[spectre] New Media Art Organisations in Netherlands lose funding

Andreas Broeckmann ab at dortmunder-u.de
Tue Jun 14 20:15:13 CEST 2011


Last Friday the new policy plans of the new Minister were announced 
and published and they are very dramatic in general for the whole 
field of art and culture in The Netherlands. On the PNEK list it was 
announced as:

New Media Art Organisations in Netherlands lose funding.

The Dutch New Media Art Organisations Steim, De Waag, Mediamatic, V2 
& NIMK are about to lose all their funding.
The Dutch secretary of state for Culture in the Netherlands, Halbe 
Zijlstra, has published his policy plan for coming years. In contrast 
to the official recommendations given to him by the Culture Advisory 
Board, the cutbacks will not be spread out over a number of years, 
but will take immediate effect in 2013. The budget for visual art 
will shrink from 53,3 to 31 million.
Among the more damaging and destructive decisions is the complete 
cutting of funding for the six leading New Media Art Organsiations 
that produce, distribute and facilitate New Media Art;
-STEIM: Independent Live electronic music centre that is exclusively 
dedicated to the performing arts.
-De WAAG: Organisation & Worklab for old and new media, developers of 
open source tools, research & technology for the creative independant 
industry & intermediate between art, science and media.
-Worm: Rotterdam based laboratory, venue and studios for film, music 
and internet featuring concerts, new media events, screenings, 
production of film, music and software art.
-Mediamatic: software art projects, lectures, workshops & screenings 
aiming on the young generation of artists, designers & tinkerers.
-V2: interdisciplinary centre for art and media technology in 
Rotterdam, activities include organizing presentations, exhibitions 
and workshops, research and development of artworks operating in an 
international network
-NIMK: The Netherlands Media Art Institute (NIMk) promotes the wide 
and unrestrained development, application and distribution of, and 
reflection on, new technologies within the visual arts. Since the 
Netherlands Media Art Institute came into being in 1978 an extensive 
collection of video and media art has been assembled, to which new 
works are constantly being added.

These institutes together form the foundation for New Media Arts in 
the Netherlands and forfil an important role in the International 
Network that shares knowledge, exchanges, produces, distributes and 
promotes various forms of New Media Art.
For most of these organisations the budget cuts will mean their disappearance.


BUT of course there is more to it. In the document one can read that 
Architecture, Design and eCulture are fusing together in a new fund 
called Creative Industry (something non of these sectors wants). ALL 
organization in the 3 domains won't receive any structural funding 
anymore in this plan BUT the new Fund, that is now being structured, 
will likely offer the change to organizations to get structural 
funding (2 to 4 years). But since this fund is not there yet and 
since they are having strong debates about the role and function, and 
program of this fund nothing is indicated about this fund in the 
published document. So when reading the document you get a different 
picture of what is being debated right now insight the Ministry and 
with the 3 sectors.
The thing that should be in place for this fund are
1. structural funding to some of the important plpl.ayers in the 3 sectors; and
2. creating space for basic research in the 3 sectors.
When we get this done we are still facing a hardcore economic agenda 
(the Minister is a hardcore liberal) but that we can shape and 
address 'creatively' since we can't and don't want to fullfill this 
agenda ourselves. Dealing with the goals of the new Fund will be a 
major challenge since NO ONE wants this Fund and it has NO bearing 
Still, if you read the whole document you can see that probably 
eCulture, design and architecture are coming out best if you compare 
what is happening in other sectors like theatre, performing arts, 
post academic education, visual arts a.s. For example all production 
houses for theatre won't be funded anymore; all post-academic 
organization like the Rijksacademie, Jan van Eyck and Berlage 
Institute won't receive any funding anymore after 2012. This are just 
some of the cuts that have been done.

NIMk nevertheless, since they are not part of eCulture but the visual 
arts, are serious trouble up from 2013. The Minister indicated that 
he has NO responsiblity for an archive that is not set up by the 
Ministry but by a foundation itself, so it's NIMk's responsibility to 
deal with their archive he thinks. The same for the Theater Instituut 
Nederland that won't get any funding and who also have a large 
archive on theatre on theatre covering decades of history. but it's 
also an archive setup and organised by the institute itself so also 
here the Minister sees no responsibilities for him.

So you can imagine that I have been lobbying, having meetings last 
months since we saw all of this coming, even though the result is 
very unexpected in its format (bringing architecture, design and 
eCulture in one new sector called Creative Industry - that nobody 
wants to be related to).

I keep you updated since the coming month will be essential for the 
future of eCulture in the Netherlands since the new fund is now being 
discussed and shaped and should be announced end of July. And of 
course we think and push that this new fund will supoort some 
organisations structuraly since the budget is there (eCulture is far 
less cut down then any other sector, only about 15% while other 
sectors face cut downs to 25 till 50%).

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