Getting Rough with Media: The ‘Right to Know’ Summit
Focusing on the ‘Right to Know’ the Summit invites discussion on how digital media engulfing our daily lives are now accessible in not only new but perhaps previously unimagined ways. Such accessibility also creates new forms of openness and malleability blurring the lines between the hack, the hoax and the objective. The public focus of the Net as being a broad ranging arena of information exchange moderated by proxies such as ICANN and dominated by enterprises incl. Google, Facebook and Amazon is once again shifting. Two decades into our life within the World Wide Web, a much wider and more diverse group of users has emerged using the Net as a central arena of critical socio-political activity.
The currently unfolding ‘Arab Spring’, as well as the victory of the Pirate Party in Berlin’s State elections, fuels forces that have the ability to create new forms of information visibility and data malleability. These major popular movements have radically influenced all sides and players in the rapidly evolving and seemingly completely unpredictable shifts in social and political orders. The recent case of the ‘unmasked’ fraudulent (or simply naive prankster) U.S-based blogger who purported to be a Syrian Lesbian rights activist moving to the fore of that country’s current revolt underscores the precarious level of blind trust mass media and digital society at large nonetheless still places on the power of ‘sincerity’ in net-based communication.
Hactivism itself, once the poetic domain of seemingly invisible forces, is becoming mainstream. Is there a danger that the rough, highly unstable edges of digital media and network practice, including political hacktivism, open source protocol design (ie. Thimbl, DIY tools and apps) and evolving movements such as Sharism, will be ‘corporatised’? Where do these forces converge, and where does the opportunity lie to entrench the idealism of the Net’s ability to be the essential guarantor of expressive freedom and mobility? By supporting and embracing the rough edges of the media, keeping these in flux and critical, we have the historical opportunity to firmly guarantee, as an entire society, the Net’s primary strengths and characteristics: that of a truly open, unregulated and free tool of communication.
Sunil Abraham― Speaker
Sunil Abraham ((Bangalore)) is Executive Director of the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore, India. He is also a leading figure behind the Tactical Technology Collective and founder of Mahiti, an organisation that aims to reduce the cost and complexity of Information and Communication Technology. www.cis-india.org
Tatiana Bazzichelli― Speaker
A leading hactivista, Bazzichelli(Berlin) is a communication sociologist and Ph.D. Scholar at Aarhus University where she is a board member of DARC, the Digital Aesthetics Research Center. Most of her work echoes her current research on Networked Disruption: Rethinking Oppositions in Art, Hacktivism and the Business of Social Networking. www.tatianabazzichelli.com
Rui Guerra― Speaker
Being a critical open cultures advocate, Rui Guerra(Utrecht) has developed a number of models, self-organising principles and strategies for shifting culture online, and what to do with it once it’s there. His work questions and challenges the norms and hierarchies of ‘high-end’ cultural institutions and suggests that the time has come to reflect the true economic and political value of online culture within governmental policy. www.intk.com
Alejandra Perez Nunez― Speaker
Alejandra Perez Nunez (Santiago de Chile) a.k.a. elpueblodechina is a sound artist, critical writer and performer working with and developing FLOSS tools and electronics. With a degree in Psychology and Aesthetics from Universidad Catolica de Chile and a M.A. in Media Design from the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, she actively works to fuse radical forms of open cultures with educational and social structures, especially in relatively conservative and weakly networked regions and communities in South America. www.elpueblodechina.org
Alejandro Duque― Speaker
One of the world’s leading open source data streaming wizards, Alejo Duque(Saas Fe) is a theorist, media activist, sound artist and frequency analyst based within the European Graduate School in Switzerland. He is a co-founder and active member of networks such as Bricolabs and Dorkbot with both a passion and direction in creating ‘real’ network communities independent of geographic or political constraints. co.lab.cohete.net
Sami Ben Gharbia― Speaker
Sami Ben Gharbia is a Tunisian blogger and Director at Global Voices Advocacy, where his blog Threatened Voices tracks suppression of online free-speech. He is Co-founder of nawaat.org (meaning ‘the core’ in Arabic), a Tunisian collective blog about news and politics. threatened.globalvoicesonline.org
Christopher Adams― Speaker
Christopher Adams is a publisher and developer based in Beijing. He works with Fabricatorz in San Francisco on creative projects, with Qi Hardware in Beijing on copyleft hardware, and with Aiki Lab in Singapore on open source software. Christopher is a co-founder of SHARISM.org, and performs as a VJ with the MilkyMist visual synthesizer. He is @christopheradam on Twitter and chris.raysend.com on the Web.
Chris van der Heijden― Speaker
Chris van der Heijden is a Utrecht based historian, journalism teacher, journalist and writer who specialises in Dutch and Spanish history. At this moment he is working on a book about the political role of media in past and present.