Geert Lovink on Mon, 5 Jul 2010 15:20:41 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime-ann> New Media Workers across Asia and Europe (Shanghai)

New Media Workers across Asia and Europe: Research Platform for Interregional Collaborations, Shanghai, 7-11 July, 2010

Organizers: Ned Rossiter and Soenke Zehle, with Anja Kanngieser and Brett Neilson

Research assistants: Han Xue, Yu Tianzheng (Vivian)

Funded by Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and Australian Research Council (ARC), with support from Goethe Institute, Shanghai

The central concept that frames this initiative concerns the conditions of labor and life among new media workers in Asia and Europe. Inviting new media practitioners from Asia and Europe to collectively analyze, compare, and discuss their work practices with artists and civil society organizers provides an innovative means of tracking transformations in the web-based industries and encouraging dialogue between the regions. In Europe, images of new media practitioners as either exploited precarious workers or free creative spirits abound, but have these same stereotypes proliferated in Asia? What are the cultures of creativity and work that frame these practices? Bringing together various actors whose intellectual, artistic and social expressions confront these questions is highly relevant to policy making that seeks to address the changing relations between culture and economy as well as the ongoing transformations of borders and regions.

7 July: Organizer's meeting, arrival of participants
8 July: 1.30-6pm - Interviews with participants, Goethe Institute
9 July: 10.30am-5.15pm - Seminar at Goethe Institute
9 July: 6-8pm - Public screenings of videos from participants, Goethe Institute
10 July: Field research
11 July: Field research

Venzha Christ
Mauricio Corbalan
Chen Hangfeng
Maurizio Lazzarato
Geert Lovink
Anja Kanngieser
Angela Melitopoulos
Brett Neilson
Ned Rossiter
Shveta Sarda
David Teh
Soenke Zehle
Manuela Zechner

7 July
Organizer's meeting, arrival of participants

8 July
Interviews with participants, 1.30-6pm, Goethe Institute

9 July
Seminar at Goethe Institute, 10.30am-6pm

10.30 - Introduction: Soenke Zehle and Ned Rossiter
10.30-11.00 - Participant introductions

11.00-12.30 - Round Table 1: Chen Hangfeng, David Teh, Shveta Sarda

Framing questions: How does the economization of new media work shape the aesthetics, values and culture of production in Asia and Europe? How does service labour define the urban, social and cultural geography in cities across Asia and Europe? How might we see connections or common conditions between service and so-called creative labour? Is there any political potential or analytical traction to be gained from the production of the common? What are some of the dynamics of movement that define the migration of labour (both low- and high-skilled, foreign and domestic)? How might such mobilities be registered and what analytical purchase does that offer? (i.e. what are some of the cartographic methods through which movement is made concrete?).

13.30-15.30 - Round Table 2: Venzha Christ, Mauricio Corbalan, Geert Lovink

Framing questions: What is the impact of intellectual property regimes (IPRs) on the circuits of production and distribution across Europe and Asia as geocultural regions? Do IPRs construct the borders of regions in distinct ways? And how do piracy networks contest such border regimes? What are some of the key commonalities/differences in the open source/peer-to-peer cultures in Asia and Europe?

15.45-17.15 - Round Table 3: Anja Kanngieser + Manuela Zechner, Maurizio Lazzarato, Angela Melitopoulos. Discussant: Brett Neilson

Framing questions: Does precarity mean anything at the level of labour organization among cultural workers in Asia? Europe rests with complacency in the false belief that it holds a monopoly on creativity and invention: 'Designed in Europe, Made in China'. But what of China and, more broadly, Asia's increasing transformation in terms of the systematic and haphazard organization of invention? When Europe is consigned as an edu-factory sweatshop that functions to generate commodities 'Made for Asia', how does that play into broader geocultural and geopolitical formations across Asia and Europe? What are the implications here for the production of subjectivity as it relates to the autonomy of creative labour and its organization?

17.15-18.00 - Informal drinks/snacks
20.30 - Dinner: Mei Lin Ge (1st Floor, World Trade Center, 500 Guangdong Road - near Hubei Road)


9 July, 6-8pm, Goethe Institute, Shanghai
101 Cross Tower, Fu Zhou Lu 318


By Angela Melitopoulos and Maurizio Lazzarato
Duration: 62mins [10mins excerpt will be screened due to time constraints]
Year: 2010
French with English subtitles

Assemblages is an audiovisual research project about FÃlix Guattari and his revolutionary psychiatric practice, his political activism as well as his ideas concerning ecosophy and his interest in animism especially in the Brazilian and Japanese context. The installation presents excerpts from documentaries, essay-films, radio interviews, conversations with friends and colleagues of Guattari, and material on the clinic La Borde in France and institutional psychotherapy including films by Fernand Deligny, Renaud Victor, FranÃois Pain and others, as well as new material produced in Brazil in the course of the research. Originally presented as a triptych of differently sized screens, the installation refers to ideas of movement and gravity eminent in the cartographies of animistic art as well as to concepts of the immaterial in Asiatic art. Each screen intensifies a modality of the senses: seeing, hearing, reading. The montage of the archival material is conceived as a mirror to Guattariâs concept of the âassemblageâ, which is also a main topic throughout the installation. This screening will be on single not multiple screens.

The Language of Things
By Angela Melitopoulos
Duration: 33mins [10mins excerpt will be screened due to time constraints]
Year: 2008
German with English/Italian subtitles

'No occurrence or thing', wrote Walter Benjamin in 1916, 'fails to take part in some way in language; for it is essential to each to convey its meaningful content'. Angela Melitopoulosâs video essay The Language of Things is subtitled at critical moments with quotations from Benjaminâs On Language as Such and on the Language of Man. Silently spoken, they appear over images of a sequence of precisely calibrated machinery â carousels, wave pools, and other machines offering the thrills of acceleration â from Tokyoâs artificial worlds and high-tech amusement parks. Things, Benjamin tells us, have a dumb and inchoate form of speech, yet they communicate by means of a 'material commonality' with each other. This commonality is immediate and magical. Only through the mediation of things can the world be grasped as a whole.

Angela Melitopoulos, artist in the time-based arts, realizes video- essays, installations, documentaries and sound pieces and curates exhibitions and seminars. Her work focuses on duration and mnemonic micro-processes in documentation. Her work was awarded and shown on many international festivals, exhibitions and museums (including the Antonin Tapies Foundation Barcelona, KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin, Manifesta 7, Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, and the Whitney Museum New York). She is collaborating in political networks in Europe and Turkey and publishes theoretical articles on her artwork and on mnemopolitics., ,

Maurizio Lazzarato is a sociologist and philosopher who lives and works in Paris. He is one of the founders of the Multitudes revue and member of its editorial board. Among his recent publications are: Lavoro immateriale. Forme di vita e produzione di soggettivita (1997); Videofilosofia. Percezione e lavoro nel postfordismo (1997); Tute Bianche. Disoccupazione di massa et reddito di cittadinanza (1999); Post-face à Monadologie et sociologie (1999); Puissance de l'invention. La psychologie economique de Gabriel Tarde contre l'economie politique (2002); Les Revolutions du capitalisme (2004).


You Can Get Them / äæç
By Chen Hangfeng
Performance + Video / èä+åè
Duration: 3mins 25sec
Year: 2009
Chinese and English titles

There are 16 arms behind me holding some random toys, tools and food items, all made in China. I bought them from a supermarket in Luxembourg, where I paid almost ten times the price of what they would cost in China. (This performance piece was made during the Art Workshop at Casino Luxembourg.) åæçåéæ16ææèïåå æèçåïåååéçççåïéäèääåãæåå æåçæäèååèåïæäçäææäåç10åã(æ èääååCasino Luxembourgçèæååäèæéæå)

The Last Supper: Fast food / æåçæé: åé
By Chen Hangfeng
Performance + Video / èä+åè
Duration: 5mins 14sec
Year: 2008
Chinese and English titles

There were almost 30 chickens in the Braziers International Artist Workshop (Braziers Park, UK); they were suppose to be slaughtered the next day to feed the artists. I fed them a "last supper" of rice by drawing the head of Colonel Sanders on the ground using grains of rice... åèåäæéåçBraziersåéèæååäååæåçå ç30åéïçäååäååèåæåæäéåèæåç çäéïæçåçååäçääåååäæçèåïä æääåäæåçæé...

Santa's Little Helper / åèèäçååæ
By Chen Hangfeng
Video + installation/ åè + èç
Duration: 9mins 02sec
Year: 2007
Chinese and English titles

The video is shot in a small village in Zhejiang Province, (China) where 50% of the world's Christmas decorations are made by hand. The family workshops were doing the ornaments all year along and the landscape had been littered with garbage. (Originally, the video has been edited into a 9-minute video and screened it inside a small wooden box wrapped like a Christmas present, people only can see the secret from a small peep whole on the box.) èéåèææäääææççåæåïåäç50%çåè èéçåéæèäæïæåäåéçåääåååéå æåååèäåèéåïåæèéççåååèæè åã(åèèçèæäé9åéçççåæåääååè ççèçèçåææïèäåèäåèçççååäè çã)

Chen Hangfeng
Shanghai based artist use paper-cut, drawing, photo, video, performance and multimedia installation to explore the issue of commercialization, environmentalism, globalization and cultural transmutation. 'Being an artist in Shanghai / China is very lucky, I can experience the speedy change of the society, weird new things happen all the time, and all sorts of information you can get, this is extremely inspirational. But I feel the loss of identity and the struggle for finding myself makes it hard to keep the balance'. ,

äææåèæåïèçåçïççïççïèäååå äèççåäææèåäåïçåïåçååæåéä çééã-âääääåäåäæçèæåææååå åèïåääèäéåçäçééåèïæåçäçæ åéååçïåææååçåæçäæïèèäææä çåäçæãäåæèäçèåååæèèçççäè ææåéääæåèãâ


Chai Wan Ni (Now Showing)
By Nitipong Thinthupthai
Duration: 21mins
Year: 2009
Thailand (no subtitles, but a largely visual film)

'For many villages in Thailand's far northeast, the cinema is still mobile. At its fringes, the networks of the Spectacle are yet to displace the rhythms of the Festival. Nitipong's "Chai Wan Ni" offers a sentimental glimpse of the rich and enduring traditions onto which the moving image has been grafted in Southeast Asia'. David Teh

Nitipong Thinthupthai (àààààààà ààààààà ààà, b. 1979) is an emerging filmmaker from Surin Province in Thailand's northeast. He came to Bangkok when he was in Grade 6. After graduating from vocational school, he began working as prop assistant on commercials and films, including Ong-Bak and Tropical Malady. His own films have been screened widely in Thailand and abroad, including at the World Film Festival, Bangkok and the International Film Festival, Rotterdam. Apart from directing his own films, Nitipong has worked on (and acted in) the productions of many of Thailand's leading independent filmmakers, and also runs a fabulous T-shirt shop, FILMSOVER, at Bangkok's Chatuchak Weekend Market (Section 22, Soi 3!).

David Teh is Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, National University of Singapore. With a PhD in critical theory from the University of Sydney (2005), he was based in Bangkok until 2009. He recently curated 'Unreal Asia', a thematic program for the 55th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (Germany, 2009). He was a co-founder of the Fibreculture forum for internet culture, and is a director of Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney. ,


The Darling Sisters
By Venzha Christ
Duration: 12mins
Year: 2010
Producer: HONF Lab / The Fibers,
Indonesian and Javanese with English subtitles

Every single day, an estimated number of 200,000 young, productive, and mostly female Indonesian citizens leave the country to work in various overseas companies and factories as full-time contract workers. And this is the tip of the iceberg. Sources state that the number excludes migrant workers departing from other international airports in other regions all over Indonesia. It also excludes illegal migrant workers, especially those crossing the borders by other means of transportation. Word has it the number of illegal migrant workers nearly matches the legal ones. These very numbers also contribute a significant amount to the stateâs hard currency reserves, which have in fact become the Indonesian governmentâs second largest source of income after oil and gas exports. With such fantastic figures, it could hardly be denied that the government have been greatly helped by and have even grown to depend on the earnings from our migrant workers. Fight on, the Nationâs Breadwinner!

Vincensius 'Venzha' Christiawa is a new media artist and cultural research director at the House of Natural Fiber New Media Labs, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.


Staging Cities: An Assembly of Humans and Not Humans at the Matanzas- Riachuelo River Basin, 2008
By m7red (Mauricio Corbalan and Pio Torroja)
Duration: 14mins
Year: 2009
Spanish with English subtitles

Staging Cities experiments with new ways of staging public issues. How cities are populated? Entities, things, infrastructures, people, machines,groups, institutions, characters... How they live together? Which are the conflicts that gather and separate them? âStaging Cities/Ciudades en escenaâ takes the problem of staging the city, its systems, beings, entities and their conflictive coexistence. To stage this diversity is a political bet in itself. Parliaments are the usual stage where sometimes cities and citizens can look at themselves. But parliaments are just one way of many to stage public issues. The challenge at Buenos Aires is to set up a new assembly device to give voice to emergent characters in order to expand political imagination. Staging Cities set up the challenge of consider a collective building technique of characters and scenarios as a new political scenic device.

Mauricio Corbalan studied architecture and urbanism at the University of Buenos Aires from 1986 to1993. He co-founded (with Pio Torroja) m7red in 2005. Originally based in Buenos Aires, m7red is a urban resources network which holds archives, laboratories and consulting offices. It collaborates with a wide range of experts and non-experts to analyze, discuss, research and make proposals on the most pressing political and urban topics.


Future Archive: The Articulation of Resistance - Activism and Activist Speech Practices
By Manuela Zechner and Anja Kanngieser
Duration: 15mins
Year: 2007

How do some of the different modes of rhetoric, apparent in contemporary political artist and activist circles, translate into action? How do different political artists, activists and collectives utilize speech and language in the construction of their identity and belief systems? In this extract of a larger archive of research documentation - the future archive - these questions are addressed through a methodology in which discursive techniques are used in order to extend divergent âactivistâ discourses into a future by constructing âfictiveâ conversations, whereby people come to inhabit self-imagined spaces of futurity. Conducted during the counter- G8 protests of Heiligendamm 2007, these extracts of conversations act as starting points for various modes of enquiry into the use of artistic and activist vocabularies, and are offered for viewing, development and discussion via the online archival platform

Anja Kanngieser is a cultural geographer and co-researcher on the Transit Labour project, where she is interested in self-organisation and practices of refusal. She collaborates on the Future Archive, Vocabulaboratories project, and Dissident Island Radio.

Manuela Zechner is an artist and researcher based in London, currently doing a Phd on intersections between caring and creative labour at Queen Mary University London. She coordinates the Future Archive and Vocabulaboratories projects and is involved in the Micropolitics research group.

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