Wiretap 7.05: Stadtluft macht frei!
Date: Friday 18th May, 20.00h (doors open: 19.30h)
Location: V2_Organisatie Eendrachtsstraat 10, 3012 XL Rotterdam, NL
Entrance fee: Fl. 10,-
Pauline van Mourik Broekman (NL/GB), Josephine Berry (GB), David Panos &
Benedict Seymour (GB), James Stevens (GB)
Moderation: Nat Muller (V2_), Pauline van Mourik Broekman (NL/GB), and
Josephine Berry (GB)
Wiretap 7.05: Stadtluft macht frei!
In collaboration with MUTE magazine this Wiretap examines the old German
saying 'Die Stadtluft macht frei' or the city air liberates. Dating from
medieval times, the city was seen as the place where notions of freedom,
citizenship and independence could come to fruition. However, is the urban
condition still considered as a means that can stimulate and accelerate
social and cultural change? In short: Macht die Stadtluft noch immer frei?
In the fifties and sixties the Situationists formulated a radical critique
on capitalist power structures and consumer culture, by mapping public space
as a political locus of action and cultural creation. Central to their
theories was the remaking of urban space in which individual experiences
become protagonists, and where cultural intervention is viewed as a
Taking this historical note into account, how do cultural practitioners
manage the fabric of the city today? Cultural organisations have
increasingly been attributed a cleansing value through processes of
gentrification and regeneration (e.g. the revamping of de Witte de
Withstraat in Rotterdam). Yet, how radical can these organisations claim to
be when their culture becomes a currency in the urban political agenda. Is
there still a culture-critical wind of change in the city?
The participants of Wiretap7.05 surf between these tensions, often in the
Pauline van Mourik Broekman (NL/GB)
Pauline van Mourik Broekman is, together with Simon Worthington, co-editor
and publisher of Mute magazine, which she co-founded in 1994 soon after
leaving art college and has helped develop into an internationally
recognised voice on technoculture and independent media production. Aside
from editing Mute, she also writes and lectures extensively on culture,
media and publishing in the UK and abroad. Recent essays include 'The
Vanishing' - on artistic responses to nuclear technology (Locus Solus, Black
Dog Publishing) and 'Art, interrupted' - on the work of English artist
Josephine Pryde. Pauline is currently involved in the metamorphosis of
Metamute from a traditional magazine archive site into - something
James Stevens (GB)
James Stevens has been one of the driving forces behind BACKSPACE (net
lounge and medialab in London) since it was established in 1995. In 2000 he
established 'spc.org', a small organisation run and arranged by consensus
and loose association to share resources. He is Co-Founder of CONSUME, a
strategy for self provision of networking services, utilising Wireless LAN
technologies, open source development principals and counter commercial
tactics. It is developed and maintained on a not for profit basis by those
using it. James Stevens works currently as the UK Producer for the Windows
Media Player Guide.
Josephine Berry (GB)
Josephine Berry is Deputy Editor of Mute. She is also completing a PhD on
site-specific art on the net at the University of Manchester. During
1997-1998, she co-edited Crash Media, a bi-monthly tabloid on independent
media production, with Micz Flor and organised "Exploding Media", a related
symposium at the University of Salford in 1998. Josephine co-authored the
"Snowfields" Internet site with Micz Flor, for which they won the Stuttgart
multimedia prize of 1998. She writes extensively on art and culture. Recent
work has been included in Inventory and Telepolis.
David Panos (GB)
David previously worked as a research consultant to large commercial
clients. He specialised in deploying ethnographic and documentary techniques
to produce comprehensive studies of phenomena such as festivals and suburban
social networks. David has lectured at Goldsmiths, The University of East
London, The Royal College of Art and the Architecture Association on
contemporary culture and communications and branding. He is also a
contributor to Mute Magazine and is part of the experimental
improvisation/digital noise project Aufgehoben No Process
Benedict Seymour (GB)
Benedict Seymour is a freelance journalist, writer and film maker. He has
written for a range of magazines, journals and newspapers including Mute,
Radical Philosophy, Frieze, Art Monthly, Dazed & Confused and The
Independent. His areas of interest include politics, philosophy, art,
literature, film and technology. At present he is researching a documentary
film about regeneration, gentrification and the impact of globalisation in
London with Year Zero productions.
Year Zero Productions
David Panos set up Year Zero in September 2000 as an independent production
company that aims to foreground experimental and critical/political
approaches to digital documentary making. Their current project is an
examination of the convergent trends of Gentrification, Regeneration and
Social Housing in East London.
Year Zero's current documentary project looks at London's Borough of Hackney
and examines the recent social, economic and architectural transformation of
this part of the inner city. The film looks at Gentrification, Regeneration
and Social Housing in an area infamous for its poverty and social exclusion.
It also seeks to address broader issues about how we think about social
provision, citizenship and the urban condition in the wake of the
Neo-Liberal attack on the Welfare State throughout the 80s and 90s.
The film is constructed from interviews with local politicians, housing and
regeneration organisations, community action groups, local people, estate
agents, writers, artists, and academics exposing the contradictory rhetoric
and new social conflicts of a supposedly 'post-political' era.
Shot entirely on DV in and around Hackney the film is still in production
and will be completed in Autumn 2001.
Eendrachtsstraat 10, 3012 XL Rotterdam, Holland