[artinfo] RE:activism: Re-drawing the boundaries of activism in a new media environment - 2nd call

Bodo Balazs bodo at axelero.hu
Wed Jun 8 17:08:36 CEST 2005

apologies for any cross-posting...

2nd CALL

-	Sonic Tags Workshop Call (see at the end)
-	Updated list of confirmed participants


The Budapest University of Technology and Economics, the Central European
University, the Open Society Institute, and the Annenberg School for
Communication at the University of Pennsylvania invite submissions for a
conference on 

RE:activism: Re-drawing the boundaries of activism in a new media

which is to take place in Budapest, October 14-15, 2005 

Deadline for submission of abstracts: June 14, 2005

via email: submissions at re-activism.net

The emergence of the internet and other information technologies gave birth
to a plethora of new social and communicative activities. Cheap,
decentralized and horizontal communication channels have been exploited by a
wide spectrum of actors from antiglobalization activists and users of
file-sharing networks to creative commons licensees and locative guerilla
artists. As new media technologies have triggered various forms of
activities, the New Left hopes about emancipatory social agency have also
been resuscitated. In spite of the undeniable democratic potential inscribed
in new information and communication technologies, there seems to be little
agreement as to what consequences new media bring on existing structures of
cultural, economic and political power. Those analysts and activists
envisioning a more democratic, equitable and culturally diverse society have
maintained high hopes concerning the progressive potential of new media.
Meanwhile, skeptical voices can also be heard: research focus has been
reoriented towards threats and uncertainties concerned with new
technologies. Many analysts have addressed various aspects of the
commercialization of new media, the possibilities of digital surveillance
and states' and corporations' constant efforts to limit, by means of
regulation, the liberatory potential of new technologies.

Addressing the above hopes and disappointments, the conference RE:activism
serves as a large scale, international social and academic event which
brings together academics, activists and artists to explore and discuss some
of the most important aspects of transforming cultural and political
practices in the context of new media. The organizers are particularly
interested in the following problems:

- How the boundaries separating center (accepted/valuable) and periphery
(illicit/worthless) are redrawn through the negotiations of new media
actors, be they individual music consumers, expert groups, creative commons
licensees, social movements, nation states or corporate representatives?

- Does the enabling potential of new technologies trigger, in reality, new
forms of social and communicative activities? What turns new media enabled
activities into "activism"? What does activism mean in the context of new

- Under what conditions do unusual uses of new media induce social change
and subvert old structures of the production and the distribution of
loyalties, identities, culture and knowledge? Participants of the conference
are invited to explore the promises and limitations of new media along the
above broad themes of "center/periphery", "activism" and "change". 

The list of confirmed participants is regularly refreshed at our website.
Please find the detailed list of confirmed participants at the end of this

The RE:activism conference offers eight panels, each of them representing an
important approach from which the transformative potential of new media can
be meaningfully addressed. We invite academic participants to present papers
and take part in round table discussions with activists in one of the
following panels:

- Political economy of peer production networks 
- State intervention and regulatory issues in the Information Age 
- Digital culture jamming 
- Digitalized memory: new forms of archiving and journalism
- Civic uses of new media technologies 
- New media and global civil society
- New media and democratic elections 
- New media activism and the urban fabric

For more information about the eight panels, please, visit the conference

Organizers of the conference invite submissions of graduate students,
scholars, researchers mainly from the fields of anthropology, media studies,
law sciences, sociology, art theory and political science.

We invite members of activist groups of all kinds (from the smallest DIY
community to transnational movements) and artists working with new media
technologies to present their projects connected to any of the above
conference panels and to take part in round table discussions with


- Academic paper (abstract max. 750 words) 
Single or multi-author submissions of a single paper 
Participants are expected to submit full papers to the conference organizers
by September 30, 2005.

- Aesthetic presentation (abstract max of 750 words, audiovisual material)
Presentation of old or new media based artistic projects or performances
related to activism.

- Presentation of activist projects (abstract max of 750 words) Presentation
of activist projects exploring activist uses of the Internet.

Budapest is the dynamically developing capital of Hungary, a
not-too-long-ago communist state and a very recent member of the European
Union. Budapest, with its recent history marked by the process of system
change, with its population aiming to leave behind the city's
almost-a-century-long periphericity and with its vibrant civic and cultural
life feeding various forms social and cultural activism is the par
excellence site embodying the main theoretical challenges faced by activists
and addressed by the RE:activism conference. Budapest offers a very
hospitable environment for the community of conference participants. Among
the city's most appealing aspects for new media researchers we could mention
the surprisingly high number of researchers interested in new media
technologies, an uniquely viable Budapest based on-line community (see
wiw.hu), or the Hungarian capital's coffee house and thermal bath culture,
maintaining sites for public discussion. 
A longer presentation of the political and media system in Hungary is
available on the conference site.

The organizing institutions contribute to the travel and housing expenses of
invited participants.


New Media and Democratic Elections

Panel leader: 
Michael X Delli Carpini (Annenberg School for Communication)

Panel participants:
Alexander H. Trechsel (European University Institute)
Wainer Lusoli (University of Salford)
Allen Gunn (Aspiration Tech)
Gianpietro Mazzoleni (University of Milan)
Alain Touraine (CADIS/EHESS)

New Media and Global Civil Society

Panel leaders:
Douglas Kellner (UCLA)
Saskia Sassen (University of Chicago)

Panel participants:
Richard Barbrook (School of Media, Arts & Design, University of Westminster)
Boda, Zsolt (Institute of Political Science, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
Dominique Cardon (Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales)

New Media Activism and the Urban Fabric

Panel leader: 
Laura Forlano (NYC Wireless)

Panel participants:
Giles Lane (Proboscis.org)
Michael Keith (Boston College)

Digitalized Memory: New Forms of Archiving and Journalism

Panel leader:
Rick Prelinger (Prelinger Archives)

Panel participants:
Barbie Zelizer (Annenberg School for Communication)
Heidi Karst (The International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of

Culture Jamming

Panel leader: 
Kembrew McLeod (University of Iowa)

Panel participants:
Andy Bichlbaum (rtmark.org)
Marcell Mars (Multimedijalni institut)
Sebastian Luetgert (textz.com / piratecinema.org)
Nalini P. Kotamraju (University of California at Berkeley)
Petko Dourmana (InterSpace Media Art Center)

Civic Uses of New Media Technologies

Panel leaders: 
Joanne Richardson (subsol.c3.hu)
Nicholas Jankowski (University of Nijmegen)

Panel participants:
Vámosi Gyula (Roma Information Project)
Christian Sandvig (University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign)

State Intervention and Regulatory Issues in the Information Age

Panel leaders:
Henry Perritt (Chicago-Kent College of Law)
Jonathan Zittrain (Berkman Center for Internet & Society)

Panel participants:
Martin Cloonan (University of Glasgow)
Milton Mueller (Syracuse University,School of Information Studies)
William Drake (UN Working Group on Internet Governance)

The Political Economy of Peer Production Networks

Panel leader:
Yochai Benkler (Yale Law School)

Panel participants:
Magnus Bergquist (Göteborg University)
Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia.org)
Felix Stadler (openflows.org)

Sonic Tags Workshop
Are you a sound-artist? new media designer? poet? street rapper? into
creative technologies? do you love your radio? or simply surprising passers
by? Then the following is for you...

Sonic Tags Workshop
10-16 October 2005, 

As an offshoot of the Re:Activism conference, Sonic Tags workshop aims to do
a bit of city-programming, filling dedicated parts of Budapest with unusual
sounds, words, atmospheres, through creating event triggered, localized
broadcasts of poetic instances.

The one-week workshop is planned to embrace both 

- hands on prototyping of simple broadcast technologies, as well as 
- developing the poetics of micro-broadcasts, 
- defining and recording event triggered messages, ending with the results
broadcasted over special parts of the city.

Since the workshop provides both creative writing exercises as well as
technical assistance, no prior knowledge of these are required.

As Re: Activism is a big and hopefully quite exciting conference, we presume
the city is going to be full of people wanting to get a glimpse of
interesting places in Budapest, so take it as a challenge! 

The corresponding workshop is taking place in close cooperation between
conference organiser MOKK, independent media-development team Nextlab, and
community radio Tilos, with active artists, poets, architects, creative
technologists and DJ's.

Special guest participants of the workshop include Welsh sound poet, and
author of unusual literary city-guide Real Cardiff, Peter Finch, architect
of soft spaces, Usman Haque, and for the Hungarian feel, our folk-surreal
Lajos Parti Nagy (a long time favourite of Tilos radio listeners)

        Kinga Kovács/sanyi translator, content developer, DJ (MOKK/Tilos)
        Adam Somlai-Fischer architect and interaction researcher (Nextlab,
        Samu Szemerey architect and journalist 
        Ákos Maróy software artist (Nextlab)

How to apply

If you are ready to actively get to know and transform Budapest for a couple
of days, please send us an e-mail with your:
- statement of interest (5 sentences)
- short bio
- links to your work (if)


- We are able to cover your accommodation costs
- as for travel, we are happy to provide you letters of invitation for your
local grants, you will also find a good number of cheap flights to Budapest
on the net (Wizzair, SkyEurope, AirBerlin....),


Sound artists are encouraged to bring their own ideas in a prerecorded
format, but we will have possibilities to record and do post-production on
the spot as well. 

Please contact Balazs Bodo, at submissions at re-activism.net 

Please feel free to forward this call!

Balazs Bodo
assistant lecturer

Budapest University of Technology, 
Department of Sociology and Communications
Center for Media Research and Education 


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