One of my first experiences and participations was taking part in the "Hybrid WorkSpace" project at Documenta X in Kassel, July to August 1997. I participated through Internet link, a newsgroup, sending messages which were displayed on monitors in a space at the Orangerie building. Manifestation was the initiative of V2_East/Syndicate organization, which started out as an 'East-West initiative' as a platform for discussing the changing role of media culture in the 'new Europe'. Some of proclaimed keywords were: building networks, questioning ideologies, shifting borders, critique of the 'Western gaze', culture in a 'New Europe', culture-and-money, culture-and-power, catching up (with technology, ideology, economy etc.) versus keeping one's own identity... As a newcomer to the net (bought my first PC '386' in November 1996) and after a six years of isolation in the war torn Yugoslavia, under cultural, economical and communication embargo by UN since 1992, I was so happy and excited that I can finally communicate with my fellow artists, net activists, intellectuals from Europe and worldwide. "Hybrid WorkSpace" was an ideal opportunity for that, and the context of Documenta X in which the event took place gave it a note of seriousness and feeling of being at the right place in the right time. It seamed that six years of embargo will be surmounted in a hip, because now I had an opportunity to speak free, open, loud about problems I kept in my mind for so long time.

Pit Schultz
and Geert Lovink (cofounders of Nettime and authors of Hybrid WorkSpace concept) were calling people through mailinglists: Hereinspaziert! please take a walk on the website, join the conversation, expand your hot minds, point your browser to our web/enhanced newsgroup environment specially build up for WorkSpace. Eleven groups under eleven topics are open for your contribution.

Who could resist such an enthusiastic and kind invitation to participate, open call to discuss and contribute. So I started to send my contributions to the WorkSpace newsgroup on two discussion groups: "deep_europe" and "cross_the_border" (you can still find them online under name "aart"). A thread of eight articles was formed on the Deep Europe list under my title "Broken European Dream" ( published 18. 07 - 2. 09. 1997). It was dedicated to civil wars and split of Yugoslavia. Also my article "Borders on Internet", about economic inequality in the Internet communication, was published on the Hybrid WorkSpace newsgroup "Cross the Border". Here are two of my articlles sent to Hybrid WorkSpace newsgroup:

From: aart <aart@eunet.yu>
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 16:00:00 METDST

* * * * *

The former Yugoslavia, which was torned apart by the war, was a good model for future Europe. Many nations (about 20) living together, many languages, many religions together. Was the old and tired Europe
jalous of our hapiness and peacefulness when it decided, with the help of USA, to destroy our country?
Yes, European countries supported nationalism and separatism in former Yugoslavia, and they hurried to recognize the new made countries which separated from Yugoslavia. Even though these separations were one-sided and forced, Germay and its allies gave
enormous amounts of money and weapons to support the struggle of separated nationalistic countries, the administrative parts of former federal republic of Yugoslavia. They succeded to provoke war in all parts from which the federal Yugoslav army had to withdrow under the international pressure, and they even put sanctions upon the rest of Yugoslavia because it was fighting to preserve the country as a whole.

Europe succeded in breaking this country, and it is now
satisfied I suppose. But how does Europe imagine to make its own union by breaking other countries? The former Yugoslavia was a good example of cohabitance of many diferent nations, and Europe lost the chance to use this experience. I am afraid it has lost its chances for good.
America was supporting this beceuse it doesn't need a strong Europe, so USA and Europe can together be satisfied for breaking Yugoslavia, an European dream which was already a reality.

Andrej Tisma

From: aart <aart@eunet.yu>
Date: Fri, 04 Jul 1997 19:26:32 METDST

* * * * *

There are borders everywhere, even on Internet (!). For example some countries have ECONOMIC borders for participation in the Internet communication. In Yugoslavia (Serbia) where I live and work, where everage monthly incomes are about $300 I have to spend $100 monthly to get in touch with You (payment for local server is about $20 for 10 hours, and $40 for phone impulses. So the problem is: I want to communicate, but I also must eat and pay other things for my, and my familie's living.

My best regards,

Andrej Tisma































Although Pit Schultz wrote on the Nettime list in June 1997 that Hybrid WorkSpace is a pin-board and a global newspaper, a zone of critical thought and productive conflict my contributions to "Deep Europe" were immediately attacked by others. Some of them were even insulting me. O. K. I thought, it is a part of open discussion, but finally my thoughts will be visible, I am finally able to participate.

In October 1997 the book "Deep_Europe: The 1996 - 97 edition" was published, edited by Inke Arns and Andreas Broeckmann. As the publishers announced in the book one can find a full version of the creative output of Deep_Europe, the ten day V2_East/Syndicate workshop at Hybrid WorkSpace (July/August 1997, dX, Kassel). Included are the initial concept, interviews with the participants, letters home and from home, suggestions towards a european media policy...

One thing was interesting for me, that not only my contributions to the discussion lists were not published, nor just mentioned, but my name was not mentioned anywhere in the book, not even in the name index. So it is how the 'East-West initiative' went, destiny of the 'zone of critical thought', 'keeping one's own identity' etc. They simply evicted me from the documentation, also from all reports from Hybrid WorkSpace that were published on lists during and after the event. I was really horrified by such a gesture of so called free media and open net activists, who simply erased all traces of one fair and veluable participation. One more time the quartet Lovink-Broeckmann-Arns-Schultz has shown its evil bloody horror face.