Archive for 2012

Video Vortex #9: 28 February – 2 March 2013, Lüneburg, Germany

Posted: December 20, 2012 at 9:40 am  |  By: Miriam Rasch  | 

Video Vortex #9
28 Feb. – 2 March 2013
Lüneburg, Germany
Centre for Digital Cultures
Leuphana University

Networked video has entered a new phase and become part of major configurations. The days of pioneers and amateurs seem to be over, as do the old worlds of professional broadcasting networks: Digital technologies have professionalized production, and do-it-yourself skills have established new styles and formats. Tubes, channels and domains for mobile video are part of our everyday digital life. These tectonic shifts – from amateur and professional to an assemblage of media creators, from spectators to participants, and from a single viewpoint to parallax perspectives – have given rise to effects of a geographical and generational scope yet to be determined. The ninth edition of Video Vortex proposes that now is a time to re-engage with a structural and contextual analysis of online video culture.

Two keynotes will extend the discursive field of Video Vortex #9: Beth Coleman will re-engage local affairs with visions of networked activism, and Nishant Shah will unpack video at the digital turn as object, as process, and as a symptom of the transnational flow of ideology, ideas and infrastructure, especially in emerging information societies in the uneven landscape of globalization.

VV9 also features a number of performative lectures and thematic workshops dealing with video realities. We will follow up on the long tails of rebellion with Mosireen Collective in Cairo and Margarita Tsomou in Athens. Boris Traue and Achim Kredelbach, aka Jo Cognito, will discuss YouTube’s recent forays into televisual terrain and its delegation of organizing power to commercial “networks” and media agencies. Boaz Levin will look at the way media gravitates towards im-mediating events, and Miya Yoshida will critically question familiar terminologies from “amateur” and “user” to “prosumer” and “citizen reporter.”

In the run-up to the actual Video Vortex event, international video correspondents have been investigating phenomenologies of video online. After 10 joyful years of global ubiquity, the conference will also engage with reinventions of the local under conditions of digital culture. A collaboration with the local video activist collective, whose activities are linked with antinuclear protests in Wendland (near Lüneburg), will explore mobile video in (alternative) news journalism. Artist Stephanie Hough will join with local participants to oppose tracking and other incursions into our screen lives by turning a public square into a stage for a mass lip-sync.

The future of film as it fuses with video in the digital realm, and the reconfiguration of its aesthetics, interfaces, production and distribution, will be discussed with Thomas Østbye and Edwin, the directors behind the participatory film project 17,000 Islands, and explored by Seth Keen in the domain of interactive documentary on the web. Alejo Duque and Robert Ochshorn will analyze the technological appearances and travesties of video, the soft power of codecs and compression in the information complex, and how to “interface.”

A liquid publication will go live as a sourcebook shortly before VV9 and continue to expand during collaborative editing sessions at the event in Lüneburg, ultimately living on as a multifaceted publication.

The full program will be published shortly on

Please register for the conference and workshops here:

If you plan to attend Video Vortex #9, we recommend you book your hotel early or contact us for help.

VV9 is organized by Leuphana University’s Moving Image Lab and Post-Media Lab. A portion of VV9 also constitutes the first part of the ANALOG event series, sponsored by the university’s Centre for Digital Cultures.

VV9 is funded through Innovation Incubator, a major EU project financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the federal state of Lower Saxony.

Network Cultures Links – November

Posted: November 30, 2012 at 9:30 am  |  By: Miriam Rasch  | 

Facebook continues to anger its users. Last week timelines flooded with people claiming their copyright over their profile with a single status update - as if they never agreed to Facebook policy. (Half a day later the other half of the timeline flooded with Batman cartoons punching the silly copyright-believers in the face. Both were probably equally annoying in their uniformity of response.)

About a month ago Dangerous Minds already claimed in a very good read: Facebook I Want My Friends Back!

You could also try and take Facebook to court. Facebook privacy targeted by Austrian law student, but 'to carry on his war against Facebook, Max Schrems figures he needs at least 200,000 euros'.

On the other hand, are we overestimating Facebook's and Twitter's importance? Dark Social: We Have the Whole History of the Web Wrong. Alexis Madrigal claims most sharing is done via dark social means like email, not 'social media'.

The Berliner Gazette held the conference Digital Backyards and put a lot of documentation online as a result: What are (European) alternatives to Google and Facebook?

Mark Cuban on the Huffingpost Post: What I Really Think About Facebook. 'At the core of the issues I have with Facebook is how it thinks about itself.'

Fears for civil liberties as Apple patents technology that could remotely disable protesters' smartphones. 'Civil liberties campaigners fear it could be misused by the authorities to silence 'awkward citizens'.'

Could it be imaginable, let alone a reality? And apart from completion, does Wikipedia show the quality we desire? Surmounting the Insurmountable: Wikipedia Is Nearing Completion, in a Sense

Wikipedia vs. Bitcoin: The Full Faith and Credit of Wikipedia

Check out the blog Culture Digitally, with for example a post on The Materiality of Algorithms and The Relevance of Algorithms

Media and expression: theses in tweetform. Nicholas Carr expresses his views in 20 tweets

'Computers are getting invisible. They shrink and hide. They lurk under
the skin and dissolve in the cloud.' Read the essay Invisible and Very Busy by Olia Lialina about users here.

Another long read, already old in the online age, but still woth mentioning: Inside the Mansion - and Mind - of Kim Dotcom, the Most Wanted Man on the Net

So, what is The New Aesthetic?

Posted: November 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm  |  By: Miriam Rasch  |  Tags: , , , , ,

So, what is The New Aesthetic? It’s a buzzword for sure, but no one seems to be able to define it. Even the question whether it refers to an art movement, a style in design, or just simply a Tumblr-blog isn’t easily answered. SETUP Utrecht put together a small exhibition around this phenomenon and invited three speakers to help clear the picture. After an introduction by Tijmen Schep of SETUP, it was up to artist Darko Fritz, designer Frank Kloos, and researcher David M. Berry to get the discussion going.

It all started with James Bridle’s Tumblr, followed by a much-discussed essay by Bruce Sterling. Think of portraits made out of pixels (or sculptures even), #iseefaces, but also soundscapes constructed through algorithmic software. No wait, actually it started in the 60’s, as Darko Fritz showed. The first computer art was made; multidisciplinary artists used biology, artificial intelligence and well, art, to create a new vision of reality. Now this ‘computer art’ has exploded into the new aesthetic, boasting neon colour, freaky videos and retweets. How does the computer see the world? How does it recognize humans? Interpret patterns? And how do we in turn respond to that? Tijmen Schep called it ‘painting the black box colourful again’ (but also asking whether it would not be better to actually open it) – which resonated nicely with Frank Kloos proclaiming Malevich Black Square the first (and most radical) pixel painting ever. Read the rest of this entry »

Network Cultures Links – October

Posted: October 19, 2012 at 9:59 am  |  By: Miriam Rasch  | 

Wikipedia’s dark side: Censorship, revenge editing & bribes a significant issue. For more on Wikipedia, take a look at the INC-project Critical Point of View.

Matthew Fuller interviews Ben Grosser about Facebook Demetricator: 'a tool for adapting the social network’s interface so that the numerical data it foregrounds is removed. No longer is the focus on how many friends one has or how many comments they’ve gotten, but on who those friends are and what they’ve written.' Don’t Give Me the Numbers

On Google Throws Open Doors to Its Top-Secret Data Center - with some lovely images.

Call for Book Chapters for the Springer-Verlag Handbook: Convergent Divergence? - Cross-Disciplinary Viewpoint on Media Convergence. Upcoming deadline December 1st 2012.

Read online: 'There is no information, only transformation'. An interview with Bruno Latour by Geert Lovink and Pit Schultz Hybrid Workspace, Documenta X, Kassel, August 16, 1997

'On the one hand, you have all the social networks that you know. They're about 43.5 percent of our social traffic. On the other, you have this previously unmeasured darknet that's delivering 56.5 percent of people to individual stories. This is not a niche phenomenon! It's more than 2.5x Facebook's impact on the site.' Dark Social: We Have the Whole History of the Web Wrong

Peer progressives 'believe in social progress, and we believe the most powerful tool to advance the cause of progress is the peer network.' About the new book by Steven Johnson Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age: Comrades, Join the “Peer Progressive” Movement!

A long essay on Facebook and the difficulties alternative social networking sites face: What Happened to the Facebook Killer? It's Complicated

Computational Culture, issue 2

Posted: October 5, 2012 at 6:41 am  |  By: Miriam Rasch  | 

Read the second issue of Computational Culture, a journal of software studies, with articles on subjects ranging from location-aware social media, Google's PageRank to a methodology for software studies. Boris Ružić wrote an extensive review of Geert Lovink's Networks Without a Cause. Available online at

Network Cultures Links

Posted: September 28, 2012 at 9:55 am  |  By: Miriam Rasch  | 

We all gave up MySpace long ago, but now that they issue a new design, the question arises: Is MySpace the new Facebook?

The Electronic Frontier Foundation takes A Deep Dive into Facebook and Datalogix: What's Actually Getting Shared and How You Can Opt Out.

'So what is Facebook doing? It is asking the denizens of Facebook to essentially narc out any "friends" who are using a fake name.' Big Brother Facebook Wants You To Rat Out Your Friends

The Kernel has no doubts: It's time to quit Facebook

Peter Gunn at the Huffington Post: Time To Socialize Social Media

When was the last time a show made your browser (crash) laugh? Check

In the Street Ghosts project Paolo Cirio exposes the bodies of people captured by Google’s Street View cameras, marked in Street Art fashion at the precise spot in the real world where they were photographed.

What is Tent? Tent is a new protocol for open, distributed social networking. is the easiest way to start using Tent hosts a Tent server for you comes with a free status app

In Dutch on frnkfrt: Retromania als levenshouding – sprekers op Incubate DIY Conference leven in het verleden. Over Simon Reynolds, Mark Fisher en Robert Levine: 'is dit écht 2012?'

Creative Networks In the Rearview Mirror of Eastern European History by Rasa Smite

Posted: September 28, 2012 at 8:00 am  |  By: Miriam Rasch  | 

The Amsterdam Institute of Network Cultures presents:

Theory on Demand #11

Rasa Smite, Creative Networks In the Rearview Mirror of Eastern European History

This study explores the dawn of internet culture from an Eastern European perspective. Starting with a theoretical angle several networks are introduced and interpreted as complex socio-technical systems. The author analyzes the development of self-organized formations that started off as 'virtual communities', 'creative networks' that emerged from the early days of internet culture during the roaring mid 1990s until today's social media. Along with translocal case studies of Nettime, Syndicate, Faces and Xchange, as well as other important facets of early network culture in Europe, the study looks into the local E-Lab initiative in Riga, Latvia. Describing the pioneering network culture of 1990s, this study reflects on the larger changes in the social structure of today's society, 15 years later, that occur as follow-ups of these earlier socio-technical transformations.

Rasa Smite is an artist, network researcher and cultural inventor, working with emerging media since the mid-1990s. She holds a PhD in sociology from the Riga Stradins University and currently is Associate Professor and Researcher in the Art Research Lab at Liepaja University. Rasa Smite is founding director of the Center for New Media Culture RIXC in Riga ( and founder of Internet culture and networked art projects such as Xchange, Acoustic Space Lab and more recently the Renewable Network. Together with her centre she organizes the annual festival Art+Communication (since 1996), curates networked art exhibitions and publishes Acoustic Space journal series, introducing novel themes such as internet radio (1997), locative media (2003), electromagnetic waves as material and medium in art (2006), art and renewable energy (2009), techno-ecologies (2009) and the art of resilience (2012).

Translation (from Latvian): Linda Vebere. Copy editing: Miriam Rasch. Design: Katja van Stiphout. DTP: Margreet Riphagen. Printer: ‘Print on Demand’. Publisher: Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam 2012. ISBN: 978-90-818575-0-5.

Free download as PDF here:

Available as a print-on-demand title at

With a Web reader online at Issuu:

Or read the book on the Web with Scribd:

Nieuwe manieren van publiceren over kunst en cultuur

Posted: September 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm  |  By: Miriam Rasch  | 

Conferentie Open, 12 september 2012

De komende bezuinigingen treffen de hele culturele sector en ook Open, organisator van de conferentie over de toekomst van publiceren in kunst en cultuur, ontkomt er niet aan. Net als de Rijkskacademie in Amsterdam, waar op 12 september de bijeenkomst plaatsvond. De toekomst is digitaal voor instellingen in het nauw, natuurlijk ook vanwege de technologische ontwikkelingen. Op de overvolle conferentie komen alle vragen wel een keer langs. Waaruit bestaat een levendig online platform voor kunstenaars en kunstliefhebbers? Hoe verhouden die platforms zich tot traditionele ‘artbooks’? Welke gevolgen heeft digitaal uitgeven voor het hele uitgeefproces – van schrijver, vormgeving en redactie tot en verkoop en lezen? We zitten in een economisch gat en in een technologisch gat, zo vatte Florian Cramer het in de einddiscussie samen. Dat betekent aan de ene kant hopeloos zoeken en verlies draaien, maar aan de andere kant kan iedereen nú de toekomst van het uitgeven mee vormgeven.

Het ging eigenlijk over te veel dingen om een duidelijke voorstelling te krijgen van het veld of van mogelijke oplossingen. Schrijven over kunst – online of op papier – is niet te vergelijken met kunstenaars die kunstwerken maken in de vorm van artbooks. ‘De lezer’ bestaat evenmin: een roman kan makkelijk op een e-reader worden gelezen, maar een kunstboek waarbij beeld voorop staat niet. Toch kwamen een paar ideeën steeds terug, ook al was het in een andere vorm. Read the rest of this entry »

Save the date, Video Vortex #9 Lüneburg

Posted: September 12, 2012 at 7:08 pm  |  By: margreet  |

All too often the (theoretical) discourse on moving images and online video is out of sync with the actual field of video culture and its most current phenomenologies and developments. Therefore we want to gather videos of all shades with the help of “navigators,” people we trust to point out and profile some of the groups or constellations of video that make up the wild and divergent currents of video culture.

While English remains the default language for international communication, we also look for video cultures inside Russia’s Runet, behind the Chinese firewall and in African countries’ active social (video) networks. How to search by yourself without speaking Mandarin or Russian? How to get outside your filter bubble? What else is there beyond viral video and amateur clips posted by the evening news? What do new forms of video look like? Is it still the so-called amateur behind the camera, or do we find new notions of professionalism? How do different cultural uses of online media become visible?

To expand Video Vortex beyond the conference, we will augment the conference experience with video-related input of all sorts. Everybody has had personal and often erratic glimpses via channels, subscriptions, circles of acquaintance, specialized blogs, mailing lists, etc. Rather than static archives of edited files we find fragments, links and lists, enigmatic in unknown contexts. Tools and methods are as diversified as the forms of video culture itself.

We invited correspondents in Tokyo, Athens, Moscow, Lagos, Beijing and other places to observe and select videos from their local spheres, and to comment on their specific grammar. We are interested in video clips such as glitches, mashups, activist recordings, tutorials, news clips and media criticism as a way of understanding local politics, technologies, visual culture – and languages.

The conference will take place from 28 February to 2 March, 2013 in Lueneburg, near Hamburg.



Intersectional Conflict and Dialogue in Transnational Migrant and Digital Diaspora Networks – Call for Papers

Posted: September 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm  |  By: margreet  | 

11-12 April 2013

Department of Social Sciences, Wilberforce Bldg., University of Hull.

Keynote Speakers:

Leopoldina Fortunati, University of Udine, Italy

Andreas Hepp, University of Bremen, Germany

Mirca Madianou, University of Leicester, UK

Jo van der Spek, Director of Migrant to Migrant Radio, Holland

New structures of being and experience in hybrid media environments and social networks point to the continuities and discontinuities of modes of conflict and dialogue, but also offer new dialectical necessities to be explored. Migrants, far more than other groups in society, with their experiences rich in borderlessness, struggle, resistance and empowerment, raise a double challenge when we attempt to research politics of digital presence.

We invite colleagues to raise to this challenge and to discuss migrant ideology, organization, affect, agency and discourses; to comment on digital objects and media produced by pro-migrant and anti-migrant groups and diaspora communities; and to discuss the impact of race, gender, ethnicity and class on everyday discourses in networked digital and hybrid environments.

With an eye to European migration policy and the possibility for a digital public sphere with a European flavor, we particularly welcome - but will not restrict to - the presentation of recent research on conflict and migration in Europe, as well as research focusing on the possibilities of dialogue and democratic praxis in the European digital public sphere beyond the representational.

This conference is part of Hull’s dissemination activities for the European FP7 project MIG@NET 'Transnational Digital Networks: Migration and Gender' and it is in joint collaboration with Geert Lovink and the Institute of Network Cultures.

The deadline for abstracts is 1st of December 2012. 

Please submit your abstract and affiliation to Athina Karatzogianni at or

There is no conference registration charge or any other fees.

Abstracts will be peer reviewed by the conference panel with the aid of external evaluators, and shall be accepted solely on the basis of merit and relevance.

This is the event link if you want to share with your contacts.


Special Panels Organization:

Dennis Nguyen, PhD Candidate, University of Hull.

Elisa Serafinelli, PhD Candidate, University of Hull.