New Cultural Networks – You Google My Second Space

On: November 5, 2007
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About Laura van der Vlies
Laura van der Vlies is currently a New Media master student at the University of Amsterdam. After finishing the New Media bachelor program and finishing the propedeuse year CMD at the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam, this is the year to finally really learn the inside of new media today. This summer I participated in the Digital Methods Initiative. This really made me learn to use knowledge in a different way. With interests in the topic of journalism on the web and certain forms of censorship I hope to make valuable contributions to this blog.

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Last Friday, November 2nd, the New Cultural Networks conference named ‘You Google my second space’ was held in the Openbare Bibliotheek of Amsterdam. The conference was organized by Stifo@Sandberg. There were a variety of speakers with different backgrounds. The overall theme was networking and the different implications of the subject.
The first lecture was given by Arjo Klamer, economist and working at the Arts and Culture department of the Erasmus University. His main question was about the differences in economics and culture and how to bridge the gap between these two. An excellent summary of the lecture is written by Anne Helmond and can be found here.

Shu Lea CheangShu Lea Cheang was next. Her lecture was titles ‘Mesh Mash Smash’ and contained an overview of some of the projects Cheang is working on. For example ‘Babylove‘ and ‘Tramjam‘. According to my own idea she meant to say with this lecture that ‘platforms’ or collaboration between people could create great things. She mostly works in groups and the projected she showed to us are products of these cooperations.

The third speaker was Régine Debatty from the weblog We Make Money Not Art. Again, this lecture is wonderfully summarized by Anne with beautiful pictures to visualize the lecture.

And after the break it was time for PIPS:Lab. Before the end of the break we already sneaked into the room. People were busy preparing the show. diespace.nlYoung men were walking around in grandma-costumes and seemed to have a lot of fun. A man was riding around in a wheelchair, a guy walked with a stuck and an enormous bumb on his back. Just to give an impression.
The idea was to introduce a new community named DieSpace. An internet community for people that have passed away. The outside of people is the interface. The soul is digitalized and will be the engine. Together they are a digital representation of yourself, which can live on forever. PIPS:Lab introduce various applications during the show. For example the ‘musical communicator’ that allows people to make their own music accompanied by images of their self. More about Diespace and the project can be found on the website.

Ned RossiterNed Rossiter gave a lecture about networking and some of the dangers that come with it. In a dazzling cloudburst of information he tried to say that in his ideal world, there are no more networks. One great point he made is that people can make ‘friends’ online but never see their enemies. Take for example Hyves. You can search for people and make them your friend. But why can’t you look for your enemies? There is an enemy on Hyves but it is never present. The whole lecture can be found here.Another great lecture from Ned Rossiter about ‘Organized networks’ can be found here.

Monique van DusseldorpAnd last for me this day, although some more people gave a lecture including Geert Lovink, was Monique van Dusseldorp. Her lecture was named ‘No more interactive media’. Networking is not about how many people you know, but how many people know you! After introducing herself with this saying, she shows examples of what networks can do. The paradox of Flickr. As a user you have to pay to put more pictures on there but as a viewer the content is all free. Also Youtube, Skoeps and Twitter are mentioned. What is interesting about these applications differs per group of people. Media industries these days know what to do with all this information and turn it into a market.

All the people that spoke at the conference had really different approaches of networking, according to their field of work. All together this was a really interesting day full of networking, art and fun!

Photos from the New Cultural Networks Conference by Anne Helmond. More on Flickr.

One Response to “New Cultural Networks – You Google My Second Space”
  • November 5, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    I agree a very interesting and entertaining (!) day.

    I’d also like to add something to what you said about van Dusseldorp. She talked about the shift from the emphasis on interactivity to a sense that the user is creating routines in which he is less conscious in their actions.

    She believes that we don’t want to make choices anymore, we expect that the choices in media consumption are automated. For instance Amazon, Photosynth or the “We feel fine” project. I thought she gave some fresh ideas to the interactivity approach of new media.

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