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A N N O U N C E M E N T
NEXT 5 MINUTES 4
International Festival of Tactical Media
Amsterdam 11 - 14 September 2003
De Balie / Paradiso / Melkweg / Waag Society
NIM Montevideo / Imagine IC / SALTO
What is Next 5 Minutes?
Next 5 Minutes is a festival that brings together art, campaigns,
experiments in media technology, and transcultural politics. Next 5
Minutes revolves around the notion of tactical media, the fusion of
art, politics and media. The festival is organised irregularly, when
the urgency is felt to bring a new edition of the festival together.
How did this particular edition of the festival come about?
The fourth edition of the Next 5 Minutes festival is the result of a
collaborative effort of a variety of organisations, initiatives and
individuals dispersed world-wide. The program and content of the
festival is prepared through a series of Tactical Media Labs (TMLs)
organised locally in different cities around the globe. This series
of Tactical Media Labs started on September 11, 2002 in Amsterdam and
they continue internationally right up to the festival in September.
TMLs have been organised in: Amsterdam, Sydney, Cluj, Barcelona,
Delhi, New York, Singapore, Birmingham, Nova Scotia, Berlin, Chicago,
Portsmouth, Sao Paulo, Moscow, Dubrovnik, and Zanzibar.
The results of the various TMLs are published in a web journal, at:
What are the main themes of N5M4?
The program of Next 5 Minutes 4 is structured along four core
thematic threads, bringing together a host of projects and debates.
These four thematic threads are:
"Deep Local", which explores the ambiguities of connecting
essentially translocal media cultures with local contexts.
"The Disappearing of the Public" deals with the elusiveness of the
public that tactical media necessarily needs to interface with, and
considers new strategies for engaging with or redefining 'the public'.
"The Tactics of Appropriation" questions who is appropriating whom?
Corporate, state, or terrorist actors all seem to have become
effective media tacticians, is the battle for the screen therefore
"The Tactical and the Technical" finally questions the deeply
political nature of (media-)technology, and the role that the
development of new media tools plays in defining, enabling and
constraining its tactical use.
The festival explores a variety of forms and formats, from low-tech
to high-tech, from seminars and debates to performances and urban
interventions, screenings, installations as well as sound projects
and live media, a pitching session, a tool builders fair and open
unmoderated spaces. Defining for tactical media is not the medium
itself, but the attitude towards media.
How can I find out more about the festival?
By reading on in this document, but also by consulting the website of
the festival at: http://www.n5m.org
The site also contains a Frequently Asked Questions section that
addresses many practical questions you may have.
Further information can be obtained from the festival office:
How can I reserve tickets?
You can only reserve day tickets and passe-partouts, which give
access to all programs of the festival.
You can reserve tickets at: email@example.com
Day Ticket: 20 Euro
Passe-Partout: 35 Euro
These tickets offer access to all venues and events, including the
Tickets for single programs are not sold, except for the evening
How to get accommodation?
In the beginning of August we will publish details on how to find
cheap and affordable accommodation close to the festival venues.
Follow the link "Accommodation" on the front page of our web site
Receive our announcements via e-mail!!
More information at:
NEXT 5 MINUTES 4 - OVERVIEW OF THREADS & THEMES:
* THE DISAPPEARING PUBLIC
Interfacing with the public ?
There is no public, but where are our publics?
In more than one sense, the practices and promises of tactical media
are tied up with the idea that in the last decades we have witnessed
the disappearance of The Public. One big reason for this is the
explosion of heterogeneous media and heterogeneous media practices,
and the fact boundaries between media spaces have become increasingly
porous (i.e. between media domains that are nationally and culturally
distinct). Another reason is that the idea of " normal people ", on
which the concept of The Public relied, has been thoroughly
undermined, not in the least part because these people increasingly
came and put themselves in the picture, aided by media. (Thus, the
differences among various not so normal people can these days no
longer be easily airbrushed out.)
Funnily enough, also for those media practitioners, artists and
activists, who feel enthusiastic about the disappearance of The
Public, the question of the public is no less acute! In situated
media interventions, the particularity of context tend to take the
foreground, and precisely not a disembodied generality such as " The
Public ". Here margins count as a resource rather than as constraint,
and they can and should be celebrated as such. But when it comes to
these kind of projects, the question of who exactly one is
interfacing with often comes up as a pressing concern. A totally
eclipsed public, that is, an empty hall, an empty street, or empty
chairs, many have found out, is not an ideal situation either. And
when the public " just doesn't get it ", we can't just dismiss the
possibility that there may be a problem with the performance itself.
And what if one ends up " not liking " one's public ? More
importantly, a constructive picture of who or what one is trying to
prompt with a given media intervention, remains totally crucial.
While The Public has disappeared, we thus keep and should keep asking
where/who/what is the public?
In working with that question, the issue of the " erosion " of the
public domain, especially with the rise to dominance of commercial
mass media, and, it should be added, after the disappearance of The
Public, inevitably comes up. In this way, it is easy to get caught
between excitement about the disappearance of The Public, puzzlement
about appropriate publics, and resistance to the " erosion of the
public domain ". But, that last diagnosis might also prompt us to go
and look for the missing public, and try to conjure one up. The
question thus is, what are the techniques and tactics available, and
which should be developed, to make a public appear ?
- Testimony and Witness
- Tactical Cartography: Diagrams of Power
(Visualising for the Public Eye)
- Archives of Resistance
- Critical Games
- Urban Interventions
Where else to find the public than in the streets? The move of
alternative and resistant media cultures out of the ghetto of the
internet into the streets is a rather obvious one. The tactic is
comparable to that of art moving beyond the museum and gallery space.
Invariably, as soon as such media-interventions leave the relatively
unfettered space of the net, or the sanctioned art spaces, and enter
public urban space, they encounter an entirely new set of conflicts
and constraints. Despite all these restrictions public urban space
remains one of the ultimate social interfaces that we want to
question and investigate at Next 5 Minutes 4.
- "Packing Geldershoofd" by Archeopteryx (Izhevsk)
The art group Archeopteryx from Izhevsk (Russia) proposes to execute
their project PACKING on the blind fašade of one of the large
High-rises of the Bijlmer district (Amsterdam South East), called
"Geldershoofd". The high-rise will disappear within a few years as
part of an urban restructuring plan. The original idea of the Package
action was to mark 9-storey housing blocks (the traditional Russian
standardised housing "boxes") in various Russian cities with giant
painted protection labels, normally used on transport boxes. The
traditional meaning of these labels is apparently projected onto the
residents inside these "boxes", urging to protect the people inside:
DO NOT WET, DO NOT BREAK, HANDLE WITH CARE.
- "Escaping Oblivion" (Bus trip) / Tactical Tourism
A bus trip to sites of contestation in and around Amsterdam
During its entire history the city of Amsterdam has been a place
where lots of social, political, religious and cultural issues have
been contested. Primarily aimed at our international guests, but also
with the intention of informing a wider audience about the historical
and cultural context in which the Next 5 Minutes originated, this bus
trip takes you to a number off unusual or unexpected sites where the
sometimes invisible past of Amsterdam will be resurrected.
- Mobile Transgenic Fast-Food Test Lab
Critical Art Ensemble and Beatirz da Costa
- Aar Paar Project
Collaborative Public Art Project by Artists in India and Pakistan
* DEEP LOCAL
Globalisation is renowned for its de-localising effects, as
trans-national business and policies erode local cultures and harness
them for their own ends. But, far from extinguishing locality,
globalisation as a process also invites the creation of new kinds of
localness. "In this process of producing new localities the global is
constantly being reformulated as a summary of singular new
localities." The spread of telecenters, and urban digital culture
projects are forceful examples of recent experiments in
trans-locality. On the one hand, the adaptation of digital and other
media to local contexts serve urgent needs : here it is decided among
others who will and will not participate in digital cultures and in
what ways. But these projects also provide opportunities to unearth
fixed assumptions, and propose forms of situated activism and
embedded innovation, as opposed to lab-based forms of "research and
- New Landscapes for New Media
- Enduring Post Communism: Networks of Patronage
- Laboratory Italy
- Bodies of Globalisation
(Global AIDS activism and the multitudes)
- Freedom of movement == Freedom of information?
* THE TACTICS OF APPROPRIATION!
From its earliest articulations, tactical media practitioners have
always recognised "appropriation" as one of the prime constitutive
elements of the tactical. From the re-purposing of the fruits of the
consumer electronics industry,(exploiting video's forensic immediacy
to institute a subject centred realism) through to later phases of
new media tactics, as evinced by the work of groups like RTMark, and
the practices of logo tinkering, and imposturing, blossoming on the
Net. Thus rather than complaining about the speed with which our
tactics are stolen it is time to recognise that tactical media has
been in the appropriation game all along.
Indeed it is in the precise moment of appropriation that power
becomes momentarily visible. And here lies the opportunity for the
balance of power to be re-defined, for the weak once again to turn
the tables on the strong. Appropriation is the name of the game. The
important question is who appropriates whom?
There are some who would rather seek solace in the belief that a new
social movement is emerging from the formation of alliances between a
multitude of heterogeneous critical groups and micro-movements. But
those who believe that mass movements are immune from appropriation
should observer the ease with which Chirac together with a coalition
of EU member states have appropriated the mass peace demonstrations
to legitimise their geo-political stance visa a vie America. The
scope and logic of appropriation are infinite. Here as elsewhere
power exists both where it is enacted and where it is being challenged
If appropriation is indeed one of the crucial operators of media
politics, the question how that condition can be effectively
addressed (rather than escaped from), is especially important. So we
can ask questions like: in what ways are opposition politics these
days constrained by logics of appropriation? and how can we conceive
of appropriation as something that enables instead of threatens
- Tactical Media in Crisis
(Strategies for Tactical Media)
- The Indymedia Debate
- Uses and Abuses of the Language of Human Rights
- Contestational Science
(Reconfiguring Scientific Networks of Power)
- Tactical Media from the "Dark Side"
* THE TACTICAL AND THE TECHNICAL
Increasingly the new right wing political movements in Europe and
elsewhere have created their own tactical media. Adopting the same
principles of resistant comments to main-stream politics, and as in
the case of altermedia.info even the (web-)styling of indymedia and
other open publication platforms, to involve the audience in their
narrative and promote reactionary politics. In Amsterdam some
conservative Muslim groups have been using the open public channels
on the local cable system to distribute fundamentalist satellite
television programs originating from the Middle East, camouflaged
within the highly multi-cultural programming of the open channels on
Amsterdam cable-TV. Is the "dark side" learning the tricks of the
trade from the benevolent media tacticians? Are these tactics
inherent to a specific form of politics?
- Radio Space "wireless in your psyche"
- Paper tactics and the Revenge of Print
- Recuperating Video's Meaning
- The Tactical Media Tool Builders Fair
The Tactical Media Tool Builders Fair
Next 5 Minutes 4 will host a mini-fair of tools developed by artists
and activists, running continuously during the entire festival. At
any time three or four projects will be presented simultaneously in
the fair-space by the makers themselves who will be up for questions
and discussion. The emphasis of the fair space will be focused
primarily on streaming media, wireless media, open source publication
tools and tactical gizmo's. However, also artists' devices that can
be used by others and conceptual tools can be presented in the space.
Presentations rotate every few hours. An exact schedule of projects
and presentation blocks will be published at the festival. Some of
the areas covered by the fair include:
- Updates on Streaming Cultures
A meeting ground for tactical streaming media, artists, activist,
net.audio, hybrid media experiments. The streaming media mini-fair is
a follow-up to and update of the successful net.congestion festival,
held in Amsterdam in October 2000 - What has changed since, where has
the field moved after the commercial streaming industry collapsed and
See also the archive of net.congestion: http://net.congestion.org
- The Desire to be Wireless
A special focus area will be the domain of wireless media and the
cultural forms that spawn from it. The technology of wireless
networks has become democratised in many ways, nit just via cell
phones. There are a number of projects that experiment with the
possibility of using wireless networks to provide free access to the
internet in public space (the so-called wireless commons). We wish to
explore this terrain via a series of performances and experimental
projects. Besides offering interesting avenues for artistic
experimentation the wireless technologies also offer opportunities
for new forms of low-cost mobile reporting, as well as to set up
local networks in places where a 'wired' infrastructure is not
- Open Source Publication Tools:
A host of open source publication tools have hit the gift-market,
content management systems, on-line databases, weblogging software,
schedulers, reporting tools, web zine tools, and even complete
on-line video editing systems. A selection of some of the most
noteworthy publication tools will be presented in this section.
- Tactical Gizmology
Beside software tools some activist have also focused on creating
machines for tactical intervention work. IAA's pamphleteering robot
and graffiti writer are famous examples of such tactical gizmo's, but
also repurposed consumer electronics and robotics appliances allow
for all kinds of unforeseen uses....
Next 5 Minutes 4 will host an extensive series of workshops that will
focus in a more concentrated setting on various aspects of the
overall festival program. The workshops will have a more practical
and 'hands-on' character. The workshops will feed on the availability
of a unique group of highly experienced practitioners and specialist
brought together for the festival in Amsterdam from many different
countries. The main workshop locations will be the Waag Society,
Imagine IC (Amsterdam South East), the Artlab of Montevideo and a
dedicated and fully equipped workshop space at the Melkweg. The
workshops will start in the days prior to the festival and will
extend for two days beyond the three main festival days, thus making
available a full week for the workshop program.
The registration for workshops will be open for festival participants
and audience, but is limited to a maximum number of participants.
Where possible audience facilities will be made available for people
who want to follow the workshops as listeners. At the 2000
net.congestion festival we discovered that the interest for this
possibility was surprisingly large.
The exact scheme of workshops including dates, themes and locations
will be published well in advance of the festival.
Themes will include:
- Open Source Streaming Tools
- Multimedia Archiving & Databases
- Open Source Publication Platforms
- Digital Story Telling
- IPL for the Digital Domain and Censorship
- Hybridising Media (tactical combinations of radio, TV, internet &
- Wireless Media
- Satellite Technology
- Tactical Gizmology
- Contestational Robotics - IAA & Hakctivist
- TV Hacking - prepared with Kees Stad
Find people to work with!
The pitching session is an attempt to create a place were media
tacticians can find collaborators for whatever project they happen to
be working on. A meeting ground where people can pitch conceptual,
practical, technical, artistic or activist projects to find the
expertise they are missing - the expertise that YOU are missing!!
Contact the production office in time for the pitching session. This
will provide a unique opportunity for finding the collaborator you
dearly missed, or the project you would love to work on, but you
didn't know existed. Create your own solutions! Pitch at Next 5
Minutes 4 and find your unknown other.....
At a few key-points in the program we will invite some of our most
articulate guest to compete in making their urgent message heard in
the frame of a three-minute each theory slam contest. Every
contestant has to convey the urgency of whatever she / he has to say
within the next three minutes after receiving the go: verbal
gymnastics for tactical media theorists!
Next 5 Minutes 4 wishes to continue the tradition of bringing
together extensive performance programs with radical art and media
experiments that transcend the traditional contours of regular art
and media production. In the spirit of the infamous Low-Tech Show of
the previous edition and the very successful performance programs of
the net.congestion festival, we want to invite performers from around
the world that challenge the traditional frameworks of art and media
production. Besides the four evening programs that are planned in the
main festival locations (Paradiso, Melkweg, Balie), we are also
looking for unconventional interventions into the public city space
of Amsterdam (Urban Interventions).
The TML process has so far delivered a long list of performers from
many different countries and regions even beyond the sites where the
various TMLs were organised.
- A completely safe environment....
A completely safe environment is a co-production of De Balie and
Paradiso, which is produced independently, but will be presented in
the frame of the Next 5 Minutes festival.
The evening program is an ironic challenge to the current security
mania that has seized public discourse not only in the United States
but also increasingly in horrifically safe countries such as The
Netherlands. For the evening a barrage of security equipment and
procedures will be installed at the entrance of the Paradiso venue to
ensure a perfectly tranquil environment inside. This completely safe
environment will, however, be continuously scrutinised by various
advanced surveillance and tracking technologies that are aimed at
ensuring a perfect safety for such an environment. The project is an
attempt to find out what is required to create such a perfectly safe
space and turn this into a visceral experience for the visitor.
- Voicing Resistance: Hip Hop as Political Culture
A performance night devoted to Hip Hop as a site of resistance that
has long left its roots in the North American urbania. The
performance night will bring together musicians and collectives from
the USA (Code Red), the Beta Bodega Coalition ř Latin America,
Brazil, as well as from urban France, Amsterdam South East, and other
- fem snd
Due to the heavy under-representation of women in electronic music
and dj culture, the fem snd party will focus on the aspect of giving
female artists the opportunity to perform their work. Male artists
are also most welcome if their work contributes to the gender
Another aspect of the party will be not to try to attract attention
by big names but more by extraordinary quality. Particularly emphasis
is placed on artists who besides doing their own artistic work, are
also active in political contexts, and in building networks and
platforms for other artists.
The focus is on experimental electronic club music looking for
ground-breaking conceptual and technical innovations. Wherever
possible we will take into consideration the role that electronic
music played in triggering the economic aspects of the Net, and
questions of copyright.
Further details of the program will be released on the web site in
the coming weeks.
All three main festival locations (Balie, Melkweg, Paradiso) are
equipped with superb screening facilities and spaces for film and
video in various formats. For the festival special cinema programs
will be compiled that will bring together experimental artistic
productions, do-it-yourself documentaries, local media productions
from around the globe, and political cinema. These thematic programs
seek in part a connection with some of the thematic threads in the
festival programs. We will also search for hybrid combinations of
cinema and video screenings with some of the performance programs
that will be part of the festival, including combinations of screened
materials and live performance. Such hybrid combinations will be a
special focus of the screening programs.
Show & Tell:
More important even than the formal screening programs of Next 5
Minutes are the possibilities created for festival participants to
show and exchange materials amongst themselves during the festival.
Special informal screening spaces will be installed where impromptu
one to one or one to few screenings can be arranged. Furthermore the
TAZ spaces will all be equipped with screening facilities to enable
impromptu group screenings.
The Media Library will be a permanent space in the festival that
hosts a collection of media productions with a specific social,
cultural or political agenda. Media of crisis, criticism and
opposition. Media that provide an antidote to the world as we see it
represented in mainstream media and current geopolitics. The Media
Library can be accessed by any festival participant during the
Next 5 Minutes has been putting out calls for such media productions
widely, but the submission is still open. The productions that you
will send to us will become part of the so-called media-library.
After conclusion of the festival they will become part of the Next 5
Minutes Visual Archive, which is kept at the International Institute
for Social History in Amsterdam.
Contributions can be selected for special screenings at the
festival, for broadcasting on local cable TV and for broadband
internet distribution, in which case specific permission will be
asked from the maker. We will accept contributions on all carriers
(SVHS, Betacam, cd-rom, miniDV, dvd, pal/ntsc/secam, 16mm, 35mm,
etc.) (VHS welcome but not preferred).
Any length, any language.
More information is available via the production office (firstname.lastname@example.org)
NEXT 5 MINUTES TV
Starting 3 weeks before the festival Next 5 Minutes TV will air twice
per week a live studio program co-produced with SALTO the local
Amsterdam TV organisation, with studio guest and hosted by Erik van
der Schaft, director of SALTO. During this period media productions
from the Media Library will be aired every night between 00.00 and
02.00 hours on Amsterdam Cable TV.
During the festival itself Next 5 Minutes will generate an intensive
program of live broadcasts from the Hybrid Media Studio, interviews
with festival guests, live broadcast from festival programs, and
edited festival reports.
HYBRID MEDIA STUDIO
As in previous editions, Next 5 Minutes is more than an event for
presentation and debate about media, it is also an event where a lot
of media-output is produced on site. The nerve centre of the media
production during N5M4 will be the Hybrid Media Studio. The concept
takes the fusion of different media-forms within a hybridised digital
media network as its starting point. Radio, television, internet,
wireless transmission, satellite and other forms of electronic media
production continue to exist in their own right, but they are also
more and more often combined into expanded media formats that involve
two or more media at once. The Hybrid Media Studio brings these
different media-forms together in one space, and connects them to all
available media-infrastructures. Amsterdam offers unique
possibilities for non-commercial free media programming on local TV
and radio, as well as various web-casting facilities. From the Hybrid
Media Studio continuous live programming will be fed to local media
outlets, to international (satellite-) outlets, to national
broadcasting organisations, and to local media partners in other
cities in the world. What makes the studio hybrid is its trans-genre
approach, and its trans-local distribution.
OPEN SPACE / TACTICAL AUTONOMOUS ZONES (TAZ)
An element first introduced in the third edition of Next 5 Minutes in
1999 that we wish to foreground more are the Tactical Autonomous
Zones. These are un-programmed but fully equipped presentation spaces
where participants can sign up themselves for a presentation. The
idea is to create open zones in the festival for impromptu
presentations and gatherings, spaces for contestation and difference.
Registration for the TAZ is open to all festival participants and
works on a first come first serve basis.
Proposals for the TAZ can be sent to the production office as of
Monday July 21st, via: email@example.com
N5M4 - EXTENDED
A friendly post-festival networking environment
Next 5 Minutes is always over-programmed because of the urgency of a
multitude of concerns that characterise a world in permanent crisis.
What is lost is the space for informal encounter and exchange of
ideas, and the time to create new coalitions for the future. Since
for logistical budgetary and many other reasons it is impossible to
resolve the desire for such a less pressured environment within the
festival, we have created a post-festival meeting place and work
environment, ideally suited for working sessions and networking
meetings. The location of this meeting is the artist-run imitative
"Het Buitenland" just outside the city of Amsterdam, which includes a
small camping site.
The site of Het Buitenland will be equipped with basic networking
facilities as well as meeting rooms and other requirements. The main
function of this post-festival meeting is to set-up new co-operative
projects, start longer term working relations and develop new
collaborative networks between festival participants. Further
information on the meeting will be posted on the announcement list of
Next 5 Minutes, the web site and are available through the production
Next 5 Minutes 4 Production Office:
c/o De Balie
Kleine Gartmanplantsoen 10
1017 RR Amsterdam
Tel. +31.20.55 35 171
Fax. +31.20.55 35 155
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