- Outline Report
- policy recommendation
- dyne.org hackers
- Fatima Lasay/Korakora.org
- WG 4: Media education, civil society, media
- '''BAUDRILLARD'S WARNING '''
- WG 2 Creative Research, Iterative Design Cycles, Academic Research & Creative Communities
- WG 1 Ambient intelligence, web 2.0 location based media, leapfrogging
- WG 3 Open Source and Open Network, the Role of Small Independent New Media Labs
Deadline: by mid-october
The publication would hold the following information:
* 1. Introduction / background (1p)
Authors: Rob/Katelijn/Sarah (tbc)
Length: 500 words / 1 page
Deadline: 15 Sept 08
* 2. Policy Recommendation (2-3 p)
Authors: Tapio/Dipu/Rob with input from wider editorial team
Purpose: to be sent out separately to policy makers / referring to previous agendas
Length: tbc (conzise)
* 3. Detailed WG reports
WG1: Liesbeth Huybrechts / Noora Zul
WG2: Bronac Ferran / Annette Wolfsberger
WG3: Rob van Kranenburg & Jaromil / Emma Ota
WG4: Fatima Lasay / Jerneja Rebernak
with input & feedback from the respective working group members
Purpose: description of process (working method) & highlight action points brought forward in the groups
Length: 800-1000 words / 2 pages each (total 8 pages)
Deadline: 1 Sept 08
* 4. 4 Case Studies (or: innovative models of good practice)
Purpose: highlight the case studies that were presented during the summit in box-style
Format: Box inserts
Authors: - Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino: Tinker.it - Anne Nigten: The Patching Zone - Atteqa Malik: Mapping the Change - Fatima Lasay: The Arts in Civil Society - A philosophy of the functioning society
Length: 300 words
Deadline: 1 Sept 08
* 5. Participants background + photo+ 3 questions
Names, contact info & organisations
/!\(PLEASE, let us know if all of you agree to publish the 3 questions, anyway they are already on the blog. Or add input from Feedback answers. Or some sort of summary, alas difficult.)
Deadline: 1 Sept 08
* 6. Result d'Art questionnaire
(however, Sarah, only 5 governments responded to that...so, hard to take' conclusions'.
Length: 4 pages (?)
Action: right format needs to be decided upon (Annette & Rob meet 26 Aug to discuss)
Deadline: 15 Sept 08
* 7. Illustrations
Feasible to use screenshots of the presentations?
Action: Annette to check with Adam (1) if possible & participants (2) if they agree for material to be used.
Deadline: 1 Sept 08
1 page 'report' - Time: 8 august
We are working on a one page small 'report' on the fact that the meeting was held. Rob is adding some additional sentences. Should be finished this week. This will be sent out by ASEF and IFFACA.
RECOMMENDATIONS developed from the Mini Summit on New Media Arts Policy and Practice Singapore, 24th - 26th July 2008 This document was written following the Mini Summit on New Media Arts Policy & Practice, held in Singapore in connection with ISEA 2008, the International Symposium of Electronic Art, hosted by the Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF) and the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA). The aim of this document is to highlight current needs in local and transnational media arts practices and frame more informed arts policies. The Singapore Mini Summit focused on four topics: creative research, open source models, media education, and locative media & ambient intelligence. The 50 participants (artists, practitioners and policy makers from 10 Asian, 12 European and 4 observer countries) worked in parallel groups with moderators on the respective strands to discuss issues, highlight case studies and distil recommendations and action points. The following recommendations are based on the dialogue at the Mini Summit, but also combine viewpoints from earlier practice and policy documents. There is an appendix to this document that discusses the series of practice and policy meetings held since the mid 1990s leading up to the Singapore meeting. An extensive report on the Singapore Mini Summit, its processes, participants, workshop discussions, case studies, background research, and an event blog are available at www.singaporeagenda.wordpress.com. New Media Art – Culture for Networked Societies New media arts are a vibrant, transnationally networked, interdisciplinary field in which artists, designers and researchers collaborate in contexts that are culturally plural and technologically diverse. There is an urgent need to bring new media arts funding and support mechanisms to a sustainable level locally, and to substantially increase the support for international collaborations through events, networks, residencies, and productions. This document emphasizes the critical, conceptual and innovative role of new media arts practitioners in today's world, in diverse settings. New media artists are for networked societies what painters and sculptors were for the industrial society, and video artists have been for the television generation. Media art practices are often socially located and are produced in interaction with communities. Current work on environmental media practices and artistic open source and social software projects are producing new knowledge and insight into global and local transformations that need urgent address. We emphasize that while artists are not social workers, when successful, they function as innovative practitioners who can change relations between and within communities, and benefit society by constructing empowering media and technology literacy and diversity. While other art forms use digital tools for their production, staging, and distribution, they rarely address conceptual or critical questions around computing, media cultures, networks, or mobile wireless public spaces. New media arts do. New media arts are characterized by intense research and development. These in turn result in new means of expression by modifying and creating new software and hardware, aesthetics and ways of engaging with participants or audiences. These skills, tactics and strategies are of great value to societies at large, as they arise from deep cultural and social insights and a thorough knowledge of both new and old technologies. This document suggests that while there should be support for new media arts practice as part of the creative industries, there is a greater need to engage with new media practices that are informed by the diversity of citizens' social and cultural imagination, and thus offer more sustainable strategies for fostering creativity in society at large. We also suggest that support for ‘new’ media arts should encompass both new technology and the transformative potentials of ‘old media’ thus creating possibilities for diverse re-appropriations. It is vital to recognize that art forms and technologies co-exist in different conjunctions across diverse cultural and social settings. The aim is then to seek ways in which media arts practices can build bridges across digital and analogue divides. The Mini Summit in Singapore underlined that even though media arts practitioners in European and Asian countries share a lot of experiences in common, the political, economic and culturally specific conditions for production and sustainability may vary significantly. Infrastructure and support models cannot be copy-pasted from one country to another. They instead require ‘localisation’ in the cultural, economic and social senses of the term. For example, in some locales mobile media labs support practitioners better than do permanent centres. In other contexts strategic investments in centres are important for running larger festivals, for sustaining the technical and staff infrastructures needed for regional and transnational networks, and for maintaining long term research and production collaboration. It is a challenge for us all to create dynamic policy that recognizes changes in media arts, locally and globally, and to create permanent yet flexible support structures. It is sincerely hoped that in each member country of ASEF and IFACCA these points and recommendations are debated thoroughly and action taken as a result. Continuous collaboration and support by the host organisations to develop this common goal would be highly appreciated. RECOMMENDATIONS Education & Research In most contexts arts education and research curricula and infrastructures lag behind changes that take place within media arts practices. Rapid changes in technologies used by media artists, and the transdisciplinary nature of production and research call for a more dynamic education and research policy. Educational policies for media arts should take into account and combine formal and informal educational models, addressing different social and demographic groups. Research policies for media art and culture on the other hand should be based on transdisciplinarity, an ability to work with and develop collaborative projects with those trained in science, technology, social sciences and the humanities. In line with a policy proposal from the Leonardo Education Forum during ISEA2008, it is recommended that funds for research projects should be released that document and map out media arts research and education to better enable both practitioners and policy makers to evaluate and redesign existing frameworks. A more coordinated, effective action would be to explore the feasibility of establishing a transnational fund or collaborative funding programmes between several national funding bodies, to enhance the flexibility of support available to research-based media practice and its mobile, transnational and transdisciplinary nature. Building Collective Knowledge Centres, networks, and virtual platforms are useful ways to build collective knowledge about media art practices, and to effectively reach audiences locally and beyond. Networks and virtual platforms may also serve practical functions such as training and documentation, providing advocacy and creating connections; as “banks of media knowledge” advocate openness and accountability of practice. Media arts and culture policies should be sensitive to the diversity and the long-term impact of these forms of networks and organisations, and accordingly, recognise their funding needs to be long term and strategic rather than project based. To foster sharing amongst translocally based initiatives, funders are endorsed to join in helping to build ‘common platforms’ for the documentation of knowledge, ethical codes, terminology, resources, training and education, policies and practices to inform and promote intercultural and transnational exchange, debate and policymaking. This could also be done through supporting collaboration between existing platforms. Transnational Collaboration Besides funding at the national level, we emphasize that art in the networked world requires flexible transnational funding programmes. This is critical if new media art is to sustain long-term, cross-cultural collaborative work. It is recommended that national arts funding agencies, be they arts councils or ministries of culture, work together to develop pilot programmes that would support transnational collaborations free of restrictions based on participants’ countries of origin. The following concrete areas of support that should be undertaken over the next five years are especially highlighted: - New media artist in residencies with an emphasis on networking and creating sustainable long-term translocal collaboration. - Research driven media arts residencies & programmes with an emphasis on transdisciplinary collaboration with diverse institutions such as arts organisations, universities and companies. - Longer duration workshops and master classes. - Community arts and urban public space redevelopment projects. - Mobility of artists and researchers, and art works and projects amongst festivals and organisations. Mapping & Evaluation Mapping and evaluation of media arts, locally and globally, would benefit policy makers and media arts organisations in several ways. The results can be used to support practice: as a tool for advocacy, as basis for policy development by observing trends and supporting strategy, and as a resource for knowledge sharing. In the past, relatively limited support for media arts organisations has had a strong impact on the arts, research and development and various local communities and international networks. Funding bodies are encouraged to commission substantial further mapping of evidence of the impact of media arts practices, its organisations and to help strengthen knowledge sharing and advocacy. Open Source & Free Software Open source and free software and DIY technologies are essential tools and platforms for new media arts and culture. Beyond functionality, open source often represents cultures of collaboration, sharing and promotion of access to tools and knowledge. The process of learning and development is as important as the technologies used and produced, often supporting innovative social practices. It is recommended that art policies acknowledge the role of these software and hardware cultures as integral parts of new media arts, and also recognize their potential as tools for innovation and learning. Crossovers, Mixed Economies While government support for new media practices is absolutely vital, there is also a need to put resources into building a mixed economy of new media art funding, where foundations, larger institutions and in some cases the commercial sector, contribute to supporting the field. Apart from arts funding agencies, there are other key players supported by public funds, such as academic institutions, schools, broadcasting authorities, industry and IT development agencies, that would benefit from greater engagement with new media arts practice. At the same time, the importance of informal exchange economies and practices of commoning should be acknowledged and fostered. It is recommended that some of the existing collaborations between arts policy agencies and other government bodies with related agendas be documented for international distribution and evaluation. Policy actions should provide frameworks that aid forming mixed economies besides developing direct support tools. Freedom of Speech & Intercultural Dialogue In all instances, the freedom to articulate one’s thought and practices, without fear, needs to be supported and the autonomy of the artist, researcher and cultural practitioner respected. Policy makers should recognize the limits and, indeed the potential negative impacts of policy in special circumstances, and respect the ‘arms length’ principle. In some political environments the relationship between public funding and field of practice is highly problematic, and thus funding may have to be more calibrated. In this regard, it may be important to create intermediary structures that operate between the government and media arts. Policy should recognize the creative tension between independent and primarily state supported practices, so as to ensure that marginalized voices find a space, and that work that challenges the existing frameworks of knowledge generation and exchange - within and between national-cultural contexts - finds adequate support. Often in these situations the role of foundations that operate across borders has been crucial. National funding bodies should collaborate with, and learn from these foundations. NEXT STEPS The authors of this policy recommendation document embrace the dialogue that has taken place between policy makers, artists and practitioners for the past decade. However, there is a need to evaluate the impact of past policy and practice agendas to improve future strategic collaboration, to inform and advocate for ongoing sustainable dialogue. It is recommended that a media arts practice and policy platform would be established, or an existing one be supported. Its aim will be to share, inform and promote sustainable documentation as noted above and the range of developments occurring in this field, as well as providing public access to this information. To ensure the success of these policies, it is recommended that IFACCA and ASEF consider hiring a media arts policy expert team for a period of up to 12 months to consult with key practitioner networks, funding agencies, policy networks and foundations in order to analyse, prioritise and implement actions recommended in this and previous documents. It is recommended that this document be distributed to other key bodies that have had a significant impact on the development of this field. These may include bodies such as UNESCO (with regard to their digital arts and cultural diversity agendas), the Nordic Council of Ministers, Hivos Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Open Society Institute and Soros Foundation Network, to name but a few. It is also recommended to continue media arts and policy mini summits in the context of future International Symposia on Electronic Art (ISEA), which because of its nomadic nature brings together different regional networks, organisations, academics and media arts practitioners. This document, and other outputs of the Mini Summit in Singapore are important steps in an ongoing process of dialogue and collaboration between policy and practice. While this document should be widely distributed, the process is as important as the product; trusting that ongoing critical discussion will contribute to a more informed understanding between media arts policy and practice. This document has been supported by the Asian Europe Foundation (ASEF), the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) and Virtueel Platform. Written by Tapio Mäkelä (FI/UK) and Awadhendra Sharan (IN) with support of the Editorial Team: Andrew Donovan (AU), Anne Nigten (NL) & Annette Wolfsberger (AT/NL). Participants of the Singapore Mini Summit: Prayas Abhinav (IN), Konrad Becker (AT), Stephanie O’Callaghan (IR), Venzha Christiawan (ID), Nina Czegledy (HU/CA), Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino (UK/CA), Peter Tomaz Dobrila (SL), Petko Dourmana (BG), Debbie Esmans (BE), Bronac Ferran (UK), Andreea Grecu (RO), Lee Suan Hiang (SG), Thang (Tri Minh) Doan Huu (VI), Liesbeth Huybrechts (BE), Gustaff Harriman Iskandar (ID), Isrizal (SG), Jaromil (IT/NL), Raja Khairul Azman Bin Raja Abdul Karim (MY), Michelle Kasprzak (CA/UK), Maja Kuzmanovic (BE), Fatima Lasay (PHI), Abdul Muid Latif (MY), Maaike Lauwaert (BE/NL), Pek Ling Ling (SG), Liane Loo (SG), Atteqa Malik (PK), Xianghui (Isaac) Mao (CN), Francis Mckee (UK), Sally Jane Norman (UK), Emma Ota (UK/JP), Mohammad Kamal Bin Sabran (MAL), Thasnai Sethaseree (TH), Hyun Jin Shin (KR), Judy Freya Sibayan (PHI), Adam Somlai-Fischer (HU), Floor van Spaendonck (NL), Sei Hon Tan (MY), Alek Tarkowski (PL), Amphat Varghese (IN), Martijn de Waal (NL), Xu Wenkai (CN), Noorashikin Zulkifli (SG). Observers: Karmen Franinovic (HR/CA), Ngalimecha Jerome Ngahyoma (TZ), Aditya Dev Sood (USA/IN), Richard Streitmatter-Tran (USA/VI) Organizers: ASEF: Rob van Kranenburg (NL), Nunnaree Panichkul (Thailand), Jerneja Rebernak (SL/SG), Katelijn Verstraete (BE/SG) IFACCA: Sarah Gardner (AU) APPENDIX: Background to the Mini Summit on New Media Arts Policy & Practice, Singapore 2008 Background: Practice to Policy The Singapore Mini Summit built upon earlier occasions where practitioners and policy makers engaged in dialogue on new media art practices, and respective national and international policies, yet also highlighted new emergent questions and integrated viewpoints from both Asian and European local contexts. An event held in 1997, Practice to Policy - Towards a New European Media Culture (P2P), produced the first extensive report and a set of policy recommendations entitled the Amsterdam Agenda. Organized by Dutch media arts organizations that later formed Virtueel Platform , P2P argued for grounding policy on experiences of practitioners of the rapidly changing field of new media culture. A Mini-Summit organised during ISEA2004 in Helsinki, hosted by m-cult and the Finnish Arts Council in partnership with IFACCA, recognized Finland’s pioneering role in media culture and arts and in creating open access tools and accessible mobile communication technologies that broaden and deepen the role that media and information can play in civil society and knowledge creation. The Helsinki Agenda took forward the ideas that emerged in the Amsterdam Agenda and particularly emphasized the need to shift new media arts and culture policy to better support international, translocal, non-nation based cultural practices. Subsequently, an International Working Group meeting on New Media Culture was held at Sarai-CSDS in Delhi, in January 2005 under the aegis of Towards a Culture of Open Networks, a collaborative programme developed by Sarai CSDS (Delhi), Waag Society (Amsterdam) and Public Netbase (Vienna) with the support of the EU India Economic and Cross Cultural Programme. The Delhi Declaration referred to the rich heterogeneity of forms and protocols in the communicative and media practices in contemporary South Asia, emphasizing active content creation and process over a simplistic notion of access to ICT in the global South. While earlier practice and policy meetings also looked at viewpoints from the local context and combined these with discussions on transnational and national policies, local media and cultural policy was addressed only briefly in Singapore as policy makers were absent from a large part of the meeting.
As a follow up of the event I want to initiate a discussion about an Europe-Asian residence exchange program with focus on new media art that could be a great output of our event.
This idea come to my mind when I was introducing the call for 2009 of the residence exchange program EMARE in which InterSpace is taking part. It is aimed at new media artists but unfortunately only for those based in Europe.
Deadline is October 20th (post date) and the application form can be downloaded from here: http://www.werkleitz.de/projekte/emare/applicationform_emare09.pdf
I reminded that we haven't discussed on the Mini-Summit (at least in the open networks and new media labs workshop) the residence exchange networks that are probably one of the best opportunities for both artists and host organizations to exchange practices.
As a starting point I will give you one argument that will help for finding political and financial support for such exchange program. The exchange programs between West and East Europe were and still are one of the main factors of developing common artistic ground since the political changes started almost 20 years ago in Eastern Europe.
It is for sure that even the most intensive events like conferences and festivals are not enough for the practical experience that few-month-long residences can provide.
I really hope that some of you would find this idea interesting and we can start thinking how to implement it in practice.
To second Petko, also in the Leonardo Educational Forum, support for media artistic research in residence funding was emphasized. It might indeed be important to start with Asia-Europe media art residency programme before suggesting one that in particular is focussed on media arts research.
I would like to suggest three layers on which to discuss the outcomes of the mini-summit:
1. A document or a collage of them on a Wiki, which reflects the discussions and backgrounds of the participants. As wide as needed.
2. List of goals and ideas that emerged from the event that we might want to develop further. More focus, refers to the wider context.
3. Policy recommendation document, which does not necessarily contain much from the two other documents, but which supports the practices and projects that we do want to do. VERY focussed, a separate document. Some quotes from 1+2.
Trying to realize all of the above in one document, as a mirror of what happened during the 2,5 days would be rather difficult. Also we do have the great opportunity to reach policy makers via IFFACA and ASEF, so we should really think about a few items that could in fact be pushed forward as a result of our meeting, in the form of policy recommendations.
To begin such a document, we should emphasize a few points on why media arts practices are important, and perhaps there is some urgency for funding or other policy actions right now. We need to impact particularly those who are not interested, not willing, to act. Secondly, those who are interested already in what we are saying, will read further anyhow.
If indeed our document is to be titled Singapore Agenda, I would suggest that the local arts council should be challenged to participate in funding media arts initiatives that exist locally, and collaborations that follow ISEA2008. Also it seems that the "media development" aspect was quite evident via keynote content for example, and perhaps to some degree also the exhibitions, if less so (their interest in funding ISEA should be recognized perhaps).
As most IFACCA policy makers deal with ARTS policy, we could emphasize the need to firstly include media arts in arts funding, to gurantee its artistic freedom. We could also recognize that media arts are an area of social, cultural as well as technological innovation, but the latter can only emerge from artistic practices and can be developed further with industry style funding, but not generated with such policy tools. And perhaps first and foremost, in the context of our event location, is to underline the urgency of freedom of expression of artists to produce, exhibit and screen publicly their work, and to participate in local and international networks.
Alas, should there be a separate deadline for a policy recommendation document, and to see a Wiki environment as an open collaborative platform? For any of this, we do need time as it is still holiday season, and the most effective time I would think to send any policy doc around would not be until mid September? What do you think Sarah?
Personally, It was great to get to know many of you - I wish there could have been more time to xchange on the level of collaboration from here onwards. Luckily had a chance to keep talking during later parts of ISEA with some. It was a pleasure! I said to someone that on the one hand these practice and policy meets are alwyas "restarts" as they involve new voices and new angles, but also contain a lot of repetition for those who have participated in such before. Refresh could be a better term... that said, it is important in my mind not to see this event as wanting to represent all types of practice and regions to third parties (impossible task as such), but to come up with few points that push policy makers to take some of our shared concerns on board.
Working Group 4: Some personal observations on the dynamics of the sessions on http://korakora.org/proyekto/asef-ifacca-mini-summit-new-media-art-policy
WG 4: Media education, civil society, media
Moderator: Fatima Lasay (Philippines) Rapporteur: Jerneja Rebernak (Slovenia/Italy) Members: Elinor Nina Czegledy (Hungary/Canada), Venzha Christiawan (ID), Amphat Varghese (IN), Peter Tomaz Dobrila (SL), Isrizal (SG), Raja Khairul Azman Bin Raja Abdul Karim (MY),Richard Streitmatter-Tran (USA/Vietnam) Abdul Muid Abdul Latif (MY), Sally Jane Norman (UK), Thasnai Sethaseree (TH), Floor Van Spaendonck (NL), Alek Tarkowski (PL)
The deliberations of WG4 must be placed in the context of certain comments made in the introductory session where it was mentioned that the objective was to move from policy and discourse to policy as action. It was also reflected that education lags behind practice; more specifically new media education lags behind the practice of new media arts (Tapio Makela). Some direction for the future lay in the hope that contemporary new media arts can bridge the gap between the transnational/trans-local (Rob van Kranenburg). So the meta question before WG4 was how contemporary media education could bridge two types of divides – the transnational/trans-local and the gap between contemporary new media arts practices and media education.
At the outset itself, the dynamics of the working group saw critical questioning of the very process of the creation of policy documents at international conferences. The Moderator Fatima Lasay emphasized that the setting does not necessarily require the concretization of a policy document nor place pressure on the participants individually or collectively to reach such an outcome. This brought about a sharp response from some participants who asserted that being in the workshop itself was concomitant with bringing out a policy document. This led to another critical question as to whether or not such workshops are actually negotiating tables between conflicting cultures.
In other words, there was a certain underlying, palpable tension which must be seen in the light of Rob van Kranenburg’s apprehension that if such conferences do not “script solidarity into the systems, we will end up with very little space for social relationships and lots of messy things”. Such “messy things” are obviously a problem for the Occident that seeks a “stable environment” for new media arts practice/education in a situation where the “tables are turning towards the East which has an ability to deal with insecurity, messy circumstances, un-safety …in short, an ability to deal with life.”
To enter a space of ease, the participants began with a storytelling disclosure of the implications of the political, social and cultural dynamics embedded in the sole act of greeting in their respective cultures followed by an exercise in which each participant wrote out their central thoughts about media education, civil society and media on meta-cards. This helped map the commonalities, divergences and directions in relation to their individual and cultural positioning as well as broader concerns in media education.
The group agreed to address (new) media education (as different from mass media education - Thasnai) as looking at new directions, new perspectives, and the process of critical discourse. There was a felt need to define (new) media as a concept that includes digital and analog (temples are also media – Peter) and manifold distribution channels like the Internet (also convergence). Contemporary media education must take into account user-generated media as differing from media under the ambit of institutional regulations (government/corporate) and therefore incorporates do-it-yourself attitudes of open access with consequent disregard for intellectual property.
The discussion highlighted the following extant, dominant and dormant realities in contemporary media education:
• A preponderance of deep-rooted hierarchies of power in cultural policy-making and practices disseminated through the stakeholder theory (Fatima Lasay),
• The paradoxical availability of funds for both new media arts and education but few takers in lackadaisical societies like Malaysia (Muid Latif),
• The commonplace of higher education institutions basing curricula on the creative economy to position students into selling points for cultural capital in Thailand and India (Thasnai and Ampat Varghese).
• The effect of media practitioners following up what is fashionable resulting in the dilemma of practitioners and educators not questioning or changing the framework of society per se. (Thasnai)
• The lack of mobility of media education across the formal and non-formal sectors where the exchange of knowledge could be used to empower community (Isrizal)
• The crying lack of infrastructure and shortfall of knowledge bases generated in community that could be available in crisis situations (Isrizal)
• The lack of mechanism for the protection of the human rights of open source practitioners persecuted “legally” for contesting varied laws/forms of censorship in societies like Singapore (Isrizal) and need to support media education and sensitivity by using open source tools and methodologies, providing free public access of the Internet and eliminating the no-copy policy which protects the commercial contents of industry (Peter)
• The fact of media education being seldom linked to the broader contexts of human rights and the creation of alternatives to existing notions of civil society (Isrizal, Ampat Varghese, Fatima Lassay).
• Cases of “no-policy” where media arts practitioners were forced to find solutions on their own and to focus on self- or collectively generated infrastructures for interdisciplinary programmes (Venzha)
• Little or no development of creative competences and appropriate tools much earlier in the school education system which only focuses on knowledge creation (Alek Tarkowski). Given the above identification of areas of need/lack/want, some action points suggested were as follows:
1. Open up new practices in the direction of critical discourses in media education. For instance, media education/new media are tools to promote national identity as something that can be sold/traded. New media art practices keep the same framework in place and hence the need for a critical discourse. (Thasanai) 2. Mobile research units can be envisioned in places where there is no infrastructure yet for media education. Examples: The Container project (Jamaica) and Mediashed as best practices. 3. The situation of no-policy raises the urgency for incorporating media education practices in early education. Media art becomes a tool for educating others, cultural practices and the process of interaction becomes the tool, which goes beyond access. Eg. House of Natural Fiber, where who is teaching and who is learning is not important, but the most important thing is its long-term programme where issues of sustainability are being addressed. 4. Collaborative media research takes place outside the university, where there is no prescriptive environment and a wide selection and diversity of tools and practices can generate insight and public debates, articulating questions about the critical structures of the civil society. New dynamics of discourse can become templates for people to try to develop different categories of media arts, as for example mobile education, and to learn how to appropriate technology. There is a necessity to talk about ideas, not in technical terms, but in terms of how to hack them. These practices should then be transmissible and documented in order to facilitate access. (Sally Jane Norman) 5. Design multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural collaborative projects which work locally and produce new forms and bodies of knowledge that have universal values. Incorporate feedback mechanisms as technology is seen as a tool, but it redefines our culture and people. Use technology and new media approaches to revive/relocate the craft or traditional sectors. Initiate funding for initiatives which strengthen local cultures, which can’t be sustained on the national level, but come into being only through international funding. (Ampat Varghese) 6. Institute transparent methods and processes so the implementation of media knowledge such as open source is transferred to institutions. Eg. of best practice are FLOSS manuals, which are easily accessible and explain simply how to use open source tools (Floor)
POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS Document produced on Day 3 of 3 WG Meetings and presented at the last ASEF-IFACCA session and the ISEA.
THE WORKING GROUP ON MEDIA EDUCATION AND CIVIL SOCIETY RECOMMENDS: The policy advisors are invited to read the background documents (Amsterdam agenda, Delhi declaration, Helsinki Agenda)
1. Looking for new directions and new perspectives that include a process of critical discourse which appreciates many histories and many voices and takes into account voices that are being drowned by media and lacking critical space or platforms for expression in new media forms. 2. Addressing issues about how informal, technology-driven media works and the osmotic process by which media arts education can incorporate informal media into pedagogy thus enabling new directions and new perspectives in education. 3. Offering New Media arts as a challenge for education and cultural practices and production beyond the much spoken issues like “access”. If one speaks of access, it must be focused through mapping and identification of the specific groups that do not have access and the results made transparent, transmissible and documented for action. (refer to Delhi declaration – going beyond access) 4. That media education is also linked to informal education and that ASEF explore how this can be brought about through new media arts. 5. That provision is made for funding and providing resource components where it is identified that there is a lack of infrastructure for trans-disciplinary and cross-sector actions in new media arts including the creation of short-term and temporary spaces for media education, and mobile media education. 6. The spread of new media tools and practices and processes to school-level education to develop more creativity thinking and competencies, including open and free access to educational resources. 7. That media education is framed within the larger context of human rights and mechanisms of social dynamics, dialogues and debate, allowing local communities to determine their own priorities. 8. The development and delineation of concrete examples and methods for transferring media knowledge of transparent and open source processes for people, communities and institutions involved in media education.
'''BAUDRILLARD'S WARNING '''
There's some interesting pointers in this article concerning the distinction between mono-cultures and high-definition cultures and the threats to the latter. Some of these concerns will hopefully be addressed by ASEF working groups getting the final composite report out.
WG 2 Creative Research, Iterative Design Cycles, Academic Research & Creative Communities
Moderator: Bronac Ferran (UK) Rapporteur: Annette Wolfsberger (Austria/The Netherlands) Members: Adam Somlai Fisher (Hungary) / Tapio Makëlä (Finland) / Anne Nigten (The Netherlands) / Debbie Esmans (Belgium) / Isaac Mao (China) / Hyunjin Shin (South Korea) / Judy Sibayan (The Philippines) / Awadhendra Sharan (India) / Kamal Sabran (Malaysia) / Andreea Grecu (Romania) Observers: Sarah Gardner (Australia) / Karmen Franinovic (Croatia)
Context How can artists and designers take on a different role? How can they become part of a multi-disciplinary team that works from the beginning with scientists, planners, policy, educators, citizens and specific content researchers? What support structures exist to facilitate this new way of working? Where are the models of good practice? How can these be best documented? Fast changes in information architectures and rapid innovation prototyping make it difficult to apply old methodologies which impacts on academia and other spaces where innovation was traditionally housed. The specific cycles of iteration used by designers and artists (brainstorms with very different people, concepts, prototypes, scenarios of prototypes with real users) have to be taken into account and combined with expertise and knowledge from technical specialists and content producers. Knowledge of the past is still useful and is drawn on intuitively by artists and designers.
Working Process The design process was decided upon collectively by the group. Points made by members of the working group in the questionnaires beforehand were used as the starting point for discussion. The following issues were identified as common or important:
Transdisciplinarity: What models of development exist both in education and in more informal settings that can best support contemporary processes of innovation?
- What documentation has been done relating to existing structures and best practice models? How can we identify models? Where has this been done previously? How do we make this public? What research topics or areas need and deserve transdisciplinary working?
- Current context - many environmental challenges Also lack of sustainability across time for best practice media models – loss of knowhow Lack of cumulative evidence base – whose responsibility is this? Lack of long term vision or development strategies – lack of sharing and recognition Lack of appreciation of shifts over time – lack of documentation, no overview or timeline
New kinds of research challenges:
- Users: as co-creators/participatory production models (links to social sciences)
- Unclear and underrecognised role of alternative/ independent autonomous spaces Ubiquitous computing means media tools are now commonplace – so what research role can artists play? What kinds of research can and does involve social networking? Media culture – often research is emergent, bottom up. Shifts in methodologies – iterative over time Often research will be collaborative, sometimes collective – need models, team work.
Emergent & unpredictable nature of media: evolving nature of questions – eg around ownership Big question – how to define this research in a way that can be understood Freedom of expression: Importance of space for expression eg non-censored media
The group arrived at a series of recommendations and potential actions which are summarized below. We have included also the arguments leading to the recommendations which can be further shortened for any published paper.
There has, despite previous effort such as the Helsinki agenda, been little political will or political conviction at the top of arts and cultural agencies to redistribute funding from more traditional forms to new and contemporary forms. There is now an urgent need to make stronger arguments that can (a) show how this failure to respond to movement within practice will be damaging in the long run to audiences and to the position of the funding agencies and (b) to show the benefits of the small investments that have happened as contributors to the broader creative economy (and other important social and environmental agendas).
1. Recommendation: Support for the creation and development of a shared and distributed Common Platform to document support and catalyze media arts research practice and discourse.
Action: set up a group to create platform and find funding to pilot this. This action will showcase & suggest ways of implementing support, drawing on innovative and emerging examples from across the world. It could show how small amounts of support at different stages have had massive transformative effects over time.
Objective: A Common Platform could create a common language and help in many ways to show, demonstrate, argue, provide advocacy, brokerage, documentation of practice, leverage, create connections. It should be online and network based: While not duplicating existing tools and methods it would offer a space between different processes and offer the missing conceptual framework for new media practices & policies. If it existed it could act as a missing bridge, offering a space for creative research and lead to a broad(er) critical, more diverse, discourse. It should include the critical blogging sphere. What is needed is a supportive framework for global discourse and support (a ‘safe zone’) with constructive feedback mechanisms that allow for, include, enourage and embed emergent and new voices and initiatives.
This platform would be a good opportunity to create space for collaborative exchange ie bank of media knowledge which uses currency of exchange of good and interesting practice (similar to what Bricolabs has started to do regarding labs). This would further increase an awareness of how media arts organisations now work – within a mixed ecology.
It could also address the lack of discursive practice: there is a need for more extensive peer review systems. This lack makes it hard for practices outside traditional forms to be understood and evaluated effectively (see Sarai models for good examples of autonomous publishing). At the same time, the platform could act as a voice of media arts that communicates, translates and interprets within a broader cultural, social and scientific environment/discurse.
The group discussed issues of in- and exclusion and asked would it be possible to create a space of absolute openness, or if it would be more supportive of free expression if it was partly protected. For discussion.
2. Recommendation: demonstrate media culture's key role in addressing cultural diversity, innovation, social cohesion and environmental issues.
- Action: strengthen advocacy by collecting together leading examples of effectiveness from different contexts and use the critical framework as advocacy and development resource by including knowledge sharing. So use the platform to collect together narratives of useful and interesting practice for sharing and advocacy globally.
The group were strongly supportive of the role of new media in expressing cultural diversity and expression. New media practice is clearly in an advantageous position to mediate in this area as it is diverse in essence. Media arts practice and research (in both production and dissemination) exceeds boundaries between sectors, disciplines and political systems. Demonstrating this effect using the platform as advocacy above could help to provide arguments for support. Research and projects in culture, innovation, science and art that are transdisciplinary and transcultural need transdisciplinary and international means of funding.
Linked to all of this, in context of environmental crisis – there are also many examples of media culture's role in informing environmental and ecological contexts debates. More work at research level is essential. We suggest that notions of ecological sustainability which are linked to ethics could be transferred to an idea/concept of cultural sustainability (ie referring to by distributed means of working within media arts).
See things as cyclical - generally in arts these cycles are iterative – so steps may be short-lived but part of a long term emergence of innovative developments which require long term thinking and documentation over time of the results.
Critical example, Open Source project led by Government in Brazil – big impact but not long lasting – needs to be seen relative to other examples in other countries. These processes and projects are intrinsically of transnational and translocal importance.
3. Recommendation: enhanced flexibility in funding (for transdisciplinary research & development and to allow more mobility of artists and ideas)
Action: collect examples of good funding and support practice to inform advocacy document(s) and to publish to show how things can work. Make arguments to funders based on analysis and collective work – demonstrating the difference additional funding in the right way can make eg for collaborative research, practice based PhDs, etc. Build up concept of research residencies as way forward on a practical level to embed into existing residency and exchange programmes. Collect together research and media based PhDs to show value across different contexts.
There is a sense of urgency for collaborative projects, particularly in the area of environmental media practices as well as artistic open source and social software informed by local expertise and contexts. Currently, a clear lack of funds prevents projects that are not nationally based from becoming sustainable. Funding programs should be established both locally and through international foundations to support translocal initiatives.
The new schemes should allow for flexibility in funding. There is a need for short, medium- and long term transdisciplinary funding schemes taking into account the different cycles, duration and scope of projects; i.e. strategic, application based research, prototyping/implementation focus, the differences between project-based and (artistic) research processes; the nature of disciplines, sectors and teams involved; the mobility of artists, researchers and ideas, cross-disciplinary and internationally distributed work and collaborative social projects embedded into communities.
Example, One example is the Interact scheme in UK, placing artists in business contexts to develop joint R&D has been very effective – could be used as critical exemplar as documentation is underway. Other countries also have interesting problems and challenges with some good examples but there is insufficient documentation and evaluation.
Funding structures and conditions often imply the need for long-term projects to develop ‘something’. It is crucial for research evaluation to become much longer to provide evidence for sustainability in research structure/context. At the same time, for short-term projects (ie initial R&D phase) existing funding is too slow and rigid. Also, the understanding between sectors needs to increase, since methodologies used by artists (ie rapid proto-typing) and the value that artists can bring as researchers might not be recognized in ie the scientific arena.
Across and within countries, there often is very little dialogue and coherence and collaboration between different national policy strands (i.e. government information/technology and national commission for culture and arts not communicating to each other). This non-dialogue between European, governmental and non-governmental funding bodies and policy bodies is an important area to address.
Media culture has to understand it is not always understood.
But if there was more emphasis on openness and transparency, then the ground for understanding would be there. So if public money is used then it should be open/knowledge based and outputs and processes should be shared? This could become part of public policy, and increase media arts role in a broader cultural and social environment.
Sustainability arguments can also be leverage – eg funding results should be assessed, monitored and understood over a longer time period. Whilst media arts can act as a catalyst, as temporary window and be intervention-based – it can also, over time, have very good results. Thus there is a need to put long-term effort into evaluation even if the project or process is temporary.
Collaborative projects can take many forms and transcend art forms/disciplines as well as sectors. Further research should be done into the methodologies that can be applied to transdisciplinary projects to better understand the needs and requirements.
Open methodologies for example, Anne Nigten’s PhD research on defining artistic methodologies (process-patching), artistic techniques or methods also from other disciplines, using a defined methodology processes.
4. Recommendation: Stronger arguments for supporting research based media practice and its mobile, transnational and transdisciplinary nature
Action: Set up a pool of people (ie from this initiative and also others) who can develop specific methodologies and case studies to back up this call and ensure publication from this meeting underlines the transdisciplinary and transcultural nature of the practice, underlining mobility etc.
The interpenetration between media arts practice and media arts research (happening in academia) has been badly documented and poorly understood so more work needs to be done to help this to happen. The critical framework and advocacy may enable this to happen. It is very important to put more bridges in place between these fields to maximize possible outputs - create more effect.
Safeguarding and supporting the mobility of artists, researchers and ideas (as well as a safeguarding freedom of speech and a non-censory environment) is crucial to new media arts practice and research. While the media arts sector is hybrid, organizational transformation also takes place in the outside world (ie funding), but the practice changes much quicker than the policy response or the law. However these changes can have huge impacts on media arts.
5. Recommendation: Need for substantial further mapping evidence of impact of media arts organisations – this needs to be ongoing, dynamic and iterative. Action: this work to be commissioned alongside platform documentation as above and encouraged as part of work of main festivals, conferences etc; including a review of the past 10-15 years.
Why? Mapping could lead to an acknowledgement and further understanding of diversity and increase dissemination. It can be used to support practice - for the community as well as basis for policy development, by observing trends and supporting strategy.
In the past, relatively small support for media arts organisations has lead to over-proportionate impact of media arts on the broader cultural field, R&D and innovation and the broader society. The lack of empirical data might partly be explained by a lack of tools and instruments (though these might be applied from other disciplines, ie social sciences) but has lead to a lack of advocacy for new media culture. This dynamic survey/documentation should acknowledge the (local) hybridity, complexity, topical diversity, areas of practice and communities that are structured around certain topics and changing vocabulary, and document transitions, maturation and heterogeneity of the sector.
While recognizing that the field is transformatory and dynamic, and mixed economy models should be tested and encouraged, it will always need specific (public) support. Continuous mapping could provide the necessary argumentation to underpin this claim.
Example, Virtueel Platform's project observatory for models of innovative practice in The Netherlands shows how to increase visibility and dissemination of good practice, and the development parameters for accountability (and success).
6. Recommendation: Develop a framework for continuous professional development & training
Action: Highlight responsibility of many different agencies – use platform to make case, find examples etc. and initiate meeting of possible actors and partners to investigate possibilities for international collaboration.
There should be structures in place to develop knowledge networking to create knowledge framework for policy makers, administrators / managers, cultural practitioners, knowledge exchange & skills sharing & networking & professional development. Should include all kinds of skills and professional development - peer to peer learning, opportunities for placements, internships, mentoring etc in areas such as legal, technical as well as artistic and critical discourse.
WG 1 Ambient intelligence, web 2.0 location based media, leapfrogging
Moderator: Liesbeth Huybrechts (Belgium) Group Rapporteur: Noora Zul (Singapore) Participants: Ling Pek Ling (Singapore), Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino (UK/Canada), Dr. Aditya Dev Sood (USA/India), WenKai Xu “Aaajiao” (China), Prayas Abhinav (India), Maaike Lauwaert (Belgium), Andrew Donovan (Australia), Martijn De Waal (The Netherlands)
Context Technological networks are today almost invisibly integrated into objects surrounding us and our everyday space(s), and these objects and spaces steadily become more intelligent. This has quite some implications for our relationship to these spaces. Our entire environment is mediated, and contains mirrors and virtualisations. Therefore, our conception and production of, and interventions into these spaces cannot be explained in dichotomies (such as virtual-real, public-private, global-local) anymore. Media artists, -producers and -designers do not limit themselves to formats of TV- or computer screens. The entire environment is a field for art. Our spaces are hybrid and thus artists create hybrid scenarios in our daily spaces, outside the framework of traditional art institutions.
Neither audiences nor private or public organisations have sufficient knowledge about the technologies that are crucial in these ubiquitous spaces. Therefore, the role of an artist who researches these technologies, visualizes its implications and demonstrates their alternative uses is of undeniable importance for our critical understanding of our (technological) society. Artists using contemporary technologies and media as tool and content are also described as media artists.
All of the above has important implications for the role of a media artist. By using our everyday environment as field of action, s/he works with communities that create these spaces on a daily routine. This forces artists to apply new working methods and skills. Furthermore, working with communities also has ethical dimensions and implications. This calls for research into specific social, economic and cultural contexts within which art projects take place. One has to question whether communities are served by temporary interventions without sustainable impact.
Therefore, insight into good practices (already a precondition for scientific research and social work) is a prerequisite. Artists have to take care that their projects contain feedback opportunities for the users of the spaces, and that users have access to ‘their’ data. Furthermore, a code of conduct for artists who choose to work in this environment needs to be developed. Policy makers can play a very important role in that, i.e. in initiating or supporting research programmes or by developing advice as how to carry out these kind of projects.
At the same time, artistic projects can heavily determine the perception of our environment. The framework for such projects therefore should not be over-regulated but comply a kind of safe zone for experimental research. This last point was the most urgent starting point for discussion within the working group.
Working Process The discussion started as a kind of open space. Each participant was invited to highlight a media arts project of which s/he thought that it addressed ubiquitous space in an interesting way. The emphasis of projects put forward was on supporting the community (sometimes embedded sustainably into the community), tactical projects (self-designed use of spaces) that intervened into ‘strategic’ spaces (formulated by an authoritative force and usually easy to locate): projects searching for gaps in space, mobilizing places, researching rules of localities, hacking and re-appropriating technological spaces and stimulating subjective experience and alternative perspectives on spaces.
The first question was to define our understanding of (public) space and which actors construct these spaces daily. The public space is not only public but also private, not only material and physical but also mediated, immaterial, thus by all means hybrid. Furthermore, (public)space is very differently defined in varying cultural contexts. This emphases the need for high-quality research of artists into the context of their planned interventions.
As a next step we aimed to find a more precise definition of media arts projects that use this hybrid space as a field of action. We chose the term Social and Locative Media Projects, since working in hybrid space is interlinked with working with location and community. How do these projects develop a relationship with their locations and communities? Hybrid spaces are produced on a daily routine by hybrid forces (public and private, social and cultural,…). Social and Locative Media Projects therefore search for hybrid contact zones with these locations and communities. The emphasis of projects is on processes and scenarios rather than the production of objects or products. To give an example, Prayas Abhinav (http://cityspinning.org/) works on collaborative community projects in India, in which self-grown/harvested food is being hung into trees so that it becomes available to a broader community. The project is technological in its nature since it includes research into how food in trees can be protected, nourished and kept. Clearly, projects like these are process- and research based, social and often ephemeral. This has new and different implications how these kind of art projects need to be subsidised and evaluated: not as a product, but as process and hybrid scenarios with many layers, partners and possible added values for society.
All of the above implies that Social and Locative Media Projects need to be approached with sensitivity and care. Artists need to have decent research qualities as well as a network and competence to be able to deal with this network in an ethically responsible way - otherwise they will need support by persons willing to act as hubs. If artists have to focus too much on this act of balance and assessment, they risk to hamper their artistic practice. This conclusion lead to some concrete action points and questions for policy.
Action Points 1. An international institution for networking and exchange that can lead on the distribution of information about partnerships, ethical codes, knowledge- and other practical information for research-based, community-building and locative media arts projects. This institution could collect answers to the following questions and support research and projects in their initial phase: a. How can one find and get in touch with a hybrid set of partners which are relevant to a Social and Locative Media Projects (companies, social,.. cultural partners)? What are good practices in setting up such cross-disciplinary dialogues? Is it advisable for these projects to preferably look for partners outside their own discipline? b. What is the best way to document these projects so that on a long-term basis they can be of added value for future projects? How important is public access to this information by the relevant community? What is the role of open management of the data collected within communities? Which role do technological infrastructures play? c. How can one engage end users (the researched communities) of all socio-cultural-economic backgrounds in dynamic and iterative feedback during the artistic research process? d. How can artists with their peers develop a valid research code for working within communities? Can such a code help to protect autonomy and freedom of arts projects? Can it assist in gaining trust of communities or authorities, so that autonomy and freedom become more obvious for these actors? Is there a need for a council of experts of some sort to review these kind of projects? What can such a code include? - Ethics and privacy standards - Checklist for self-compliance - Protocols that prevent art projects from irreparably damaging existing ICT networks - Mechanisms for feedback for communities
2. An international research fund to support Social and Locative Media Projects taking into account the specific characteristics of such projects, ie longer duration, collaboration with hybrid partners,...
A training programme for persons (such as producers, project managers,…) who can serve as hub between hybrid partners in Social and Locative Media Projects and ensure sustainability of projects also after their artistic peak; to develop their sensitivity for local, human, intercultural and hybrid contexts.
3. An independent public knowledgebase gathering information on new technologies that are of importance for our daily environment (and thus for Social and Locative Media Projects). It could also provide an overview of standards and of accessible and ecological alternatives for frequently used technologies.
WG 3 Open Source and Open Network, the Role of Small Independent New Media Labs
Moderator: Jaromil Denis Rojo/ Rob Van Kranenburg Rapporteur: Emma Ota Members: Konrad Becker, Petko Dourmana, Maja Kuzmanovic, Gustaff Harriman Iskander, Atteqa Malik, Doan Huu Thang ‘Tri Minh’, Stephanie O’Callaghan, Michelle Kasprzak, Francis McKee, Ngalimecha Ngahyoma, Tan Sei-Hon The subject of open source can be approached on many different levels technically, politically, economically, culturally but the social appears to be pivotal to openness yet often overlooked. Open source is not just about software or the internet it is more of an attitude or culture of collaboration, sharing and promotion of access to tools and knowledge, here we must emphasise the role of people and the relations between them, not just the means of production. Open source is a question of empowerment, freedom of speech and enfranchisement, none of which can be taken for granted still in today’s world. The role of new media labs or ‘hubs’ (as we prefer to call them) in the promotion of open source/open network and its benefits for communities was examined in this group. Example of good practice: Bandung – Common Room Common Room was identified as a key model of good practice amongst new media labs or ‘hubs’. ‘Common Room’ is a media lab based in Bandung, Indonesia, exploring underground culture and media art. This was established in 2001 as an open space to pursue artistic and cultural aspirations, which were being lost in politics and had no public infrastructure or policies to support them, unable to accommodate the public needs. It is necessary to have relevance to the local situation. Gustaff expressed the opinion that media can really change people, through distributing information and allowing people to create their own content. Common Room was therefore established as an inclusive space which can engage with pressing issues, inform and share opinions and create a point of advocacy or counter campaign. He urged us to consider the strategic positions of media labs to raise issues and accommodate public needs. We need to create spaces where there is no space, where people don’t have a voice, and therefore such spaces are born from need. Focus point: Vietnam A key focus point which was examined was the situation in Vietnam. In this context of strong government regulation there is little space for independent initiatives and alternative voices. It reflects an underlying concern about the Public domain, who controls the public domain, who is able to participate in it and contents can be shared within it, a problematic faced globally. When ownership of sources of information is monopolized by governments or large corporations there emerges a particular threat to underground culture and alternative information and perspectives. It is therefore vital that any independent initiatives try to promote access to these alternatives and create a space for diverse voices. But in order to create such a space there needs to be collaboration or at least dialogue between High end and grassroots cultural activity. Action points In considering the development of new media hubs and their promotion of open source strategies the following action points were recommended. The space for new media creativity needs to be opened and encouraged, supporting the initiation of media hubs.. There need to be particular conditions in place in order to activate this; these include support for catalysts of such initiatives, protecting their autonomy and providing the initiatives with financial resources. Development It is then the responsibility of the initiative to further its development in close communication with the local community Technology can be used a vehicle to share views, find common ground and advocate action on certain issues. In considering the role of media labs we must examine how people can be gathered around these spaces, how they can express their opinions and how we can enrich the culture by protecting open channels. Diverse voices and alternative approaches must be protected, the right to express and try different things must be central to any policy. This strategy and progress towards sustainability requires a network of communities/media labs etc. with a common ground , offering mutual support and hospitality, sharing infrastructure and advice. In order for media space initiatives to be successful there needs to be a strong knowledge of the local social context, which the space itself can contribute to. Such space needs to accommodate various groups and may be multi-functioning combining many facilities important to the community, for example education, health as well as art. The support of the local community is most significant to the function and progression of the space, they will function as your most important policy makers. When working with community groups it is important to consider how to win their trust and promote your action and discover their needs in clear communication. It is essential that this dialogue is continuous and that a critical engine is established to facilitate analysis of what you are doing and why you are doing it and the response of the local community. The role of Education here is very important, education which should be promoted by the media hub with the view to disseminating learning throughout the community and wider public. Communication Communication is central to the function of the media hub and to the open source network. Key necessities of communication in this context are to raise clearly the benefits of the activity, with outlined measurables which can identify the success of a project. In the process of communication there needs to be more dialogue between formal and informal organizations, between governments and independent initiatives . In such a strategy a toolkit for communication through the cultural/political hierarchies would provide a useful methodology and structure.. Such a toolkit would have to be developed according to different contexts but is should challenge bureaucracy and allow for innovation. Economy Economic models for the promotion of these activities must also be considered, models not based just on the established economies of public funding or corporate sponsorship but other alternative models must also be considered by both authorities and practitioners. Economies of sharing and exchange must also be considered in this case. Open source by nature supports such alternative models and is an important consideration in the sustainability of these initiatives. Openess Finally underpinning all of these recommendations and discussion is the need to promote and protect open channels in which there is transparency and freedom of expression. Independence must be protected while firmly participating in network, sharing and collaboration. This openness must be attained at many levels between the media hub and the community, between similar hubs/peers and between the independent initiatives and other formal structures.. Access to information and diverse perspectives is also essential in this approach.
Summary At the heart of this matter is the need for recognition of the existence of these media hubs and the good work that they do, recognition from both authorities and communities. By promoting education and dialogue in the field of emerging technology and creativity, especially open source culture, people can be informed of the many different possibilities open to them, how they can share in this, create their own content and address community needs. Media hubs can function as activation points in which people are enfranchised and empowered but further support is required in order to make this successful and sustainable. This support must take many forms including policy which the initiatives create for themselves, their relation to their surrounding communities and other media hubs in translocal collaboration as well as support from government authorities.