303 Articles

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Recombinant Television 

VakuumTV was founded in February 1994 on the initiative of Laszlo Kistamas and currently includes Dora Csernatony, Ferenc Grof, Laszlo Kistamas, and Attila Till. Its members presented weekly broadcasts on Monday nights at the most popular cultural club in Budapest, Tilos az A. Between February 1994 and September 1997 Vakuum TV broadcast 52 shows, and after 3 years of rest, started broadcasting again in 2000. Each show blended short films, interactive engagements between the audience and the announcer, and live performances but each used a very different content to create a parallel televisual reality.

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Rise and Decline of the Syndicate: the End of an Imagined Community 

To: nettime-l {AT} bbs.thing.net
Subject: <nettime> Rise and Decline of the Syndicate
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 15:52:49 +0100

The Syndicate mailing list imploded and went down in August 2001, destroying the life-line of the Syndicate network. The network had been in a shaky situation for a while, due - we believe - to the destabilisation of the problematic balance between personal contacts of list members, lurking and filtering-and-not-reading-let-alone-posting subscribers, and a growing number of self-promoters who used the list as a personal performance space and disregarded the social rules of the online community.


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Utopian Promises-Net Realities 

The need for net criticism certainly is a matter of overwhelming urgency. While a number of critics have approached the new world of computerized communications with a healthy amount of skepticism, their message has been lost in the noise and spectacle of corporate hype-the unstoppable tidal wave of seduction has enveloped so many in its dynamic utopian beauty that little time for careful reflection is left. Indeed, a glimpse of a possibility for a better future may be contained in the new techno-apparatus, and perhaps it is best to acknowledge these possibilities here in the beginning, since Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) has no desire to take the position of the neoluddites who believe that the techno-apparatus should be rejected outright, if not destroyed. To be sure, computerized communications offer the possibility for the enhanced storage, retrieval, and exchange of information for those who have access to the necessary hardware, software, and technical skills. In turn, this increases the possibility for greater access to vital information, faster exchange of information, enhanced distribution of information, and cross cultural artistic and critical collaborations. The potential humanitarian benefits of electronic systems are undeniable; however, CAE questions whether the electronic apparatus is being used for these purposes in the representative case, much as we question the political policies which guide the net's development and accessibility.

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Distance versus Desire 

The desire to transcend distance and separation has accompanied the history of media technology for many centuries. Various attempts to realise the demand for a presence from a distance have produced beautiful imaginaries such as those of telepresence and ubiquity, the electronic cottage and the reinvigoration of  the oikos, and certainly not least among them the reduction of physical mobility in favour of an ecologically more sustainable connected life style.  As current systems of hypermobility are confronted with an unfolding energy crisis and collide with severe ecological limits - most prominently in the intense debate on global warming - citizens and organisations in advanced and emerging economies alike are forced to reconsider one of the most daring projects of the information age: that a radical reduction of physical mobility is possible through the use of advanced telepresence technologies.

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Media, Activism and Society of the Spectacle 

Our ability to move into a collectively imagined future has been trapped in an ever-present now, composed of continually transmitted images. The spectacle accompanies us throughout our lives. News, propaganda, advertising, entertainment and social media present a continuous stream of imagery, projecting a constant justification for how our culture is formulated. When Guy Debord first published The Society of the Spectacle in 1967, the digital revolution was still decades away and the technological capacity to project images into every corner of our lives was far less developed than it is today. The spectacle is no longer simply all of the time; it is also everywhere. More than ever before, Debord's words apply: "Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation."

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The Power of Social Media - The Helplessness of Traditional Media and #direngeziparki #direnankara, #direnizmir 

Residents of Istanbul started a peaceful sit-in as a reaction to the city governments plans to demolish Taksim Square's Gezi Park on the May 29th 2013. The demolition was part of the plan to replace the park and construct a shopping mall on one of the only green areas left in the central cross road of Istanbul. The reaction was sparked by a decision making process that lacked any consultation with citizens. Inhabitants of the city initiated this on-site protest to raise their voices against the demolition plans, but also to exercise their right to freedom of speech and to freedom of assembly in a democratic society.

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Networked Disruption 

The current techno-economic paradigm of Web 2.0 has challenged notions of art and hacktivism within digital culture. The book "Networked Disruption" takes up this challenge and discusses a new perspective on political and social criticism. It simultaneously asks what are the conditions for hacker and artistic practices under Web 2.0 and how can social networking be seen to build on and incorporate artistic practices from the earlier decades of digital and network culture.

Through its theoretical discussion of contemporary art and hacktivism, the book maps out a new contradictory space for art and criticism: Networked disruption.

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Dawn of the Organised Networks 

At first glance the concept of "organised networks" appears oxymoronic. In technical terms, all networks are organised. There are founders, administrators, moderators and active members who all take up roles. Think also back to the early work on cybernetics and the "second order" cybernetics of Bateson and others. Networks consist of mobile relations whose arrangement at any particular time is shaped by the "constitutive outside" of feedback or noise.[1] The order of networks is made up of a continuum of relations governed by interests, passions, affects and pragmatic necessities of different actors. The network of relations is never static, but this is not to be mistaken for some kind of perpetual fluidity. Ephemerality is not a condition to celebrate for those wishing to function as political agents.

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Paolo Gerbaudo, Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism 

"Tweets and the Streets analyses the culture of the new protest movements of the 21st century. From the Arab Spring to the "indignados" protests in Spain and the Occupy movement, Paolo Gerbaudo examines the relationship between the rise of social media and the emergence of new forms of protest. Gerbaudo argues that activists' use of Twitter and Facebook does not fit with the image of a "cyberspace" detached from physical reality. Instead, social media is used as part of a project of re-appropriation of public space, which involves the assembling of different groups around "occupied" places such as Cairo's Tahrir Square or New York's Zuccotti Park."

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Indymedia: It's time to move on 

Indymedia is the name given to a particular network with a rather uneven global reach, to which many hundreds of local independent media projects, mostly web-based, have been affiliated at one time or another. It is also the name for a particular approach to news media - one that attempts to avoid hierarchal production and hence promote grassroots reports on events.

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Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto 

In memoriam: Aaron Swartz

Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world's entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations. Want to read the papers featuring the most famous results of the sciences? You'll need to send enormous amounts to publishers like Reed Elsevier.

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Mediate YourSelf! 

At the end of the third 'Next 5 Minutes' conference on tactical media (March 1999) in Amsterdam, an interesting discussion emerged around the question of how the minor media practices elaborated and highlighted in this vibrant event would ever reach a wider audience for lack of being covered by any mainstream outlet. At one point, some people from the back of the room (unfortunately I don't know anymore who exactly, I believe an Italian group), shouted: 'We don't want to be mediated - we mediate ourselves!'

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Media Without an Audience 

Presence in the mediated environment of digital networks is probably one of the most complex phenomena of the new types of social interaction that have emerged in these environments. In the current phase of radical deployment (or penetration) of the Internet, various attempts are being made to come to terms with the social dynamics of networked communication spaces. It seems that traditional media theory is not able to contextualise these social dynamics, as it remains stuck on a meta-level discourse of media and power structures (Virilio), hyperreality (Baudrillard), or on a retrograde analysis of media structures deeply rooted in the functionality and structural characteristics of broadcast media (McLuhan).

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The Internet Freedom Fallacy and Arab Digital Activism 

This article focuses on grassroots digital activism in the Arab world and the risks of what seems to be an inevitable collusion with U.S foreign policy and interests. It sums up the most important elements of the conversation I have been having for the last two years with many actors involved in defending online free speech and the use of technology for social and political change. While the main focus is Arab digital activism, I have made sure to include similar concerns raised by activists and online free speech advocates from other parts of the world, such as China, Thailand, and Iran.

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