[spectre] Fwd: Roberta Alvarenga Re: media labs

Andreas Broeckmann abroeck at transmediale.de
Tue Sep 13 13:19:28 CEST 2005

    Datum: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 06:14:29 -0700
    Von: Roberta Alvarenga <roberta.alvarenga at gmail.com>
Antwort an: roberta.alvarenga at gmail.com
 Betreff: Re: media labs

Dear all,
 thinking about the medialabs subject ....
 here is my contribution ...

*How to setup a media centre?*

How to get the money and the freedom?

Seeking for a millionaire interested in investing in a Media lab in *Brazil*

* *



After nearly five years dedicated to the productive investigation of the
curious relationship between *fomenters-producers-researchers *who represent
* *the famous Brazilian paulistana "art and technology" scene; knowing (from
the inside) the "mother" structure of a media lab in an American university
(OSU <http://www.osu.edu/>)

and getting to know the backstage of a Colombian festival structured under
the obvious university organisation supported by UN (Festival de La
After a two-week period while going through an intense "living-course" that
could be named "how to set up a media lab" with with Geert Lovink (visiting
Brazil), Dutch researcher who helped founding Sarai New Media
, together with some important Brazilian art, media and activism scene
articulators (Lucas Bambozzi, Paulo Hartmann, Felipe Fonseca, Ricardo Rosas,
Hernani Dimantas ...) and following the interesting international discussion
about the political and commercial tasks media centres (Creative Industry ?)
of the 21st century on spectre-discussion-list, here are some ideas that
have been living in my mind searching for *n* answers-solutions:

 Stories and History regarding *mensalão* aside (or not):

 As a result of political-financial-cultural-social fluctuations our globe
has been going through....

The rumours of ICC fall, the closing down of Dublin's MIT and IVREA, have
rouse some dust of pessimism in the context of those who have dedicated
their lives exploring the art and science interface. (
 wonder if it turns
trendy )

Time goes by, time flies ...

Learning that Instituto Brasileiro Itaú
Cultural<http://www.itaucultural.org.br/>has (also) been through an
internal change, together with the (
financial-spatial) crisis of museums, the blah-blah caused by sectarian
Chambers as well as the profusion of culture points stamped by MINC
(Ministry of Culture) ... also fit this new-strange context .

... and Bamerindus savings does not exist any longer.

Over here, in this great Brazil,non-existing Media labs, although many
universities tend to do their part.

>From the numerous universities there are, less than ten ( out of which, more
than half are in SP) properly explores art and its new medium

Over here, the opportunities for research and fomenting of
exceptionally Brazilian
works are directly related to the national and state research councils and
to the few internal festivals ( also less than ten: Prêmio Sergio Motta –
FILE – VideoBrasil:: - Transmídia and Rumos Itaú Cultural...).

Thinking globally, how many "call for projects" email messages do we get on
a daily basis?

Impossible to avoid thinking: who finances so much awarding?

What's the difference between awarding works done and fomenting the
accomplishment of new projects? (FESTIVALS Vs MEDIA LABS?)

Will Media labs, museums and festivals live forever?

Shall artists always go from one festival to the next one?

Will the model conference _ exhibition survive always tired?

What is the statistical relationship between festivals and media labs?

A thousand fomenters and a producer?

On Spectre-List, talking about media labs, Jose-Carlos Mariategui –
President of ATA <http://www.ata.org.pe/> – Alta Tecnologia Andina:

"What exactly is a media laboratory? For what it should be created? (there

are many public ones that after one year or so due to lack of funds are
gone). What is their aim (media labs are not just places with machines,
there are specially spaces of discussion and production of new initiatives).

Also, is there a one-recipe for media labs? How is it in other parts of the
world (experiences by sarai, ata, centromultimedia, etc...). As we all know
the 'term' media laboratory appeared initially in places such as MIT 

 "*You can have the shiniest equipment, the best Tetrabyte RAID backups, and
the grooviest high bandwidth big pipe connection... but what about where
your ideas are pointing themselves? Are they exactly freely constituted...or
following a direction that has been bought and paid for?*". Alan J Munro

 Shouldn't Medias Labs direct the future?!

Encouraging and fomenting production and research. (Not only to nourish
Festival awarding)

But how should Media Labs work?

"we have to realize that there won't be much money around, because we really

have much to sell.". Alan J Munro

 *profit-non profit issue*

Over discussion with Brazilian articulators, some questions were brought up:

How to make money?

How to accomplish auto-sustainability ?

- Publishing and selling books?

- Formatting international conferences ? (as usual?!)

- Producing restricted projects to large corporations ?

"Just what are we trying to create?"

Thinking of media lab in SP, here are some ideas:

"*A media center/lab should indeed not only permit a open communication
channel between the independent and tactical initiatives and more academic,
theoretical approaches and/or projects as much as new developments in
theory, art, practice and action. The center should be much more a medium
than an end in itself, enabling producers, researchers, activists, artists
and theoreticians to meet, exchange ideas and join the production of
projects together. The results of such an undertaking would be disposable to
the public in general, through online and printed publications, conferences,
exhibitions and festivals*." (what else?) Rough of ideas for a project to
conceive a media lab in Brazil.

- Digital gallery:

Why wouldn't a um media lab have a digital gallery to sell digital works,
like the "*King of digital art*" Steven Sacks has done? !

- Digital Library:

Creating a library in pdfs – since the contend of books cannot afford so
many issues any more, the promptness of pdfs is imperative.

We should agree that, for means of research, education and cultural
production in universities and media labs, operational systems and computer
softwares should be free of cost.

- Festival support?

The culture of "new"festivals should be supported and disseminated as a way
of promoting dialogue with the society.

- Culture interchange agents?


Cultural protectionism does not move the world.

- Conference Room (Auditorium for 200 people)?

Equipped for conferences, workshops and lectures aiming to disseminate and
generate new ideas and knowledge.

Developing symposiums?

Presentations of research results that Brazilian and foreign researchers
have developed regarding themes considered relevant to our culture.

In order that the knowledge produced in such gatherings can overcome the
limit of time and space, all results of this knowledge transfer will be
registered in text and DVD format, so that this material can be distributed
in the future

( books +dvds + internet) . and used as historical research resource of our
Experience laboratories?

Exhibition Space?

Administration – Who would run it?

 What does the future hold?

I share it with an answer given by a member of this list who says:

 "we need to do and to tell people *how to do*.

we need to focus on problems and document how to solve them.

we don't need a manifesto. we need a *howto*.

there we go with everyone building it up in his/her own language.

there we can point out problems we all know about,

there we can focus the ways out then,

Let's do a lot of *howtos*."

  Does the world move us or is it the other way round?

 Roberta Alvarenga

Free-Lance Writer, Researcher and Producer

www.robertaalvarenga.com <http://www.robertaalvarenga.com/>
 Roberta Alvarenga
www.robertaalvarenga.com <http://www.robertaalvarenga.com>
eu at robertaalvarenga.com

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