevideo/TBA (
- Bellissima (
- and many other organisations

The Next 5 Minutes 3

Production Office c/o De Balie
Kleine Gartmanplantsoen 10,
The Netherlands

Producer Gerbrand Oudenaarden
Production Staff:
Ingrid Hoofd, Joyce van Otterdijk, Giselle Micolo, Esther Hocks

Editorial Team:
Geert Lovink, Eric Kluitenberg, David Garcia, Andreas Broeckmann, Patrice Riemens, Marleen Stikker, Caroline Nevejan, Nina Meilof, Menno Grootveld, Kees Brienen, Gerbrand Oudenaarden.