I Network description
An ever-growing network, upwards of 30 nodes at present time, started in 1999 in NYC. Mandate: Upgrade! is an international, emerging network of autonomous nodes united by art, technology, and a commitment to bridging cultural divides. Its decentralized, non-hierarchical structure ensures that Upgrade! (i) operates according to local interests and their available resources; and (ii) reflects current creative engagement with cutting edge technologies. While individual nodes present new media projects, engage in informal critique, and foster dialogue and collaboration between individual artists, Upgrade! International functions as an online, global network that gathers bi-annually in different cities to meet one another, showcase local art, and work on the agenda for the following year.

Past goals have been to grow the network and add new nodes all across the world. Present goals include to create cross-network collaborations and improve our online tools. Future perspectives include discovering our need for “organization” and finding out how to sustain the network.

II Main goal for this event in relation to the Upgrade! network
We meet bi-annually but these events are very centered on the local context and on festival activities. This event will provide us the opportunity to discuss more critical network issues outside of a production and event situation. It is an ideal opportunity for us to address in depth some issues that are structural and less festive than our infrequent bi-annual gatherings which generally focus on the respective local context.

some points to discuss:

Given that some existing nodes are inactive, others have retired, should we persist in encouraging new nodes to start? Does the network have a threshold? Can it grow too big to sustain itself (this question is of greatest interest for future hosts of Upgrade! International meetings).

What can we learn from other networks? Can we network with/in other networks? What kind of groups exist within the network? (Eastern European, European, North American, “south” orientated nodes…) Are these geographically organized to understand and collaborate more easily? Is the potential of isolating nodes through these natural and practical collaborations or is this healthy network behavior? How do we understand networks within the network?

How can we share content and archives from local nodes? Who makes archives? How are they formatted? What is produced by the local nodes during the year? What are the implications of pooling this production (archives, shared content, etc.) through an online interface? The objective: to be more accessible in an international context, and develop the online presence of upgrade international with the pooling of this documentation.

ideas for evening program (optional)

AV performances hosted by Tiny Noise(Nomadic) + RYBN(Paris) (networks inside network) featuring performers from the Upgrade! Network and others from the other attending networks. (requires: festive venue, PA, projector) Will send out a call for performers to all networks attending Winter Camp.

III Participants
1 – Kyd Campbell (Nomadic) – coordinator (travel from Europe, likely Berlin)
2 – Cveta Spasova (Skopje)
3 – Jo-Anne Green (Boston)
4 – Ela Kagel (Berlin)
5 – Mushon Zer Aviv (International, based in NYC)
6 – Marika Dermineur (Paris)
7 – Rene Pare (Eindhoven)
8 – Horst Koznietzny (Munich)
9 – Maja Kalogera (Zagreb)
10 – Basak Senova (Istanbul)
11 – Salamanca (Tel-Aviv / Jerusalem)
12 – Karen Dermineur (Dakar)
13 – Maria Luise Angulo
14 – Anik Fournier
15 – Julie Morel
16 – Elena Veljanovska

potential coordinator
Kyd Campbell (Canadian, nomadic, most likely living in Berlin in Spring)
independent curator, frontierlab.org

Kyd Campbell [b.1979, Montreal] works as an independent programmer, exhibition designer and curator specialized in circulation, media and audio art and is also a digital creator of public interactive situations. She has developed a number of cultural venues in Canada and Europe including collaborations with the Upgrade! International network, Public Art Lab’s project Mobile Studios, the Pure Data community, the HTMlles festival and CTRL_ATL_DEL festival in Istanbul. She is co-founder of tiny noise, a nomadic sound art exchange platform and contributes to digital communities and research groups focused on observing mobility and the emotional aspects of human-machine relationships. Remaining independent allows her some freedom to speculate and experiment, to welcome all forms of collaboration and information exchange.