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Call for Performances/presentations

WATERWHEEL will be launched on 22 August, in Brisbane (Australia) AND will take place live online on the TAP at 6.30pm – find your time here – Media release attached.

The TAP is an online, real-time venue and forum, workshop and stage for live networked performance and presentation. Here you can create and collaborate, rehearse and remix, present and exchange, participate and communicate—privately as a crew or publicly with an audience. The Tap provides tools for live networking and real-time media mixing.

This is a call for proposals for performances/presentations (of 5 minutes each maximum) for the launch of WATERWHEEL – with a deadline for proposals of 12 August 2011. The entire performance/presentation program will be no longer than 30-45min.  Below some info on how to use WATERWHEEL. Do not hesitate in contacting us for more details or a guided tour of the TAP.

Suzon Fuks
Australia Council for the Arts Fellow
skype: suzonfuks
Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail

A new online platform exploring ‘water’ as a topic and metaphor. Here is a short video presentation about it – check our vimeo account for a new video coming soon showing the TAP in its latest development!  See also media release attached and info below.
All you need is a computer with internet access and a web browser with the latest version of Adobe Flash Player. To contribute and collaborate via the Tap, you might also need a webcam and headset depending on your performance/presentation.
* sign up, you will receive an email with a link
* Activate the link, you can create your TAP (please give it a title) and upload on the WHEEL (check also your junk/spam box, maybe email goes there)
For details, please download pdf document about upload requirements & how to use the TAP.

Video tutorial here.
You can upload: Image (JPG, PNG)  | Video (MP4) | Animation/Slideshow (SWF) | Audio (MP3) | Document (RTF, PDF, DOC, XLS) : all media about ‘water’ as a topic or metaphor

* once you signed up and activated the link received by email
* you can create your TAP (please give it a title) and upload on the WHEEL (check also your junk/spam box, maybe email goes there)
* If you want to invite someone on your TAP, add that user in your crew
* user will receive an invitation by email with a link
* link has to be activated
* user will log in
* then click on ‘My Taps’ & on the table, there will be ‘superD’ TAP or another titled TAP you’ve been invited to
* On the right side of the table, you have a link ‘ENTER’. Click on it.
* the TAP will load on your webpage (patience, it might take a few minutes – you might be asked to update your flash player to new version, that doesn’t take much time. Just follow the prompt. But you might need to re-log-in)
* You can go with or without webcam. You will need to go on the top menu and select a tab (webcam, visuals, audio) and within each tab, an icon that you will drag onto the stage below. If you want to type chat, go on the write side at the bottom, there is an entry for public and crew. And in the middle on the right, there is another entry for a crew private chat (not seen by audience).
* if you click on a media (once it is dragged on the white page), you will see a palette of tools – first row from top: keep your mouse down when you select one of the tools, second row: resetting tools, third row: just a click on the tool you need, volume icon: keep your mouse down and go down to diminish the volume.

This project is initiated by Suzon Fuks as part of a Fellowship assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body; in collaboration with INKAHOOTS and IGNEOUS, supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, Brisbane City Council, the Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts, Ausdance Queensland, Youth Arts Queensland & iMAL. Creative Sparks is a joint initiative of Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. People collaborating so far on the project are from NZ, Australia, Indonesia, India, Serbia, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, UK, Canada & USA.

| blog | vimeo | flickr | twitter | WATERWHEEL site

FutureEverything online activities at Media Arts Festival, London

FutureEverything is presenting a Lounge, Panel, Artwork and Online Forum at Media Festival Arts in London 8-10 September.

FutureEverything Panel: We Don’t Need Another Bubble (How To Build A Sustainable Digital Culture).

From the series of debates that began with The City Debate, Manchester, during May, FutureEverything offers a vision of the future of
art and innovation emerging from digital culture. Participants: Drew Hemment, Marleen Stikker, Amanda McDonald Crowley, Toby Barnes.

9 September, 14:00. Roundhouse London.


FutureEverything Lounge

Workshop and discussion event on digital culture and public space, encouraging open conversation and an informal ambience. Highlights include
Bill Thompson plus a HackData workshop led by Matthew Somerville.

9 September, 12:00-17:00. Circle Bar, Roundhouse London.


Digital Debates – Lounge Warm-Up/ Online Forum

Bill Thompson will be leading a debate on public space in an online/digitised world and how culture is presented in it.

2-8 Stepember.


Questions for the Opening Night Panel/ Online Forum

Cuts, closures, reorganisation‚ what does it mean for the Arts, and what part can digital play in overcoming the change and austerity? This panel will help shape following debates featuring Jeremy Hunt (Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport), Mark Thompson (Director-General of the BBC) and more.

2-8 Stepember.


Aaron Koblin and Takashi Kawashima, Ten Thousand Cents

“Ten Thousand Cents” is a digital artwork in which a representation of a $100 bill is drawn by thousands of individuals working in isolation from one another paid one cent each via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

8 September, 18:00-23:00. Roundhouse London.

November 2007 on -empyre- soft-skinned space : “Memory Errors in the Technosphere: Art, Accident, Archive.”

Moderated by Renate Ferro (US) and Tim Murray (US) with Ingrid Bachmann (Canada), Madeleine Casad (US), Out-of-Sync (Australia), Grace Quintanilla (Mexico), Monica Ross (England).

Confident reliance on the expanse of virtual memory, data bases, and archives can be easily compromised by the uncertainties of art, the surprise of accident, and the shifts of archival assumptions, if not also by those irritating computer messages announcing “memory error.” The interruption of digital memory error accentuates what Thomas Hobbes lamented in a much earlier age of technological revolution as the fragility or “decaying sense” of memory. This month’s guests on -empyre- will reflect on how the tenuous memory reserves of digital culture reinvest the complex affect of the personal in the fragile fabrics of the social. They will ponder the inscription of the cultural importance of memory and archive in the inherent masochism of their fragility when art enters into contact with archive and accident.

Moderated by Renate Ferro (US) media artist, Department of Art, Cornell University, and Tim Murray (US), Curator of the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell University

with special guests

Ingrid Bachman (Canada) is an interdisciplinary artist who explores the complicated relationship between the material and virtual realms. Bachmann uses redundant, as well as new technologies, to create generative and interactive artworks, many of which are site-specific. She is the co-editor (with Ruth Scheuing) of Material Matters, a critical anthology on the relation of material and culture and has a chapter in a new anthology, The Object of Labor (ed. Joan Livingstone and John Ploof), published by MIT Press, 2007. Ingrid is a founding member of the Interactive Textiles and Wearable Computing Lab of Hexagram and is the Head of The Institute of Everyday Life. She is currently Associate Dean, Research and International Relations in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

Madeleine Casad (US) is Assistant Curator of the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art and a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature at Cornell University. She is interested in political aspects of memory and counter-memory in the context of digital culture and textuality, medium-specific temporalities (and aesthetics!) of information storage and retrieval, and questions related to subjectivity and “the archive.” She teaches courses on gaming, narrative, and media and is completing a dissertation about virtuality, identity, and narrative desire in literature and media art, focusing mainly on German texts and institutions.

Out-of-Sync (Australia) is a collaboration between Norie Neumark and Maria Miranda who have working collectively for over 15 years, beginning in radio and then from the early ’90s making work with CD-Roms, installations, websites and Internet installations. Currently they are working with performative encounters in public places – process based works which they document in various ways for installation. In addition to their international new media art practice, Norie is Associate Professor of Media Arts and Production at the University of Technology, Sydney, and Maria is a doctoral candidate at Macquarie University in Sydney where she is researching the performativity of mediaspace and the possibilities of a new form of sociality.

Monica Ross (England) is a British artist, based in Brighton, whose work is time based and includes performance, installation, video, CD-Rom, and text works such as valentine , a book work published by Milch, London, 2000. She was an Arts and Humanities Research Board Fellow in the Fine Art Department at the University of Newcastle from 2001-2004, where she established Connecting Principle. Her collaborative works on the net include The International Corporation of Lost Structures (ICOLS) and Matter of Fact, an e-book with An Tallentire. Her ongoing project,, explores the continuum between durational artworks in real time and a data based archive on line.

Grace Quintanilla (Mexico) is Artistic Director of Transitio_Mx Electronic Arts and Video Festival in Mexico City. An artist, animator, and videomaker, she studied animation at the Edinburgh Film Workshop Trust and did graduate studies in Electronic Art and Television at The School of Television and Imaging at Dundee University in Scotland. Upon returning to Mexico in the mid-1990s she made the award-wining documentary series Aventurera, and began her ongoing experimentation with digital technologies that he resulted in numerous award-winning projects.

Renate Ferro and Tim Murray
CoModerators, -empyre-
Department of Art/Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art
Cornell University

Visualizing Work.Flows and (Filtering-)Processes | CONT3XT.NET #07.07

The mailinglist [CC] “curating media/net/art–discussions” by CONT3XT.NET is now open and starts with its first topic “visualizing work.flows and (filtering-)processes”. If you are interested in participating from June 1st to August 31st 2007 please register at – Excerpts of the contributions to the mailinglist will be published in the forthcoming catalogue presented in October 2007 in Vienna


1 visualizing work.flows and (filtering-)processes

Curating on the Internet is a working process that wants to be visualized in the same way as the processes frequently hidden behind Internet-based art-forms. The curator, “who does not want to get ‘inside’ or ‘outside’ the system, but stays at her place to deepen her knowledge” (1), acts not only as an intermediary in the presentation of art but also of his/her own filtering-processes, choices and decisions. The transparency of his/her work is more relevant for the transparency of the presented artworks, too, and aims to get a broad public involved in a collective discourse. “With the steady incorporation of the Web into the mainstream arts scene, the launching of exhibitions and the building of archives has become an increasingly creative and authorial practice.

However, the act of curating used to be a clandestine affair. Those holding the position would have once worked quietly within the institutional archives, orchestrating their exhibitions anonymously from ‘behind the curtain,’ but now in the past ten to fifteen years the process of curating and the person who practices it have emerged center stage in public discourse” (2). Spoken metaphorically, the constant and ongoing publication of a “curator’s notebook” contributes to the visualization of a work-flow that does not only show the final results of this process in shape of an exhibition. It unfolds the existence of a network of non-linear thoughts, relational research and deductive/inductive (filtering-)processes.

(1) SCHULTZ, Pit: The Producer as Power User. IN: KRYSA, Joasia (ed.): Curating Immateriality: The Work of the Curator in the Age of Network Systems. Autonomedia. Brooklyn / New York. 2006.
(2) WILLIAMS, Alena: Net Art and Process. Some Thoughts on Curatorial Practice,


Upcoming topics:
2 virtual/real representations in real/virtual spaces
3 facing participation / the lack of collaboration
4 web 2.0–curatorial facilities or technical barriers
5 involvement of (art-)institutions / rise of significance


[CC] “curating media/net/art–discussions” is a part of the project [CC] “circualting contexts–curating media/net/art” from June 1st – October 31st, 2007:

The curating of Internet-based art on the Internet is a multifaceted communication-process between Internet-users with all kinds of different backgrounds regarding the content. Along with the changing conditions of production and reception of art on the Internet came new possibilities of curation which deserve study. [CC] “circualting contexts–curating media/net/art” is a series of experimental long-term research projects hosted by the Vienna-based organisation CONT3XT.NET, investigating current tendencies in the curation of (New) Media and Internet Art.

April 2007 on -empyre- soft-skinned space: TechnoPanic: Terrors and Technologies

with Horit Herman-Peled (IS), Brooke Singer (US), Paul Vanouse (US), and Sean Cubit (AU)

moderated by Renate Ferro (US) and Tim Murray (US)

From surveillance and mobile technologies to fears and public panic, the ambivalent attraction to technologies of terror shifts registers between post-cold war and post 9-11 sensibilities, whether from international or cross-generational zones of engagement. We will discuss how panic, paranoia, critical resistance to, and appropriation of technologies of terror are mediated by the threat and fear of violence in the interlinked networks of mobile media, domestic space, and the public sphere.

Please join this discussion — subscribe at

Guest biographies:

Horit Herman-Peled (IS) is a media artist, theorist, and feminist activist in Tel Aviv, who teaches art and digital culture at the Art Institute, Oranim College, Israel.

Brook Singer (US) is a Brooklyn-based digital media artist and arts organizer. A member of Preemptive Media, her most recent collaborations, both as an artist and curator, utilize wireless (Wi-Fi, mobile phone cameras, RFID) as tools for initiating discussion and positive system failures. She is Assistant Professor of New Media at SUNY Purchase.

Paul Vanouse (US) makes data collection devices that include polling and categorization (for interactive cinema), genetic experiments that undermine scientific constructions of identity, and temporary organizations that performatively critique institutionalization and corporatization. He teaches in the Art Dept. at the University of Buffalo (SUNY).

Sean Cubitt (AU) teaches media and communications at the University of Melbourne. Among his numerous books on cinema and new media are EcoMedia, The Cinema Effect, and Digital Aesthetics. Sean has curated numerous exhibitions and is Editor in Chief of the Leonardo Book Series for MIT Press.


Renate Ferro (US) conceptual artist, visiting Assistant Professor of Art, Cornell University and Timothy Murray (US), Curator, the Rose Golden Archive of New Media Art ( and Acting Director of the Society for the Humanities, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

Subscribe for participation at:

Timothy Murray
Acting Director of The Society for the Humanities
Professsor of Comparative Literature and English
Director of Graduate Studies in Film and Video Studies
Curator, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library
A. D. White House
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853

TEXT: STALDER: THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL COMMUNITIES, by Tatiana Bazzichelli / Translation: Camilla Serri

Edited by Lora McPhail for NMF

This text is republished in collaboration with It was released on March 2006, and has been edited for republication.

It was almost 10 years ago, when in 1994 Pierre Levy wrote “the collective intelligence”. Maybe it was a too positive vision of what was going to be the digital, but that book developed a lot of scenery, from the idea of a virtual community to a cyberspace made of related minds.

These were the days of the first theories on online communities, that years later saw lot of people using computers and modem to connect to BBS, the first idea of horizontal network. Many things change — from BBS to mailing lists, and then the first weblog. Nettime, Rhizome, Syndicate, Faces, Spectre follow the history of net culture, and also nowadays they are very important for people who want to stay tune on the development of the international media art. But research is still going on.

New standards for social networking are now popular, as they seem to be the new mania for a lot of web surfers. From the most commercial like Friendster and Myspace, that create a community of friends of friends, compiling a form and entering into the game with a home and a contact list, to laboratories like FOAF, Friend of a friend project, which main idea is searching new standards to the online customization of each communities.

Continue reading »

March on -empyre- soft-skinned space: Baudrillard Enoncé, or, The Future of Theory with Aliette Guibert Certhoux and McKenzie Wark

Moderated by Nicholas Ruiz III (US) editor, and Christina McPhee (US) with special guests Aliette Guibert Certhoux (FR), editor, editions critical secret, Paris and, McKenzie Wark, Associate Professor of Media Studies, Eugene Lang College and the New School for Social Research, New York

énoncer (FR): to convey ‘in a particular manner of speaking or presentation,’ quite similar to English ‘enuciation,’ perhaps with more subtle depth..

With the passing of Baudrillard, it seems timely and important to reflect on how philosophy matters, how it is énoncé, in our lives.

The conversation will be bilingual in French and English, translations included.

Please join us! contribute your writing, exchange ideas and
observations. Subscribe at

our guests:

Guibert Certhoux: De l’enfance — qui lui a donné à apprendre l’enfance de ses parents, celle de ses grand-parents, celle de ses arrière-grand-parents, à celle de ses propres enfants et petits-enfants, et d’autre part, de l’environnement de leurs amis et partenaires jusqu’à l’environnement divers des siens, aimés, amis, alliés, et rencontres, elle imagine trois siècles de diversité sociale en même temps, sans diplôme et sans parti sinon celui de l’insoumission légitime au troisième millénaire, ce qui fait la complexité insolente, mais sans complexe, de l’actualité de la directrice des publications, de la revue –, toutes disciplines confondues y font le lit de l’indiscipline féconde.

Wark is the author of Gamer Theory (Harvard University Press, 2007), A Hacker Manifesto (Harvard University Press 2004) and other things. He teaches at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College in New York City.


————————————————->Nicholas Ruiz III
was born in New York City in 1970. He teaches in the Humanities
Program in the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He is the author of The Metaphysics of Capital, (Intertheory Press, 2006). He is also the editor of Kritikos.

————————————————>Christina McPhee is a media artist in California. Forthcoming 2007 exhibitions include “Carrizo Parkfield Diaries” at the American University Katzen Art Center Museum, Washington DC; and “La Conchita NAmour” at Thresholds Artspace, Horsecross, Perth, Scotland.

Do It With Others (DIWO): E-Mail-Art at NetBehaviour

An E-Mail-Art project on the NetBehaviour email list culminating in an exhibition at the HTTP Gallery in London.

Open Call for contributions from 31st January to 28th February 2007 via NetBehaviour email list: Subscribe here
Exhibition at HTTP Gallery, London :
Initiated by :

The Do It With Others (DIWO) E-Mail-Art exhibition aims to highlight the already thriving imaginations of those who use social networks and digital networks on the Internet as a form of distribution. Just like Mail Art, E-Mail-Art bridges the divide between artists and non artists to share a freely accessible form of distribution.

The Mail Art projects of the 60s, 70s and 80s demonstrated Fluxus artists’ common disregard for the distinctions of ‘high’ and ‘low’ art and a disdain for what they saw as the elitist gate-keeping of the ‘high’ art world. They often took the form of themed, ‘open calls’, in which all submissions were exhibited and catalogued. Mail Art has always been a useful way to bypass curatorial restrictions for those who wish to create active and imaginative exchange on their own terms; this form of activity usually flourishes outside of the gallery system.

This E-Mail-Art exhibition, intends to follow the spirit of past Mail Art endeavours by asking those submitting their works to open themselves to a shared dialogue as part of the process and medium on the NetBehaviour mail list, as a playful platform for experimentation together at the same time.

The theme of this E-Mail-Art project is Do It With Others (DIWO).

This project suggests that we extend the DIY ethos of some early net art and tactical media (said to be motivated by curiosity, activism and precision) towards a more collaborative DIWO approach. Peers connect, communicate and collaborate, creating controversies, structures and culture using both digital networks and shared physical environments.

You are invited to contribute and curate text, images, sound, net movies, physical objects, installation plans etc. on the theme of DIWO, only via the NetBehaviour email list, towards an open exhibition at the HTTP Gallery in London that opens in March ’07.

To participate in Do It With Others (DIWO): E-Mail-Art at NetBehaviour please join the NetBehaviour email list:

What Will Happen?

All posts to the NetBehaviour email list between 31st January and 1st April 2007 will be considered part of the artistic and curatorial project. In the spirit of early Mail Art Do It With Others (DIWO): E-Mail-Art at NetBehaviour is completely open. For the HTTP Gallery contributors are be invited to propose works for networks, computers, screens, projection, sound, print…

31st January: Contributions to Netbehaviour email list begin.
List members are invited to devise their own ordering and selection strategies for the exhibition.

25th February 2 – 5pm GMT: Collaborative Curation Event
Open review of contributions and discussion about the exhibition. The event will be webcast from the HTTP gallery. List contributions thus far will take physical form as an exhibition. Discussions using IM (chat) between Furtherfielders and other active contributors. Documented and posted to the list.

1st March: Gallery Opening of Do It With Others (DIWO): E-Mail-Art at NetBehaviour

1st March- 1st April: Continue to shape the exhibition via the email list by contributing more work, suggesting things be taken down, put back up, rearranged, anything!

1st May: All contributions documented in a catalogue available as a pdf download.

The project will also be documented in:-
— the NetBehaviour email list archive
— LaurenDIWO’s Blog [] maintained by Furtherfield newcomer Lauren Wright.

Do It With Others (DIWO): E-Mail-Art at NetBehaviour a project by Ruth Catlow, Marc Garrett and Lauren Wright for Furtherfield in collaboration with all contributors to the NetBehaviour email list.

December on -empyre- soft-skinned space : “Crusades and Art as Illegality and Provocation”

Guest moderator Ana Valdés (SE) engages with a group of activist
artists, curators and scholars, including Susan Meiselas (US),
Cecilia Parsberg (SE), Jan-Erik Lindstrom (SE), Raul Ferrera-
Balanquet (MX), Loretta Napoleoni (UK) and Dahr Jamail ().

As Ana writes:

“The Crusades were the expansion of Europe, stretching its
territories North and South, to colonize and spread the Christian
Word, meanwhile conquering new markets, new source of raw material,
new peoples and new lands. The historical metaphor oj the Crusades is
still alive concerning and in presentday Middle East, both as a
memory and in relation to contemporary conquests, as well as in the
rhetoric of empire.

Today artists, writers and theorists merge in the world, document
it and, instead of trying to conquer it, show passion and compassion,
denounce, take part, engage themselves. Since Emile Zola wrote
“J’Accuse” and Pablo Picasso painted “Guernica”, a constant stream of
artists has been exerting their right to dissent and the right to
question power, the status quo and existing norms.

The walls in Palestine, Tijuana, Ceuta and Melilla are not only
symbolic; they build the shape of Fortress Europe, not only the
geographic, but the mythological Europe, the supposed cradle of
Modernity. The Crusades were the clash and the confrontation.
Today’s artists and intellectuals search its meaning, study its
effects. Films, photos, texts and installations talk about jails,
fences, workers with precarious jobs paperless immigrants, political
turmoil and mayhem. Fine Arts is today the arena of political
discussions and activist practices.

I’ve asked some friends and colleagues to join me during one month to
discuss our practices and our engagements, inspired by the above,
under the framework of -empyre-. ”

— Ana Valdés, writer and activist

initiator of Crusading, in partnership
with Jan-Erik Lundström, BildMuseet in Umeå, http://

Guest biographies:

–>Ana Valdés is a writer, social anthropologist and activist,
working with Gender, Class and Race issues in cyberculture. She has
published several books and started in the year 2000 the network
Equator,, together with the visual artist
Cecilia Parsberg. Since 2005 she runs together with the BildMuseet in
Umeå, the Crusading network. Ana Valdés
texts deal with borders and multiple identities. Some titles: “The
Alphabet Garden”, Serpent’s Tail, “Columbus’s Egg”, Faber and Faber.
She was a political prisoner for four years during the Uruguayan

->Susan Meiselas is a documentary photographer and member of the
cooperative Magnum Photos since 1976. She is the author of Carnival
Strippers, Nicaragua, Kurdistan In the Shadow of History and
Encounters with the Dani. She is best known for her documentation of
human rights issues in Latin America. Meiselas has had one-woman
exhibitions in Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles and New
York. In 1992 she was made a MacArthur Fellow.

—–>Cecilia Parsberg lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. She is a
visual artist who works with relational concepts, and is educated at
Valand Academy of Fine Arts, Göteborg University, with a post grad
Diploma from Dundee University. Throughout the nineties her work
dealt with power and sexuality, how power structures permeate our
daily lives. Her gaze changed from the outsider to the participating:
the image exist between us, the task of the artist is to “activate
the image”. The theoretical concept The Action was articulated
through five art works in South Africa, during three years. The last
five years, she has been articulating her art projects as real
political posture. Cecilia argues that this sphere is a possible
place for artist’s work.
An account of her work and earlier exhibitions can be found at http://

>Jan-Erik Lundström is the director of BildMuseet, Umeå university,
Umeå, Sweden, a museum of contemporary art and visual culture. He is
equally involved in curating, organizing, lecturing and writing.
Among his latest exhibitions are Politics of Place, Killing Me Softly
(Tirana Biennial), Projects for a Revolution (Mois de la Photo,
Montreal), Double Vision (Prague Biennale), Same, Same, but Different
and Människor i Norr(Peoples of the North). He was the chief curator
of Berlin Photography Festival, 2005, where he produced the
exhibition After the Fact, a major survey of documentary practices in
contemporary art. And he will be the chief curator of the 1st
Biennial of Thessaloniki in 2007. He is the author of numerous books,
including Nordic Landscapes, Tankar om fotografi (Thoughts on
Photography), Irving Penn and Horizons: Towards a Global Africa. He
has been guest professor at HISK, Antwerp, Belgium and at the
Kunstakademie, Oslo, Norway. Lundström is a prolific international
lecturer and writer, contributor to symposia internationally and to
cultural magazines such as Glänta, European Photography, Paletten and
tema celeste.

Raul Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1958.
MFA in Multimedia and Video Art, University of Iowa, 1992.
Interdisciplinary artist, writer, Fulbright scholar and executive
curator of Arte Nuevo InteractivA, a leading new art exhibit and
laboratory in Latin America. He heads the Multimedia Department at
the Superior School of the Arts of Yucatan, México.

Loretta Napoleoni is the author of Terror Incorporated and Insurgent
Iraq. She is an expert on financing of terrorism and advises several
on counter-terrorism. She is senior partner of G Risk, a London based
risk agency. As Chairman of the countering terrorism financing group
for the Club de Madrid, Napoleoni brought heads of state from around
the world together to create a new strategy for combating the
financing of terror networks. Born and raised in Rome, in the mid
1970s Loretta Napoleoni became an active member of the feminist
movement and a political activist. She was a Fulbright scholar at
Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced
International Studies in Washington DC and a Rotary Scholar at the
London School of Economics. As an economist she worked for several
banks and international organizations in Europe and the US. In the
early 1980s she worked at the National Bank of Hungary on the
convertibility of the florin that became the blue print for the
convertibility of the ruble a decade later. Ms Napoleoni is also a
journalist and has worked as a foreign correspondent
for several Italian financial papers. Her work appears regularly in
many journals and publications, including several European
newspapers. She lectures regularly on the financing of terrorism.
She has written novels, guide books in Italian and translated and
edited books on terrorism; her most recent novel, Dossier Baghdad, is
a financial thriller set during the Gulf War. She was among the few
people to interview the Red Brigades in Italy after three decades of

Dahr Jamail is an independent journalist who has reported from
occupied Iraq for 8 months. He has reported from Syria, Jordan,
Turkey and
recently from Lebanon during the 34-day Israeli assault on that
country. He has reported for The Independent and the Guardian in the
UK, the Sunday Herald in Scotland and Inter Press Service. His
dispatches from Irak can be read on

empyre forum

CONSTRUCTING SOCIAL CHANGE: Desire and Utopia, Art, Knowledge and Direct Action

Date: 22 June 2006 – 26 June 2006
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The Cultural Analysis Summer Academy (CASA) came into existence in
2003 as an international forum that seeks to discuss the shifting
functions of academia and the scholar in a globalized society. Until
now CASA organized two meetings to provide a platform for these
discussions. Two years ago people from seventeen countries all over
the world engaged in the discussions under the broad headline of
‘Acting – Spectating’. The meeting proved to be successful and
created on-going debates that have resulted in an e-journal and a
proposed book publication. In 2005 a second meeting was organized
that focused on the intersection between academic research and
activism by discussing three thematic threads: borders, markets and

CASA continues to be an interrogatory process on the continuum of
activism and academia. The CASA meeting 2006 will focus on debates
around the construction of social change.

The leftist tendency of embracing change as intrinsically positive,
as if all transformations were emancipatory, veils two important
facts. First of all, it presents the world as manageable. While
change is inevitable it is not always the result of rational choices
within collective action processes. Secondly, when human agents
attempt to give change a certain direction, they still need to take
into consideration that the effects of their actions cannot always be
predicted and anticipated, but are subject to contingent factors and
can take surprising turns. The unpredictabilities inherent in a
project of transformation make it necessary that change becomes a
reflexive and ongoing process.

Social relations
The project of changing social relations has been related to the
transformation of material dimensions of class relations and given
form by a politics of redistribution. Yet a long tradition of
criticism has shown that class is not the only social organizing
principle that constitutes our position in a complicated and wide web
of power relations. When we speak about oppression or exclusion we
equally have to mention gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, health,
age, etc and social, economic and symbolic/discursive relations that
construct and sustain the norm. Accordingly, knots of resistance and
social transformation are generated from these different positions
reflecting different forms of labor, different ways of living,
different views of the world and differing desires.
Departing from such fragmented subject positions we would like to
open up a discussion about the possibilities and limitations of and
strategies for creating more equal and ! inclusive social relations.
Inclusion involves changing these social ordering principles by
deconstructing the norms that nourish the production of social
hierarchies without constructing new exclusive norms. Equality does
not refer to sameness but to the acceptance and negotiation of
differences that can be articulated in dialogic processes. To strive
for equality in social relations involves the creation of the
conditions that would allow everyone to take part in the process of
social change, from her own particular social context.

Constructing social change
Dialogic processes for change in a world that is not manageable
cannot flourish when one departs from the concept and practice of
‘directing change’. ‘Vanguardism’ is no valid option for a
participatory collective process. Therefore, we would like to speak
about constructing change,! which refers to a collective participative
process that involves the articulation of differences by creating
permeability and mutual contamination between different struggles and

CASA 2006: Constructing social change

CASA 2006 will be centered on four interrelated strategies for social
transformation, focusing on a different strategy each day. These are:
desires and utopia, art, knowledge, and direct action.
All these themes can -and hopefully will- be discussed from many
different angles. Possible questions are (but should not be limited to):

Desire and utopia
How does desire relate to social change? How can reflections on our
own desires for change and its implications be developed? Can desire
be changed or directed? What is the role of desire in research? Can
desires for alternatives help to shape an effe! ctive research
strategy? What is the role of utopian writing for the stimulation of
social change? What can be considered as utopian movements? What are
the utopian aspects of social movements and knowledge construction?
How can art contribute to emancipatory change? Is art merely
reflecting social change, or can it be transformative in itself? How
are art, knowledge and desire interrelated? How should we imagine the
agency and autonomy of art in the age of global culture industries?
Can art be a form of direct action? In what way is art related to the
social? What is the role of the artist, and what is the role of the
public in both the production and experience of an artwork? How can
we discuss social responsibility of the artists?
In what ways can knowledge be used for social change towards more
inclusiveness and emancipation? Which agents or parameters determine
different types, modes and sites of knowledge production and
transmission, knowledge hierarchies, the organization of knowledge
and of academia? What alternatives are available concerning the
production, distribution/sharing and use of knowledge? What is the
role of education in processes of transformation?
Direct Action
What kind of interruptions and interventions are useful for reaching
emancipatory transformation? How and by whom are direct action
interventions carried out and to what ends? What kind of knowledge is
produced by direct action? Can direct action also be used for
knowledge construction and the interruption of hegemonic academic
practices? Can we talk about “aesthetics” of direct action as a way
of politicizing and mobilizing aesthetic experience?

The format of the CASA meeting is as crucial as its content. We want
to ask all of you to engage in a construction of interactive spaces
that contribute to constructing emancipatory change that is inclusive.
Interactivity, here, means acknowledging that knowledge construction
and knowledge transmission are not one-directional but rather
collective processes. Thus participants of all kinds (presenters,
discussants, facilitators, technical assistants, and organizers)
should actively engage in collaborative processes rather than in a
mere conveying of knowledge. We are open to alternative formats –
from workshops to performances – that would open spaces for
participation and collective production.
Inclusiveness, here, means open to variety. We want a large diversity
of contributions to the CASA meeting by inviting academics, artists,
artist projects and collectives, utopians, utopian writers, non-
institutional intellectuals, activists engaged in direct actions, and
other interested individuals to share and exchange thoughts and
practices. We also anticipate a diversity of practices to open debate
and reflection. CASA 2006 can be a continuum of debating,
intervening, thinking, reflecting, inspiring, inventing and
constructing inclusive emancipatory initiatives.

Proposals for contributions within the four outlined topics are very
welcome and can be submitted until April 1, 2006.

For further questions, contributions or participation please mail to: Website: !