An experiment in web comic form initially inspired by the desire to have a character in a V for Vendetta mask. New fumetti.
The first ever Berlin round of the ancient game of Draw! DRAW FASTER!! (or as we say in Germany Skizze! SKIZZE SCHNELLER!!) Played in Hudson Cakes after the screening of Graphic Novels! Melbourne!! at the Moviemento Kino.
One group developed the scenario, within the genre of Kung-Fu, another group came up with the dialogue, then up to the artist to… You guessed it… Draw! DRAW FASTER!!
A heartfelt entertaining documentary on the Melbourne comics scene made by Bernard Caleo and Daniel Hayward. The somewhat… rustic production values in no way detract from the pure soul of this film which focusses on a handful of comics creators based in and around Melbourne, where a diverse and vibrant modern* comics scene has developed.
Links to the individual artists to follow.
*Modern comics are what in the 8os would have been underground comix. Defined by adult subject matter dealt with in the subverted cartoon style.
The title of this talk; Remixing Digital Cities was perhaps chosen more for the perceived cool that the word remixing bestows on any subject, as in truth there was not much remixing to be had. Rather four very interesting views on the city as a spatial analogy for a data network.
Mathias Fuchs was first up. He spoke of the Cyber provincialism rife in Second Life, how instead of creating a place where National boundaries are dissolved in digital space, instead there is a patchwork of cliché – cyber simulacra of nations rather than a new internationalism.
The dream had been that ‘cyberspace’ (a now strangely dated term) would be the spawning ground of a unified planetary consciousness. This was exemplified in such early experiments as Wiencouver 1979
Another attempt GAIA in 1989 was limited in its attempt to establish a truly nationless, international community by the fact that all correspondence had to be conducted in English.
Fuchs concluded that instead of a transnational cyber-utopia, what we were instead faced with was the ‘McDonaldization’ of the real world, where everything everywhere looks the same.
Marleen Stikker ‘Mayor of the Digital City’ spoke next, she had been institutional in creating a virtual Amsterdam, back in 1994, before the ‘world wide web’, when the internet was a white flashing cursor on a black screen. She stated the problems of the first free gateway and virtual community on the internet were Intellectual property,racism and pornography – how far we’ve come.
Stikker concluded by proposing what we need is not ‘smart’ cities but ‘smart’ citizens.
Karl Heinz Jeron spoke next about his Berlin based project – Internationale Stadt (International City Federation), a network which ran from 1994 to 97 as an independent Internet provider with the goal of making it easier for cultural projects to be present in the net. It contained all the aspects familiar to social networks today. User Profiles, instant messaging, user generated content.
Why did it fail? In Jeron’s own words – No vision from the creators, no iteration / upgrade and too many passive consumers. Perhaps just a little too ahead of it’s time.
The fourth speaker was Felipe Fonesca live from Brazil. Unfortunately the Skype connection was so bad that it was virtually impossible to engage with what Mr. Fonesca was, so enthusiastically talking about – The state of modern Brazil and the implications of a digital network being imposed on top of the physical city in preparation for the Olympic games in 2016 (to the best of my understanding).
The poor quality of this uplink poignantly illustrated that despite all the advances available to us we’re still far from living in a world free from physical boundaries. Raising the question do we want to? Is there a fear of enforced homogenization? Global networks dictating new regimes of control. Should the future of virtual communities, as Stikker suggested, be trans local rather than trans global?
This in turn raised my question to the panel:
“If the city as a spatial metaphor for data networks is inherently flawed what would be a better metaphor?”
No conclusive answer was forthcoming, so all suggestions would be gratefully received.
…Kyle Evans - sound designer, computer musician, electronic instrument creator, and realtime video performer.
n.b. The actual performance at the Berlin 2013 Transmediale took place in a darkened room, with the artist obscured and the focus on the tv set.
I came in late to Geert Lovik’s talk Social Media – from complaints to alternative tools having dallied too long in one of those ‘sound and light’ performance events that can tread that oh-so fine line between being really interesting / engaging / entertaining and a load of old guff. Hurrying into the impressive Conference Auditorium at the Haus Der Kultur der Wely (HKW) – one of those striking modern buildings, like London’s South Bank, that represents what people thought the future would be like in the 50s, I just caught the end of Craig Saper’s introduction; Something about networks, Then on to Mr. Lovik himself a talk focussing mainly on the issue of personal (data) privacy and Facebook. All delivered in Lovik’s faultless English (“Hunky Dory”!?) a ‘sketch of which’ is outlined below.
Kids suffer info overload > ADHD
Bernard Steigler – collective individuation
Anthropotechnics – Peter Slotedijk
Pressure to become part of interactive systems
Howard Rheingold – Net Smart.
Collaboration is a threat to facebook
Protocols not new platforms.
Protocols / sustainability / self organisation / scalability – orgnets
Lovik also offered a list of alternative social networks, including App.net an add free social network for $5 / month as well as the web 2.0 suicide machine if you’ve had enough of the social network.
This is what inspired my question, asked at the end of the talk. I wanted to know why I should be afraid.
I know that this may sound a little naive, that I will probably be booed or laughed at, but as someone who uses social media discerningly, and is in turn rewarded with interesting and enriching content, rather than the obligatory and ubiquitous dancing cat, why should I pay $5 a month? Why not just pay with my data?
Am I like the indigenous population selling their sacred lands for a bottle of whiskey, having no concept of land ownership. Do I have no concept of the value of my personal data?
Tell me why I should be afraid?
Mr. Lovik asked if I would like the bottle of whiskey and we all had a good laugh, he then proceeded to not really answer my question. He cited the prospective employers vetting candidates through their Facebook page, bosses spying on employees through their Facebook. Not really my problem, as I am the boss. No sense of the Stasi (Nazi’s are so 2012) coming for me in the night because I clicked accept without reading the small print. As I said I am naive. So please tell me why I should be afraid.
I want to be afraid.
There follows a fairly comprehensive list of the ‘ethical’ e alternatives and ways to protect yourself.
Mr. Lovik’s own Unlike us from the Institute of network cultures
Europe vs Facebook
Share me not
Give me my data
Web 2.0 suicide machine
Read the fantastic, exciting, informative and entertaining interview with me at the excellent Comic Book And Movie Reviews website – here
If your story omitted a smell, what odor do you think it would be?
It would be the smell of a cracked iPad being booted up in an ancient, crumbling castle, which has been the venue for a massive rave-festival the night before.
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