Geert Lovink on Thu, 6 Feb 97 23:39 MET

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

nettime: <!> zk-plan for 97

                       -> to all nettime members <- 

               Request for Comments - Call for Collaboration

                     The Central Commitee Plan for 1997

                    'Some Small and Big Nettime Reforms'

                       First Draft, Amsterdam, Feb 6 97

table of content                         

** what's next?

* Social Galaxy
- nettime spring meeting
- other gatherings
- city exchange network
 - netlab-berlin-bethanien  
 - AEC Linz: 'Remote'   
 - Dokumenta: 'Workspace'

* Gutenberg Galaxy
- ZKP4
- non-english books
- The Nettime Bible
- flyer

* Turing Galaxy
- nettime-nl
- nettime-d
- nettime-t
- alt.culture.nettime
- ZKP online 
- nettime-archive
- member's page
- categorizing

* open questions: 
- noise filter / moderation 
- nettimes newsletter
- the economy of translation
- rethinking decentralisation 
- the cozyness debate
- commodification / monopolizing
- the European Question 
** long term strategies

* Social Galaxy
- N5M3-1999
- german meeting  

* Turing Galaxy
- social interfaces / free groupware
- forming content clusters

* Gutenberg Galaxy
- journal


** what's next?
The following list contains estimated processual data, everything
may change, and should evolve, through your participation,
comments and criticism.

* Social Galaxy

- Backspace Secret Conferences
As a good start into the year in London, a series of meetings on, net.religion and net.politics are taking place organized
by Heath Bunding with the participation of many nettimer's. First
plans were made there for 97, some of them you may find in this
ZK report. (,

- Nettime Spring Meeting 97
During the Metaforum3 conference Budapest it was planned to do a
real nettime meeting. The first one in Venice is almost two years
ago. The decision was made to hold a meeting in three parts, two
days with presentations and workshops in Ljubljana, a lecture-
performance event in Zagreb leading into a small rave and a
closed nettime meeting at the Adreatic coast (Istria). These
places are not far away from each other and it is easy to travel
between them by bus. This event will be made possible partly by a
grant of the Soros foundation Slovenia and Croatia. Soon you will
hear more about the event. See below for the corresponding ZKP4. 
expected Date: May, 21-27 (, igor.markovic@zamir-,

- other gatherings
Andreas Broeckmann might post a list of upcoming events you may
have seen already on the syndicate list (of media art in Eastern
Europe). Main events: 
+ Video Positive (LEAF V2_East), Liverpool, April (
+ Hacking In Progress, Amsterdam, August (
+ Dokumenta X, Kassel, from June 21. 

- City Exchange Network

the idea begins with the experience that travelling through the
social network produces 'pleasure and presence' which is part of Local initiatives connecting together to a
multidimensional cloud of cultural differences, not decodeable
via wires alone. A cluster of European cities participating this
process of intercultural exchange: Helsinki, London, Berlin,
Budapest, Basel, Ljubliana, Rotterdam, Riga, Moscow, Amsterdam,
Groningen, Tallinn, Vienna and others.
+ netlab_berlin@bethanien
A collaboration with Internationale Stadt Berlin, stipendium of
a six pack of net.artists: Heath Bunting, Alexei Shulgin, Future
Perfect, Akke Vaagenar, JODI, -Innen. Dates have to get arranged
soon. March 97 to March 98. (

+ City Exchange Remote Network
A collaborative web-site and entry point for the participating
projects. Mailbox-remail-service coming soon.

+ NICE (Network for Inter-Cultural Exchange)
It's a proposal for the European Kaleidoscope project to find
funding for travel expenses, lectures, machinery and local-to- ( 

+ Polar Circle / MUU Helsinki , July 
A workshop for net artist under the midsummer night with hi level
equipment, still in the process of decision making

The time based tool for art and communication, still running for
example at or wwwart moscow

+ AEC Linz: 'Remote'   
Proposal for the Ars Electronica Center to host a group of
net.artists and digital artisans remotely to build up a
collaborative website. Also in discussion is a netscape backup-
cdrom for conservation comparable to Heiko Idensen's 'O(f)f-the-
Web'. (, and others)

+ Dokumenta: 'Workspace'
Informal workspace, 100 days of lecture on geo-political issues,
reporting, gathering and cyber-hang-out, hybrid media based on a
temporary city architecture, option for people who come by, more
coming soon.

* Gutenberg Galaxy

- ZKP4
So far we have produced three xerox-readers in A4, each 200
pages, which is temporaly available at the V2 archive
( which were distributed in limited edition of 200
copies each at Next-Five-Minutes-one, Amsterdam; 5Cyberconf,
Madrid; Metaforum3, Budapest. ZKP3-2-1, a compilation is
available at Ljudmilla, Slovenia (
ZKP4 will be a small offset newspaper in hi circulation, with
short articles in english. A collaboration of Very Cyber Indeed,
Ljubliana and ArkZin, Zagreb. This can be freely distributed
later on other events and conferences in this year.
- non-english books
+ this Spring the Berlin based Edition ID Archiv will publish a
small compilation of the early best of Nettime titled
"Netzkritik" in German. (fax 0049 30 6947808)
+ Arkzin Zagreb is planning to bring out their own compilation in
croation language to be published by their own new publishing
+ planned is also a Dutch compilation in collaboration with the
publishing house De Balie, the society of old and new media, and
the magazine Andere Sinema, Antwerpen.
+ Toshia Ueno, Tokio is negotiating with publishers about a
Japanese version which will also contain some new articles by
Japanese net critiques.
+ other publishers republishing nettime documents: Shake, Milano
brought out a book containing articles of ZKP1, Bethanien
Magazine Be #3, Berlin; Telepolis Journal, Munich; 21C, Sydney;
Andere Sinema, Antwerpen

- The Nettime Bible

The summary of two years postings and debates in the nettime
channel, 600 pages english text in a look of a telephone book in
a red plastic box. Reedited, compiled, enhanced and layouted at a
summercamp in August at de Waag, Amsterdam. De Waag will take
care of the production costs. Printing will be low price in a
East European country. Aimed circulation: 3000-5000. We are
still looking for financing partners, redistribution channels and
participating publishing houses. The proposal can be required via

The Zentrum fuer Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe is inviting nettime
to co-produce a ZKP-like print product for the opening of the
new center on October, 24. May be combined with the Nettime

- nettime flyer
should contain all major nettime adresses and logos, may be done
by Daniel Pflumm, Berlin. Who likes to write the slogonomics, 
contribute art-work, infos, ideas? ready for the spring meeting.

* Turing Galaxy

- women's list
at the meeting at Backspace in London it appeared very likely
that maybe will host a new list for a redifinition
and discussion of 'cyberfeminism'. (,,  

- nettime-nl
since November 96 the 'Dutch text-only' channel of nettime is
running from the Digital City server. So far 150 people are
participating with an average of 5 posts a week. Mainly local
announcements, some Dutch theory, no major topics yet. If it
developes, articles will be translated into English and posted
to the international list. ( with a info nettime-nl in
the body of the text, archive:

- nettime-d
running from the Internationale Stadt Berlin Server, nettime-d
will host the German language branch of media theory and
Technology criticism. A list of main textes is already waiting in
the queue. We will experiment firstly with the categorisation
into 'Genres' within the subject header, an abstract at the
beginning of a text and a new web-interface programmed by Thomax
Kaulmann for handling the list. (, with a info nettime-d in the msg body)

- nettime-t
still under discussion, will host the techies-only who will
discuss future features and the development process of new
software on which a further reform will be based on. See below. 
Please contact,,
if you like to join.

- alt.culture.nettime
the public channel of nettime. This usenet newsgroup was running
almost only at The Thing Vienna under the name alt.nettime as an
archive with the kind help of Max Kossatz ( As
soon we will have officially changed the name into
alt.culture.nettime, the news-admins around the world will host
it automatically. You can already find the list on The idea is to have an easy way to access the
nettime flow and participate in it without 'trashing your
mailbox'. We will have to see how nettime changes with an
additional broader channel for discussion threads, lurking,
commenting, flirting, spamming. While the list of nettime
subscribers should grow slowly trough really engaged
participants, the newsgroup will provide easy access for the rest
of us. At the end of Feb check your local newsserver or ask your
admin to host news:// , the
proposal of the new group will discussed at alt.config

- ZKP online 
ZKP2 is already online, ZKP3 is in the conversion process. We
generally need friendly web-masters which would like to help us
taking care of the site keeping it in a minimal/functional design
it will also host as the 'home-base' of nettime, leading to the
different channels in different flavours.

- nettime-archive
still under construction, we are currently playing with the
hypernews scripts at but are not very biased for it.
Especially if you have a good idea for the full-text-engine-s/w
or if you want to join the techie-team of nettime see section
nettime-t. See also 'rethinking dezentralisation' and
'categorizing' below.

- member's page
you know the who command, this is the expanded version. Robby
( is working on it. It will give you the opportunity
to make a profile of you available to the other members of the
list, so your contributions get contextualised better and
personal e-mail contact can build up easier. You can even make
advertisement for your projects and skills and give a list of
links. Ready soon.

- categorizing
You may have heard about the term 'genre'. A genre is a fuzzy
data type explained by similarity to a bigger group of documents
named as the same genre. if you add a new document, you just look
what's already there. If you are sure that you invented a new
genre, call it <new genre> and wait if other people try to copy
the style. Genres we will use is <!> announcements, <?>
requests, <*> articles/essays, <+> comments, <-> critical
comments, <&> interviews, <@> web-review  and so on. The format
for the new subject line will be: "<tag> title - author" It will
get generally introduced when we'll rework the nettime archive.

* open questions: 

- noise filter / moderation 
there are seasons of enjoyment and seasons of complaint, a
'natural' rhythm of postings can be distrupted or overheated,
sometimes it goes down, like during holiday periodes, sometimes
it is just too much. The shared phantasma that nettime is
moderated helps, the same counts for a secret line of self-
constraint. There are cummulative processes which go beyond a
human attention span. On the other hand only the lack of
censorship makes it a true mailinglist. What to do with this
never-ending story?

- nettimes newsletter / abstracts
as with the newsgroup, we believe that possibilities and not 
control is better in order to modulate and differentiate the
growing flow.
There were several demands for a comprehensive 'map' of the
nettime discourse. A tool for people which have the interest but
simply not the time to follow each message posted onto this list.
The first idea is to start any text you post with a short
description what this text contains - a three line summary. These
'abstracts' can get extracted into overviews, data-bases,
The other idea is a monthly 'nettimes' newsletter which could be
done in a round-robin way by a changing editorial, and would
contain the abstracts of the main essays, a metalog about which
issues appeared generally, short info on new websites or books
and upcoming meetings and should not be longer then 20K.
(20.000 characters). What do you think?

- the economy of translation
Recently we had a debate on different Englishes, and the problem
of non-native-speakers to participate a theoretical discourse.
We have to live with the fact that the net will be more and more
multi-lingual, while on the other hand people will be forced to
publish in English if they want to get recognized widely.
In the context of nettime, there are around 30 languages and
especially in the European situation the question appears, who
should do these translations? There are already some solutions:
some of us do translate, or at least edit a text and you can
carefully use that opportunity. But this practise is based on a
sensitive economy of ring exchange. So, some of us may play with
automatic translation, others may get grants from somewhere, or
combine it with an educational or DIY-context. Behind the
language barriers there may grow different and very productive
perspectives on things we don't know how to talk about. Remember
postmoderism. In simple words, translation is a question of

- rethinking decentralisation
nettime has no archive yet. There are only automatic backups at
mediafilter and The Thing Vienna. This does not solve the demand
of a validated, indexed and searcheable archive which gives the
posted textes their own references. The question of the archive
is much more interesting then a working interim solution that we
will install in the next weeks at Archives are about
always changing standards, about copyrights, about public access
to information, the definition of content through the adresses, 
a question of the definition of power and knowledge, archivation
is an active process, where a lot of human labour is involved in.
An archive is about making selections, sometimes very personal
ones. It's our collective memory. We think there is a need for a
new round of the (fashionable) archive discussion, bringing
together practicioners and theorists from different fields.

- the cozyness debate
Pauline and Josefine just posted an interesting statement about
the internal nettime text economy. While this signifies the need
for an autoreferential and constructive debate on 'what's
nettime', we would like to warn for too many postings about
'nettime on nettime'. We see a tension between community aspects
and this channel as a publishing medium. Even if we believe that
the social coherence is constitutive for a functioning
mailinglist, we prefer models which do not interfere the
different levels of social interaction where we have different
opportunities: breast to breast meetings IRL, private contacts
via e-mail, telephone, talk, IRC, and public channels which are
radically different from physical social space. 
nettime might be a family or a tribe, but we would like to
encourage internal debate, also difference, not only against the
"bad guys" but to overwhelm our own opressive consensus and
tolerance. The distortion of the common human scale of
presence/absence, contact/distance in cyberspace just gets bigger
if we confuse map and territory. We strongly doubt any good use
of "humanizing electronic space", giving it a smiling face or
enriching it with the signs of digital cozyness. Many subscribers
had strange experiences in other so called 'virtual communities'
or mailinglists which show, that the fundamental distance we try
to cultivate in this list is giving it's participants a certain
comfort and freedom. But we definetely opt for a dialectical
relation with intensive, local time/space events.

- commodification / monopolizing
what's going on? You just happened to sell a piece of text or an
artwork under price? You just found out that someone used your
work without asking? The process of commercialisation of
cyberspace seems unstoppable. Complaining doesn't help much. We
need to analyse the situation and come up with our own models.
That's the background of the political economy debate we had in
recent months. It is not a theoretical issue, it effects all of
us. Experimental models for alternative economies, trade unions
for digital artisans, fair use copyright disclaimers, horizontal
clusters and search engines of collaborative content, pirated
theory, further inquiries into the potlatch and a hi-level
critique of globalisation and casino-capitalism may lead to more
then utopic thinking. It first poses the question of organisation
in the info-economy, and a mailinglist is one such form. This is
meant as a call for partipating the construction of a digital
working environment, beyond the poetics of electronic solitude,
defining the hard borders of producing subjectivity. 

- the European Question 
We want to express here our gratitude for the efforts many
people made on this list to give it a vivid, singular and highly
qualitative flow. As an intercultural, intersubjective channel
for debating and exploring the cultural politics of the nets it
became obvious for many, that this flow relates to what one may
call a "European tradition". It might sound a funny question
wether nettime is European, but an answer would have many severe
implications. We relay on cultural differences and biases which
go beyond the official line of the Internet Ideology of the
Global Mind and the Universal Access of the World State. We are
also no propaganda organ of the Fortress Europe, even if there
are possibilities to profit from EU money. Anyway, we encourage
contributions following and unfolding this line. The myth of
Eastern Europe, the Euro-American dialogue, facts about the EU
telecom policies, the starting NGO debate. Can nettime think
global? We don't think so. But in a limited frame it is possible
to reflect and experience cultural differences within the
turbulences between globalisation and regionalisation. 

***long term projects

* Social Galaxy

- N5M3-1999
The Next Five Minutes 3 conference is now planned for January
1999. By that time everybody will be employed by Nettime Inc. 
No joke. The infrastructural preparations are already starting.
There will be the Tactical Media Network adress data base. We now
have the resources to do a better research, working from the
'Waag' building (The Society for Old and New Media). At the first
conference in 93 we spoke about 'camcorder activism'. At the
second one in 96 we faced the hybridisation of independant media.
This process is now going on, see the B-92 realaudio-sites
combined with books, videos, weekly pamphlets and tactical paper
airplanes. There will be the serious attempt to find similar
groups on other continents to work with. It is still the aim of
the network and the conference to bring together activists,
artists and theorists from various fields.

- german meeting 
also no joke. Sooner or later, it is Berlin's turn to organize a
gathering. Who will first arrive, nettime or Kohl? The
conceptual quality of German Data-Space makes it a possibility to
cause real effects by tactical coalitions in the discoursive
field. Parts of the academy, corporate culture and hacker
tradition share a certain ethics of electronic literacy which
have to get discovered yet. This meeting will be held in the
Secret Nettime Language (Deutsch).

* Electronic Realm

- social interfaces / free groupware
We spoke already about majordomo and its discontents. The medium
of the mailinglist is a very strong and elementary one but has
its limitations. The ongoing rush on reorganizing business with
so called groupware or intranets lets the traditional free tools
of the internet behind. Within the next years it has to get
proved, if the old hacker ethics remain competitive in strategic
markets. The idea is to develope our own software bringing
together the techniques of a BBS, e-mail and full-text engines
with distributed databases and easy-to-use interface. Not only
the environment for smaller discussions should be easier to
create and manage by the average user, but the three elements of
the adress data bank, the schedule and collaborative document
processing do only make sense if socially contextualised.
Recycling and socializing the concepts of expensive corporate
groupware through a software developement project based on a
constructive dialogue of theorists, content hunters and techies.
This can be seen as a continuation of the city metaphor with
other means, going away from the solitude of the desktop

- forming content clusters
The new models for redefining content through social context
follow more abstract and performative metaphors like a 'web
planet', 'semantic neighborhood', 'cyberspace stations', 'social
interfaces'. The already existing correlations and
correspondences between different content producers may become
tighter couplings if the pressure of monopolisation and
marginalisation of low profit zones within the net gets higher.
Upcoming content clusters which form syndicates and free trade
zones under their own rules adapted to the info-sphere to escape
the capitalisation of the simplest acts of communication. 

* Gutenberg Galaxy

- journal
if there has to be an intellectual and political answer to
products like Wired Magazine, then it has to come from groups
like nettime. A project of 'Inversive publishing' (Rheingold)
working together with the groupware concept, and the 'synergy' of
shared political interests through various media. It is nice to
produce a bible together and other anthologies but it is better
with a working concept of a small but hi-quality magazine for
contemporary data critique with world wide contributors. It is a
dream many people dream and it is good to bring those people
together and it is even better to be sometimes ambitious.
*  distributed via nettime-l : no commercial use without permission
*  <nettime> is a closed moderated mailinglist for net criticism,
*  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
*  more info: and "info nettime" in the msg body
*  URL:  contact: