DEEP MEDIA MANIPULATION
of my first net.art 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:
* * * * *
Europe succeded in
breaking this country, and it is now
Subject: BORDERS ON INTERNET
From: aart <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 04 Jul 1997 19:26:32 METDST
* * * * *
My best regards,
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.