[spectre] New Media Art Organisations in Netherlands lose funding

Alessandro Ludovico a.ludovico at neural.it
Wed Jun 15 11:38:10 CEST 2011

And then what about joining forces with the UK affected institutions, 
trying to make a shared court challenge, or two simultaneously?

I'm not an expert too, but it seems more and more urgent to plan 
relevant actions.


>this may sound somewhat naive, but given that the organisations 
>involved are not exactly 'fly-by-night' speculative or frivolous 
>instances, but are historically significant parts of the Dutch, 
>European and broader and international cultural, political, 
>educational, academic and scientific landscapes, i.e. institutions 
>of major significant cultural and national heritage, that perhaps 
>this is an issue that needs to be taken up by a court challenge at 
>the European level, either at the European Court of Human Rights or 
>the European Court of Justice. It's not necessarily so that national 
>governments have either the right, the mandate or the power to 
>disproportionately or unreasonably erase such significant portions 
>of their own cultural identity.
>any legal experts with relevant experience/insight among the ranks 
>of the spectrites?
>On 14.06.2011, at 20:15, Andreas Broeckmann wrote:
>>  (fwd)
>>  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 & 
>>  -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 
>>  (fwd)
>>  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 grounds.
>>  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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