Call for collaboration: Public Space Invaders

Posted: April 5, 2012 at 8:32 am  |  By: Serena Westra  |  Tags: , , ,

Public Space Invaders

A collaborative research on collective urban activism [1] is asking for your attention. Seeking for alternatives to administration driven city construction, the focus lies on self-organized projects who practically reshape public space.

To visualize the demographic topology of the practitioners network as well as inherent project patterns, Quatorze [2] develops an online interface [3]. Still in the early alpha phase, it already allows to sketch hypotheses about the network.

Given that the LAA [4] - Lab oratoire Architecture / Anthropologie - is funding the socioscientific part of the research, to continue with the knowledge mapping tool, the PSI crew is especially looking for fundings within the field of network culture and knowledge representation.

If you know anyone, wheather organization, institution or private person, who might be interested in supporting this endeavour, please contact the researchers [5] directly.

Public Space Invaders can be seen live end of May in Barcelona [6] and end of August in Cologne [7].

Merci beaucoup.


| International Geography Congress 2012 | Field : Urbanisation & Demographic Change | Session : Urban utopias and heterotopias: Theorizing, analyzing, and evaluating urban spaces

Video Vortex #6: Call for Contributions

Posted: September 16, 2010 at 10:53 am  |  By: sabine  |  Tags: , ,

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: Video Vortex Amsterdam - March 11-12, 2011.

Video Vortex is coming back to Amsterdam! Having contributed to the dialogue about the ever increasing potential or online video through five international events since 2007, the publication of the Video Vortex Reader and the current production of a second one, the Institute of Network Cultures will host Video Vortex #6 on March 11-12, 2011.

Video Vortex #6 will include a conference, artist presentations (talks/performances/exhibition) and hands-on workshops.

Internet, visual culture and media scholars, researchers, artists, curators, producers, lawyers, engineers, open-source and open-content advocates, activists, and others to submit abstracts, preferably within the themes listed below.

Please send an abstract of a maximum 500 words outlining your proposed talk, and a short biography of a maximum 200 words.

SEND TO: rachel(at)networkcultures(dot)org

DEADLINE: Monday, October 11, 2010.

Video Vortex:
Institute of Network Cultures:
Sign up for Video Vortex Discussion list here:
Or email: rachel(at)networkcultures(dot)org



- Open Everything and the Challenge of Cash
What is the ultimate open video? What are the new ways to produce and distribute online video as open? And what are the limits of openness online? Why would you share your content or code, what’s in it for you? What are the key economic questions for video start-ups? How can they combine a culture of openness and sharing, while attending to the need to generate income in order to keep producing and pay the rent? What are some of the examples of best practice: what are they, who are they, where are they? Does government policy have a role, or should it be left up to the uneven geography of informational peers to generate new protocols for content distribution?

- It’s not a Dead Collection, it’s a Dynamic Database
Now that museums, distributors and TV channels have put their collections online, what is the next phase for these digitalized public archives? How can ‘the audience’ be involved, in order to avoid a dead online collection with zero comments? Moreover, what forms of social dynamism can be critically forged in the default rush towards greater participation? Who controls the database, and is there a role for designers in developing database aesthetics? How to jump through the hoops of copyright legislation, format compatibility and the spatial culture of consumption and production? Once collaboration comes into play, what impact do conflicting skill sets, different modes of knowledge production and varying social desires have?

- Attack Amateur Aesthetics!
This theme seeks to tackle the tenuous relationship between amateur and professional video production, particularly with respect to the question of ‘quality’. Have amateur and professional video grown closer or are they still in competition? Given Andrew Keen’s and Jaron Lanier’s critiques of amateur content, is it possible for the quality of video to be improved? How can cultural value or worth be understood in this expansive realm of video? What aesthetics, techniques, genres, structures, and so on, exist in the professional realm of online video, compared to the amateur? Now that professional advertising campaigns seek that ‘raw’ amateur look, and the amateur experimentation tries to produce high quality produced work, what should professional education in this field be aimed at?

- Art and Activism
What are the political and artistic strategies of online video? Are there powerful platforms available for videos in the realm of art and activism? How do artists and activists deal with and reflect on the nature of online video, with its guerrilla, amateur, viral, remix and lo-fi characteristics? How is online video being used as a (grassroots) political tool, and conversely the ways in which authoritative powers understand and use video against activist actions? What are the new ways of launching political content effectively when everything aims to be viral? And where is the radical and artistic answer to TED Talks?

- Big Players and the Politics of Appropriation
Who are the big players in the world of online video? How are corporations and governments using online video? What kind of guerrilla marketing strategies are companies adopting, appropriating amateur aesthetics and making use of the possibilities of online video for its easily viral nature? How are cinema and television companies dealing with the large-scale use of online and mobile video? And how to respond to the rise of 'national webs' and the new enclosures of the cable/telecom packages and TV set-top boxes?

- Platforms, Standards and the Trouble with Translation
This theme seeks to draw forth experts who will offer strong interventions regarding various platforms and channels proliferating on the internet that contribute to the ecology and culture of online video. These include, but are not limited to: Skype, streaming video technologies, Foursquare, Seesmic, Qik video, Netflix, immediate news channels online etc. The theme focuses on the problem of the translations across platforms that arise to due to conflicts in standards. The geo-cultural, and often the national, limits to open sharing of online content are also significant. How do users and producers get around the limits of these borders? How do they work under the radar or tunnel through the firewall in the face of censorship and content control? Or do people simply submit to the powers that be?


Video Vortex #6 is organized as part of Culture Vortex, a research and innovation program on public participation in online cultural collections, organized by the INC and partners MediaLAB Amsterdam, Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, Netherlands Media Art Institute, Virtual Platform, and VPRO, and five participating cultural organizations. Culture Vortex is funded as a RAAK-Public program by the Innovation Alliance Foundation.
More info:

Video Vortex Reader II: Call for Contributions

Posted: March 5, 2010 at 4:01 pm  |  By: sabine  |  Tags: , , ,

In response to the increasing potential for video as a significant form of personal media on the Internet, the Video Vortex program examines key issues that are emerging around the independent production and distribution of online video content. With the rise of YouTube and alternative platforms, the moving image on the Internet has become expansively more prominent and popular. As a wide range of technologies is now broadly available, the potential of video as a personal means of expression has reached a totally new dimension.

Following the success of the first Video Vortex reader (published late 2008, second edition, 4000 copies in total), recent Video Vortex conferences in Ankara (Oct. 2008), Split (May 2009) and Brussels (Nov. 2009) have sparked a number of new insights, debates and conversations regarding the politics, aesthetics, and artistic possibilities of online video. Since these issues develop with the rapidly changing landscape of online video and its use, we want to open up a space once again for interested people to contribute to this critical conversation in a second issue of the Video Vortex reader.

Taking its lead from the first Video Vortex reader, and based on the issues raised at the latest three Video Vortex conferences as well as recent developments, possible topics include:

Theories of online video and Web cinema // Politics of online video // YouTube and the state of contemporary visual culture // Database aesthetics // Video art meets web aesthetics // Autonomous participatory culture for art and activism // Artist engagement with ‘user-generated-content’ sites: content and architecture // Changing modes of video distribution and what this means for artists and activists // Open-source and open-content initiatives // Alternatives to proprietary standards // Censorship and YouTube // The ethics and politics of indigenous knowledge and online video // The use of online video within government practices (election campaigning, censorship etc.) // Democracy, citizen journalism and online video // Social Cinema // Educational practices and online video in the classroom // New and changing economic models // Google, YouTube and the economics of online video // Commercial objectives imposed by mass media on user-generated and video-sharing databases // Effect of ubiquitous online video practice on cinema, television and video art.

Internet, visual culture and media scholars, researchers, artists, curators, producers, lawyers, engineers, open-source and open-content advocates, activists, Video Vortex conference participants, and others to submit materials and proposals.


We welcome interviews, dialogues, essays and articles, images (b/w), email exchanges, manifestos, with a max of 8,000 words. For scope and style, take a look at the previous INC readers (Video Vortex Reader, Urban Screens, Incommunicado Reader, MyCreativity Reader) and the style guide at:

This publication is produced by the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam and will be launched early 2011.

DEADLINE: May 10, 2010

SEND CONTRIBUTIONS TO: rachel(at)networkcultures(dot)org

Video Vortex:
INC readers:
Or email: rachel(at)networkcultures(dot)org

The INC reader series are derived from conference contributions and produced by the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam. They are available (for free) in print and pdf form on

Previously published in this series:

INC Reader #5: Scott McQuire, Meredith Martin, and Sabine Niederer (eds.), Urban Screens Reader, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2009. The Urban Screens Reader is the first book to focus entirely on the topic of urban screens. A collection of texts from leading theorists, and a series of case studies that deal with artists’ projects, and screen operators’ and curators’ experiences, offering a rich resource at the intersections between digital media, cultural practices and urban space.

INC Reader #4: Geert Lovink and Sabine Niederer (eds.), Video Vortex Reader: Responses to YouTube, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2008.
The Video Vortex Reader is the first collection of critical texts to deal with the rapidly emerging world of online video – from its explosive rise in 2005 with YouTube, to its future as a significant form of personal media.

INC Reader #3: Geert Lovink and Ned Rossiter (eds.), MyCreativity Reader: A Critique of Creative Industries, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2007.
The MyCreativity Reader is a collection of critical research into the creative industries. The material develops out of the MyCreativity Convention on International Creative Industries Research held in Amsterdam, November 2006 (no longer available in print; pdf online).

INC Reader #2: Katrien Jacobs, Marije Janssen and Matteo Pasquinelli (eds.), C’Lick Me: A Netporn Studies Reader, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2007.
C’lick Me: A Netporn Studies Reader is an anthology that collects the best material from two years of debate from The Art and Politics of Netporn 2005 conference to the 2007 C’Lick Me festival (no longer available in print; pdf online).

INC Reader #1: Geert Lovink and Soenke Zehle (eds.), Incommunicado Reader, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2005.
The Incommunicado Reader brings together papers written for the June 2005 event, and includes a CD-ROM of interviews with speakers (no longer available in print; pdf online).

Video Vortex V: Brussels, Belgium (November 20-21, 2009) was organized by Cimatics festival 2009 in cooperation with the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam and supported by KASK (Faculty of Fine Arts, University College Ghent) and the Center Leo Apostel (CLEA).

Video Vortex IV: Split, Croatia (May 22-23, 2009) was organized by The Department of Film and Video at the Academy of Arts University of Split and Platforma 9.81, in collaboration with the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam.

Video Vortex III: Ankara, Turkey (October 10-11, 2008) was organized by Bilkent University Department of Communication and Design, in cooperation with the Institute of Network Cultures.

Planned Events: Video Vortex Budapest (Oct. 2010), Leicester, Amsterdam (March 2011), Croatia (September 2011).

Urban Screens Reader – Call for Papers

Posted: February 10, 2009 at 5:49 pm  |  By: sabine  |  Tags: , ,

Following three successful Urban Screens events in Amsterdam (2005), Manchester (2007) and Melbourne (2008), the preparations for an Urban Screens reader have started. This publication is produced by the INC, in collaboration with the University of Melbourne, School of Culture and Communication, and is to be launched in December 2009.
Read the call for papers and the style guide.
Please note: the deadline is 3 April 2009!