was_ist_was@oxkonferenz

Podium: Indymedia
Rubrik ‹bertragung
Veranstaltungsdaten: 22. Mai / 14:00 / 3 Std. / Track B / Raum 3D / englisch
ReferentIn(nen): Marion Hamm
J. Martin Pedersen
Abstract:

Marion Hamm: Indymedia - materiality of web-based communication networks

Taking indymedia as a practical case-study, I would like to discuss some thoughts on the materiality of a web-based project and the potential of a Free Software mode of production to have an impact outside the web. I'm hoping for an informed debate/workshop and would like to feed back critique and encouragement to the indymedia channels.

The Free Software Model has become a bit of a metaphor, an utopian promise, an answer to the question: "what is to be done" [1]. On the other hand, critiques are asking for evidence for the transmittability of the Free Software Project from the web into "real space", for products beyond software.

Indymedia is amongst those projects which allow to trace the contamination of "meatspace" by webspace - and vice versa, to the extend that it becomes difficult to distinguish between both.[2]

Indymedia certainly owes a lot to the free software community - the way to produce new code or fix bugs, the actual product -> software, and indirectly the way to self-facilitate email lists and and deal with public archives as well as the entire hotly debated open publishing idea.

Beyond this, web-based communication/collaboration tools like irc, twiki and email lists, web-radio and video are beginning to shape a way to collaboratively produce content, projects and networks that could be interpreted as a qualitative rather than merely a quantitative leap.

I'm experimenting with an understanding of Indymedia as one of these productive machines, a plattform that produces much more than words on the internet.

Looking closely at the ways indymedia is using web-based tools and modes of production that emerged from the web, and comparing them with other collaborative, open projects, I am adressing these questions:

  • How to position indymedia between the free software mode of production, immaterial labour and the model of autonomous collective self-organisation?
  • Does the use of web-based communication tools lead to critical, radical, in-depth production of content, thought, friendship and desire - or to the very managerial, project-based attitude which is at the core of Empire [3]?
  • Data flows are physical - How about the materiality of the clearly web-based indymedia project? How does this machine generate material impact, on the levels of subjectivity, politics, networks, technology and maybe even on the utopian level of the oekonux concept about a seed for new modes of production?
  • How does the indymedia project connect to other "free networks" such as yomango [4], free shops, wikipedia, free software development and other free things?

[1] Matteo Pasquinelli: Radical machines against the techno-empire. From utopia to network. Internet: www.rekombinant.org/article.php?sid=2264
[2] Marion Hamm: A r/c tivism in Physical and Virtual Spaces. Internet: www.republicart.net/disc/realpublicspaces/hamm02_en.htm
[3] George Orwell: Second Thoughts on James Burnham. Internet: orwell.ru/library/reviews/burnham/e/e_burnh.htm. Quoted by Bifo on http://www.rekombinant.org/article.php?sid=2241
[4] www.yomango.net

J. Martin Pedersen: Free Software Movement and Indymedia. A Tool for Culture Building

The presentation begins with an old story about the emergence of Space Between Words and the origins of silent reading. There used to be no such as thing as space between words, capital letters and grammar and reading was mainly an oral performance. By giving an account of an ICT revolution that took place over several hundred years and over a thousand years ago new light might be shed upon the significance of Free Software in particular and the relation between social and technological development in human societies generally. The story leads to a comparison between the Free Software movement and the Indymedia network in terms of the challenges that they share. There is no conclusion: the struggle continues....

 
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