[spectre] fibreculture meeting, melbourne, december 6-8 2001

geert lovink geert@xs4all.nl
Wed, 28 Nov 2001 22:53:28 +1100

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i n t e r n e t
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theory | criticism | research
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::fibreculture:: politics of a digital present
6 - 8 December, 2001, Melbourne

Noting a vacuum in critical Australian net culture and research,
::fibreculture:: was founded as a mailing list in January 2001 by David Teh
and Geert Lovink.  The purpose of the list has been to exchange articles,
ideas and arguments on Australian IT policy and practice in a broad context.

The inaugural ::fibreculture:: meeting considers four key areas of net
culture and research: theory, policy, education and the arts.  Co-organised
by Cinemedia and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, a public debate
on the evening of 6 December will precede the meeting.  The debate seeks to
address these issues in dialogue with a wider audience.

A 2 day meeting follows the debate.  All are welcome.

Both events bring together a community of critical thinkers engaged with new
media/Internet theory and practice, with a view to constructing a strategic
program of how Australia might better support innovation, R+D and the
applications and culture of new technology.

A reader has been prepared for publication prior to the ::fibreculture::
meeting.  It can be ordered from the ::fibreculture:: website
(www.fibreculture.org).  Submissions of 1500 to 3000 word short essays,
position papers, or manifestos were invited that address at least one of the
four key themes, and these were posted to the ::fibreculture:: mailing list
and subject to peer review.

The aim of the ::fibreculture:: meeting is not to present formal papers, but
to circulate papers in advance which can operate as a point of reference and
basis for discussion during the meeting.

We aim to produce more readers, monographs, edited collections and
newspapers.  Proposals to the list are most welcome for future publications.
We see this as one key intervention into the current political economy of
commercial academic publishing and the "command economy" approach to
academic production by DETYA.

Digital publics: a debate

Thursday 6 December, 7pm - 10pm

Organised together with Cinemedia's Australian Centre for the Moving Image

Treasury Theatre, Lower Plaza

1 Macarthur Street, East Melbourne

Registration: at the door ($10 full/$7 concession)

7pm sharp


Moderator: Geert Lovink

7.15pm - 7.50pm

Session 1 - Net Theory
Key Speaker: Mathew Allen, Associate Professor, School of Media and
Information, Curtin University of Technology; author of Smart Thinking; and
the Executive of the Association of Internet Researchers

Respondent: Esther Milne, writer and PhD candidate, Department of English
with Cultural Studies, University of Melbourne.

7.50pm - 8.25pm

Session 2 - Policy, Intellectual Property Rights, Commercial Practices
Key speaker: Victor Perton, Victorian Shadow Minister for Technology &
Innovation; Victorian Shadow Minister for Conservation & Environment; former
Chairman, Victorian Government Multimedia Committee, Data Protection
Advisory Council, Electronic Business Framework Group.

Respondent: Tom Worthington, Visiting Fellow in the Department of Computer
Science, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, Australian
National University; electronic business consultant; author of the book Net
Traveller; information technology professional.

BREAK - 25 minutes plus launch of book, Politics of a Digital Present: An
Inventory on Australian Net Culture, Criticism and Theory

       light snacks and drinks available in foyer

8.50pm - 9.25pm

Session 3 - New Media Arts/Culture and the Arts
Key Speaker: Terry Cutler, currently a member of the Australian Information
Economy Advisory Council.  He is a member of the International Advisory
Panel of Malaysia's Multimedia Super Corridor, reflecting his strong
interest in the role of, and opportunities for, Asian countries in the new
information era.  Terry Cutler is also Chairman of the Australia Council,
having previously chaired its New Media Arts Board, and he is on the Council
of the Victorian College of the Arts. He has previously served as a director
of Cinemedia and Opera Australia.

Respondent: Amanda McDonald Crowley, currently Associate Director, Adelaide
Festival 2002. Cultural worker, researcher, facilitator, curator working
primarily in the new media/ electronic arts field. Previous Director of the
Australian Network for Art and Technology.

9.25pm - 10pm

Session 4 - Education
Key speaker: Paul James, Senior Lecturer, Political and Social Inquiry,
Monash University; President of Association for the Public University;
author of Nation Formation: Towards a Theory of Abstract Community; editor
of The State in Question: Transformations of the Australian State and
Technocratic Dreaming: Of Very Fast Trains and Japanese Designer Cities;
editorial member of Arena publications.

Respondent: Anna Munster, Lecturer in Digital Media Theory, School of Art
History and Theory, College of Fine Arts, UNSW.  She is also a media artist
whose work ranges across new media, time-based and photomedia (see her
online work: http://wundernet.cofa.unsw.edu.au).  Anna has written for
ctheory, m/c, Photofile and Artlink among others and is currently
researching biotechnical art and ethics.

Closing Panel

::fibreculture:: inaugural meeting, 7 - 8 December,

Organised together with the Centre for Ideas, Victorian College of the Arts

234 St Kilda Road

Southbank, Melbourne VIC 3006

Registration: $50/$30 full; $30/$20 single day (payable at the door - NOTE
cash or cheques only).  Registration includes lunch, tea, coffee and copy of
the book, Politics of a Digital Present: An Inventory of Australian Net
Culture, Criticism and Theory.

 Venue: a PDF map of the room locations can be downloaded from
www.vca.unimelb.edu.au - go to the link "Where is the VCA".


Friday 7 December

Venue: Room 216 in the Music School (entry from St Kilda Road)

10.00am - 10.30am

Introduction of ::fibreculture:: facilitators and organisers

10.30am - 12.30pm

Mapping Australian FibreCulture

Round with introductions and 3 minute presentations

       Researchers, critics, theorists, writers, programmers, designers,
developers, consultants: WHERE are you and WHAT are you up to?

12.30pm - 1.25pm - Lunch break

1.30pm - 3.30pm

Session 1: Network Theory/Philosophy


       Debating neo-emperical approaches and the return of objective social
        science after the exhaustion of post-structuralism
       Crisis of the offline (AI/VR) body centred Deleuzian notions
       Hegemony of digital Darwinism and biologism within new media arts
        and IT industry
       Importance of media archaeology, mapping pre-histories of new media
       Global governance debate
       Public Domain vs. the Corporate State
       Problematic relation to Cultural Studies
       Network theories for the future-present

3.30pm - 4pm - Tea/coffee break

4pm - 6pm

Session 2: Policy


       Telstra, broadband, right of access, bandwidth
       Australia and the censorship tendency (political, pornography,
        gambling, etc.)
       Alternative plan for IT Centre of Excellence
       Mapping the policy players
       How to fight the consumerist ethos in IT policy - "access" as cyber
        literacy and skill, not high bandwidth data-gluttony
       How can ::fibreculture:: be heard and operate on the policy level?
       Policy futures

6pm onwards - drinks/dinner party (location to be decided)

Saturday 8 December

Venue: Federation Hall (entry from Grant Street, Southbank)

11.00am - 1pm

Session 3: Culture and the arts


       Cult of representation, proximity to political power
       Patronage system (cultural state apparatus)
       Primacy of aesthetics
       Lack of game/net.art and e-literature funding
       Deliriating over an (absent) synergy of arts and science
       Generationalism in new media arts

1pm - 2pm - Lunch break

       screening of The Code - a Linux documentary from Finland

2pm - 4pm

Session 4: Education


       Current approaches/paradigms: teaching new media/internet studies
        and e-learning
       Corporatisation and the Virtual University - profit obsessions,
        confused IT sovereignty, limited teaching and research outcomes
       What constitutes the mode of production?
       Relationship between curricula development and university funding
        and policy
       Both government and opposition share limited horizons. How can we
        explode these?

4.15pm - 6pm

Closing session ::fibreculture meeting::

       Directions of ::fibreculture::
       Discussion about the list
       Legal structures for ::fibreculture:: as formal organisation
       Futures: the place of ::fibreculture:: within policy making,
        research funding and practice


Hugh Brown (Brisbane) hughie@onlineopinion.com.au
Geert Lovink (Sydney) geert@xs4all.nl
Helen Merrick (Perth) H.Merrick@exchange.curtin.edu.au
Esther Milne (Melbourne) e.milne@pgrad.unimelb.edu.au
Ned Rossiter (Melbourne) Ned.Rossiter@arts.monash.edu.au
David Teh (Sydney) dteh@arthist.usyd.edu.au
Michele Willson (Perth) M.Willson@exchange.curtin.edu.au

With special thanks to:

John Arnold, Head of School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash
University, <John.Arnold@arts.monash.edu.au>
Alessio Cavallaro, Producer/Curator New Media Projects
Cinemedia's Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)
Nikos Papastergiadis, writer and Head of the Centre for Ideas, Victorian
College of the Arts (VCA),  <n.papastergiadis@vca.unimelb.edu.au>
Louise Adler, Deputy Director of VCA
Arena Printing and Publications Pty Ltd., http://www.arena.org.au


Centre for Ideas, Victorian College of the Arts
Cinemedia's Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Humanities Division, Curtin University of Technology
Monash Publications Grants Committee
School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University
The Power Institute, University of Sydney

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