-----Original Message-----
From: [log in to unmask]
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Felix Stalder
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2003 8:29 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [Reader-list] Open Cultures :: Conference Announcement

+ Vienna, June 5 & 6, 2003
+ [log in to unmask]

** Conference Announcement
** Call For Resources
** Travel Grants Available


Today's infosphere allows a quick and easy exchange of digitized
The tools of creation and the means of distribution are becoming more
affordable by the month, thus continuously expanding the range of creators
and users. Yet, not everyone is happy with this. A coalition of large media
conglomerates calls for Draconian measures to stop this free flow of
information. New restrictive technologies and new oppressive laws are being
developed right now, in an attempt to create scarcity out of the digital
abundance. The current security fears are manipulated to equate openness
danger in a cynical effort to protect the assets of large industries against
the forces of innovation.

Against this backdrop, a counter movement is taking shape that is guided by
the idea of 'the commons': resources accessible to all.

Rather than expanding the means of control to catch up with the ease of data
processing, this movement takes the free availability of information as its
starting point. It recognizes that a free society needs free flows of
information, that the attempt to control information quickly leads to
controlling people. Creativity - commercial, scientific and artistic -
requires the ability to easily and freely built upon what others have

The Open Cultures conference will survey the new territory of the commons by
bringing together leading thinkers and practitioners from different corners
of this vast field. We will talk about access to scientific information,
software, patents and other forms of knowledge monopolies, wireless
networks, open distribution channels, about the economics and the aesthetics
of the commons.

We want to strengthen the understanding of the shared visions and goals,
learn from the different experiences and approaches and send a signal that,
yes, openness is possible, indeed, it's the only direction to move forward.

The conference will focus on the following topics:

        * Information Commons
Open Access Journals and other institutional initiatives to build a
infrastructure for free access to information

        * Media of the Commons
Grassroots publishing, peer-to-peer, free distribution, freenet

        * Wireless Community Networks
Rather than buying bandwidth from global telecom giants rebuilding
flows locally, from the ground up. One wireless cell at a time.

        * Politics Of the Commons
International treaties and international governing bodies. What are the
possibilities of using them to advance openness and access?

        * Culture of the Commons
What culture and art is emerging in the commons?

The conference will include workshops of streaming technologies and on
wireless networks as well as exhibition of media installations who explore
the ideas of openess and free access.

Speakers and Guest include:

Shu Lea Cheang (Artist, Kingdom of Piracy), Vera Franz and Darius Cuplinskas
(Open Society Institute, Budapest,, Adam Hyde (Artist, Frequency
Clock), Jaromil (Developer, Dyne:bolic), Jamie Love (CPTech), Armin Medosch
(Artist), Eben Moglen (Professor of Law, Columbia University NYC, EFF
2003), Eric Moeller (Journalist,, Andy Mueller-Maguhn
Computer Club,, ICANN), Bruce Sterling (Novelist), Alan Toner (NY
University, Media activist,


As we all know, a conference as a live event has a limited reach: a few
people at worst, a few hundred at best. Nevertheless, its value can be much
greater. The event character of a conference serves to focus attention, to
create a defined context in which people, ideas and projects meet, learning
takes place and new ideas can grow. Made accessible and archived on line,
this focus can become an important reference point for the larger discussion
way beyond the actual event.

We would like to invite you to expose your ideas/projects to this focus on
Open Cultures without the burden of having to travel to Vienna. How? By
submitting a resource to the "Open Cultures Repository".

A resource can be a text, a media file, a project, or a call for
participation. We are in the process of assembling critical resources for
theory/practice of free information flows. We invite you to contribute to
this collection of resources, by submitting one, or more, resource(s) either
as original media files, or as links to resources already out-there but hard
to find. The resource that you want the community to know about can be
or someone else's.

Please browse the resources that are already online and contribute to
expanding the scope and value of this open collection.

Should you have any questions / comments to this project, please do not
hesitate to contact us.
[log in to unmask]


Thanks to a generous contribution from the Open Society Institute (OSI), a
small number of stipends are available to cover participants' travel costs.
Participants eligible for these stipends should be from countries outside
US and EU.

If you wish to apply for a stipend, please send an email to [log in to unmask]
indicating your interest in the conference and travel expenses.

Deadline for applying is April 30, 2003. The stipends will be awarded in
consultation with the OSI and recipients will be notified by May 15.


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