[spectre] New Media Art Organisations in Netherlands lose funding

Honor Harger honor at lighthouse.org.uk
Wed Jun 15 11:00:21 CEST 2011

Dear all,

The situation evolving in the Netherlands is shocking and 
catastrophic.  Can those involved in the Dutch media arts scene let 
us know what the international community can do to help or support 
the organisations who face oblivion?

I know they seem like small gestures, but I'm sure there's a petition 
or open letter in circulation, and it would be great to post the 
details of that here.

Plus, is it worth concerned colleagues from around the world, writing 
letters directly to Halbe Zijlstra?

I'm saddened and concerned, and my thoughts are with all my friends 
in the media arts sector in the Netherlands.



>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%).
>SPECTRE list for media culture in Deep Europe
>Info, archive and help:

Honor Harger


Address: 28 Kensington Street, Brighton, BN1 4AJ, UK
Tel: +44 1273 647197
email: honor at lighthouse.org.uk

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