Friday, November 26, 2010

Crying out for culture (een schreeuw voor cultuur) and Creative Leiden

I thought I'd make this a post about some of the creative initiatives happening in my city, Leiden, in response to the Dutch government announcement to cut all culture and arts funding by 20% (c. 200 million Euros). They also announced that they will also remove the reduced sales tax for art and culture (from 6% to 19%).

In response to this a national day of protest called, "Holland screams (calls out) for culture" (Nederland schreeuwt om cultuur) was held throughout the Netherlands, on November 20th. In most cities people gathered to 'cry out' or 'scream' -very fitting given that the government just announced just a major cut to all arts funding in the Netherlands.

The website for collecting petitions of protest, enabled you to scream into the microphone, while this page has films and photographs of the day of protest.

Here is a news item with links and photos from the culture oriented broadcasting corporation, the VPRO, Photos from the protest in Amsterdam, and photos from Utrecht, and in this blog has a link on youtube of the protest in Leiden - in summary the first speaker informs us that with a 6 week warning of the increase in sales tax from 6% to 19%, theatres aimed for youth in particular cannot survive.

The Leiden city councilor for culture, Jan-Jaap de Haan the second speaker (here at 3'10" in the video in link above) spoke very well: he wanted to sing, but the orchestra is gone, so he has to scream and asks why is culture perceived as a left-wing hobby. Culture informs and shows who we are. The government is focussed on what we are not (very apt reference to the government focus on the fear of migrants and anti-Islamic sentiments).

It made me realise, that yes, without culture, expression becomes noise -yelling and screaming.

It's ironic that the news today is that yet more criminal records have been revealed of members of the Dutch parliament in Wilders' right-wing extreme nationalist party (PVV 'party for freedom' - oh so Orwellian!).
So the current cabinet remains in power, if Wilders' doesn't remove these individuals who lied about their past 'convictions' (!) from his party. Two weeks ago one member of parliament left this same party because he didn't want yet more limelight put on his past. Ironic that a government needs these people in order to remain in power.

And so to Leiden:

Creatieve Stad Leiden

is a blog run by Jeroen Maters which often has ideas or thoughts or reports on cultural related issues in Leiden.

The 24 Nov blog concerns creative ideas for some ugly architecture along a main street, and his idea there is for a vertical garden. I came across this via the Linkedin Leiden Network group in response to a call for suggestions for this empty block.

The old post office next to this block is now used by a collective of artists as a gallery, de Pieter, which focusses on group exhibitions by Leiden artists.

As a result in the down turn in the economy in the past year or so there are more empty spaces in the centre of the city, and so the artists here are able to pay a low rent to the city council for this space. Below is another arts initiative ultilizing empty shops.

Open Makers

Early in 2010 I first heard of OpenMakers which provides temporary studio spaces in the centre of Leiden utilizing empty shops.

In September + October Sen and I built our installation in one of these spaces. What is so great about their project is that it is interdisciplinary and invites artists from all levels to have the opportunity to work on a project. So far there's been theatre, tango, fashion design, poetry as well other visual artists.


- centre for theatre, visual arts, dance, lectures, events, etc
Scheltema is an old wool factory, converted since 2005 into an arts centre.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Media Related conferences + publications

I often am sent interesting links or information about conferences, some I can attend.

So I'll add new links to such events and feel welcome to add your own links in the comments.
15+16 Jan 2011: Fiber festival,
hosted by:
MediaLab in Amsterdam whose website has numerous links to media mainly in connection with education:

Two things happening in November are:

Game in the City

18 + 19 Nov, Amersfoort, The Netherlands: the Third edition of the Dutch Game Awards, the annual business awards for the Dutch Game Industry.

Of interest to me is the conference and the session on Sustainability:
* Alma Schaafstal - TFI (Taskforce Innovatie Regio Utrecht [Taskforce Innovation around Utrecht])
(Global Game Jam > will be held 28-30 January 2011)
* Philippe Petit and Rens Vogel – Greeny Games (Be Green)
* Jacky Nieuwstraten – Amersfoort (BioB@ttle)
* Derk de Geus – Paladin Studios (Enercities)
* Bruno Felix – Submarine Channel (Collapsus)

AND in London this weekend the conference:

Besides the Screen:
Moving Images during Distribution, Exhibition and Consumption

New media technologies impact cinema well beyond the screen; they also promote the reorganization of its logic of distribution, modes of consumption and viewing regimes. Once, it was video and television broadcast that disturbed traditional cinematographic experience, revealing the image as soon as it was captured and bringing it into the home of the audience. Nowadays, computer imaging and online networks cause an even stronger effect to the medium, increasing the public agency in the movie market dynamics.
In order to understand how these significant changes in the modes of accessing and distributing moving images might affect cinematographic experience, economy and historiography, we are obliged to rethink not only of its future, but its past as well. Besides the Screen is a one-day international symposium that aims to map research projects on new and old forms of moving image distribution, exhibition and consumption. The conference will be hosted in Goldsmiths College in November, with the support of the Graduate School and the Media and Communications Department.

Their blog has more and they expect to produce a publication:

Saturday, 20th November
10:30 - 10:45 Welcome! [MRB Screen 1]
10:45 - 12:30 First Panel Session

Panel 1a [MRB Screen 1]: Distribution & TV

* Keith Beattie, Exhibiting Direct Cinema: The Realignment of US Broadcast Television and the Development of the Observational Mode

* JP Kelly, In the “Perpetual Now”: 24 and the Distribution of Real-Time
* Melanie Kennedy, High School Musical as a Made-for-Television Tween Musical
* Hannah Andrews, The BBC Film Network: User-generated Content and the Public Service Broadcaster

Panel 1b [MRB Screen 2]: Marketing and/or Participation

* Adnan Hadzi, Why Openness Matters: the Deptford.TV Project
* Marc Stumpel, File-sharing or attention-sharing? Implications of the hybrid economy
* Stephanie Janes, Viral Marketing Strategies in Hollywood Cinema

14:00 - 15:45 Second panel session
Panel 2a [MRB Screen 1]: The (Archived) Image

* Maarten Brinkerink, Open Images: Establishing an Audiovisual Commons
* Ana Carvalho, The ephemeral in AV realtime practices: an analysis into the possibilities for its documentation
* Evelin Stermitz, ArtFem.TV
* Claudy Op den Kamp, The forgotten ones: is audiovisual archival public domain material really freely available?

Panel 2b [MRB Screen 2]: The Shape of (Image) Space
* Stefania Charitou, Projection dislocated
* Sudeep Dasgupta, The Screen beside Itself: Situational Transformations in Visual Culture
* Zlatan Krajina, How to Tame the Sun: Visual Indulgences at a Screen-Place as Strategies of Appropriation

16:00 - 17:00 Keynote [MRB Screen 1]

* Julia Knight, Distribution, Diversity and Digitalisation

Sunday, 21st November
10:30 - 12:15 Third Panel Session
Panel 3a [BPB 1]: Remix, Appropriation & the Amateur

* Felix Seyfarth, Television 2.0: Exploring user-generated video and online participation
* Marin Hirschfeld, Redacted and the Problems with Appropriating Amateur Digital Discourses
* Nicola Evans, Rambo Remix
* Patricia Moran, The image time: procedure of cultural remix

Panel 3b [BPB 2]: (New?) Image Aesthetics

* Patricia Iuva, Trailer aesthetic
* Luca Barbeni, Until the End of Cinema
* Vito Campanelli, The DivX and MP3 Experience

13:45 - 15:30 Fourth Panel Session
Panel 4a [BPB 1]: The Image on the Move

* Simone Knox, Besides, On and Through the Screen: The Transnational Distribution and Consumption of Cinema
* Laura Rodriguez Isaza, Touring the Film Festival Circuit: Migrating Patterns of Latin American Cinema
* Leandro Valiati, Cultural Economics and Movies: Indicators and empirical research

Panel 4b [BPB 2]: As Art: Authenticity, Originality & Exhibition

* Bojana Romic, New Exhibition Spaces: viral video goes offline?
* Frantisek Zachoval, ART-y-CHOK-e
* Catrien Schreuder, Pixels and Places: Video Art in Public Space
* Dominik Hasler, Party as art? AntiVJ and the migration of VJing into the sphere of fine arts