Tag Archives: technology

Remix culture frames Remapping Europe

In Remapping Europe, we use re-mixing of media both as a tool as well as a cultural framework. The concept of ‘remix’ refers to a broad set of social and cultural practices consisting of the fragmentation, re-ordering, and re-contextualisation of both pre-existing and new content – whether text, sound or image.

url-3Perhaps as a result of the digital shift or perhaps simply as a sign of the times, creators today are working generally more inter-disciplinarily, less willing to define themselves by, or confine themselves to, a single discipline. Remapping Europe brings together film, video, live cinema, performance, media, remixed image and sound and reflects new audiences’ interests. The artists have different profiles complementing each other as media artists, performers, 3D animators, documentarians, musicians, DJs and VJs.

Remix culture frames Remapping Europe: de-constructing narrative(s), recreating new narrative(s) of representation, using D-I-Y forms of media production and appropriating mass media texts. It is a cultural operating system, in which existing audiovisual material and images are framed in a new context, juxtaposed and seen from a fresh perspective, revealing new visions on our past, present and future. Remix is also a tool that is accessible, reflects a multidimensional, rather than a linear interest, and encompasses everything from collaging to digital storytelling.

At its root, both Doc Next Network and Remapping Europe are intergenerational – looking at Europe as the intersection of generations rather than a division or gap between generations. The organisations on the ground have designed intergenerational activities for their communities and the project brought together the narration of the young creators with that of their parents and grandparents. It remixes and weaves the stories, contexts and perspectives of older generations through archival searching – confronting and interrogating them. A personal story becomes the centre of a more collective narrative. Because we are standing on the brink of the greatest generational shift that we have experienced in the western world, we must find intergenerational approaches and innovations – intergenerational knowledge sharing – rather than looking at projects, programmes or solutions that address ‘older’ people and others that address ‘youth’. The inclusiveness of our communities must also include generations.

url-4Many of these intersections raise questions and fuel debate, sometimes heated. Perhaps the most debated is the notion of the value of inter-experiential connections and knowledge – placing the voice of the expert alongside that of the ‘experienced’. The digital shift has played havoc with the comfortable hierarchies that we are accustomed to: between the writer and the reader; the teacher and the student; the amateur and the professional; the consumer and the producer; the institution and the individual. Accessibility of technology means that everyone can create and share their creation without any intermediaries – D-I-Y takes on a whole new meaning. However it is not just Do it Yourself – but it is also Do it With Others, or Do it Together. The subtitle of European Souvenirs, ‘Remixing media, crossing (shifting) borders’, also refers to these elements and intersections.

The increased opening-up of archives and collections to the public further enhances this potential – allowing people greater access to information and the ability to attribute their own meaning to it. Meaning becomes much more important that the information itself.

How do we make sense of it all though? How do we make our way through the masses of information and content? We do need increased media literacy – by the creators (the millions of them) and in the sifting and filtering ability of the audiences (millions more!). Given this caveat, it is our belief that the opportunities and benefits of open access far outstrip the challenges.

Remapping Europe is seeking a new generation of digital storytellers. Remix is both the conceptual starting point and the tool to remap Europe. The existing narrative of a single new image, photograph, recording, sound or story is ‘de-constructed’ from the individual perspective of the participant and a new imagery based on the original is then created. In his book, Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy, Lawrence Lessig (2008) ‘presents this as a desirable ideal and argues … that the health, progress, and wealth creation of a culture is fundamentally tied to this participatory remix process’.

As remix culture is becoming more acknowledged as an essential aspect of contemporary art and cultural practice, Remapping Europe – a Remix provides many opportunities to exchange, interact, to be involved and to ensure peer-to-peer learning. It goes far beyond the individual remix, the individual organisation, institution or community.

More about Remix Culture

http://www.nfb.ca/film/rip_a_remix_manifesto/ (video)
http://blip.tv/good-copy-bad-copy/good-copy-bad-copy-full-feature-364089 (video)

This article contains texts from “Remapping Europe – a Remix: a case study in international and inter-institutional collaboration and networking” by Katherine Watson and Vivian Paulissen, to be published in “Migrating Heritage: Networks and Collaborations across European Museums, Libraries and Public Cultural Institutions” by Ashgate Publishing Ltd, Wey Court East, Union Road, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7PT, England.

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Remapping Europe: case study in international and inter-institutional collaboration.

Collaboration across Europe benefits from some key ingredients, which need to be at the root of our working processes. We must cross and indeed break-down borders on many physical and metaphysical levels. Collaboration enhances the ‘spaces in-between’, the intersections between, people, organisations and ideas. In our complicated (but very rich) 21st century, the intersections are not of two spheres converging, but of many – layered, interconnected – and made even more complex by the digital opportunities that envelop us.

The artists of European Souvenirs (left to right): Karol Rakowski (Poland), Bariş Gürsel (Turkey), Farah Rahman (Netherlands), Malaventura (Spain), Noriko Okaku (Japan / UK). Pic by Ricardo Barquín Molero.

The artists of European Souvenirs (left to right): Karol Rakowski (Poland), Bariş Gürsel (Turkey), Farah Rahman (Netherlands), Malaventura (Spain), Noriko Okaku (Japan / UK).

This paper considers a thought provoking project through several lenses, through several intersections. The two year experimental project Remapping Europe – a Remix was initiated by Doc Next Network, a network instigated by the Youth and Media Programme of the European Cultural Foundation. The project launched in De Balie, Amsterdam in October 2012 with a live cinema performance by five young multimedia artists from different corners of Europe called European Souvenirs. Continue reading

European Souvenirs at The Mapping Festival and DOKUFEST.


After shows in Vienna, Amsterdam, Bilbao and Seville, European Souvenirs will be staged at the renowned Mapping Festival for VISUAL AUDIO & DEVIANT ELECTRONICS (Geneva, 2-12 May 2013). Then we are off to DOKUFEST in Kosovo!

European Souvenirs is Doc Next’s live cinema performance. Delving into audiovisual materials from leading European archives, Doc Next Network brings you European Souvenirs that offer a trip down memory lane. Remixing music, photography and film, the European Souvenirs artistic group re-examines the prevailing imagery of immigrants across European communities and re-maps Europe visually, geographically and conceptually. European Souvenirs is a major live-cinema performance by artists Karol Rakowski (PL), Barış Gürsel (TR), Farah Rahman (NL), Malaventura (ES) and Noriko Okaku (JP/UK). Continue reading

Expanded Education – The English Edition

Somewhere between a fork and a spin-off, the notebook Expanded Education – The English Edition compiles a series of materials that revolve around the notion of expanded education and are related to the book that Doc Next Network hub partner ZEMOS98 published on the subject.

Click to download

Click to download

Education has always been one of the core themes of the ZEMOS98 project. Not just any old education, but the kind of education that is inseparably bound up with communication and that connects to and networks with other concepts such as audio-visuals, art and experimentation. Education as an element of on-going personal growth, that is not limited to one particular stage of life. Education as play, a way of unravelling the media theatre. Education as an open source operating system that turns us into critical citizens. Education as a game played by all individuals, from all eras. Education as a utopia for a culture-sharing society. When we talk about expanded education, we are not talking about a new concept or something that has just popped out of the blue. Continue reading

Download report ‘Learning To See’.

How is the function of film/photography changing and their working methods?
How to use the visual tools in a conscious, critical and thoughtful manner? 
How to follow the technological change wisely for the sake of promoting social change? 
How to apply pictures in social and cultural projects?

Questions like the above made us organise a Visual Seminar – an opportunity to meet for persons working with pictures, practices of looking and the contemporary culture in the broad sense: practitioners (animators/educators, authors) and theoreticians (anthropologists, sociologists, researchers) operating within the field of visual culture. Continue reading

Upload Cinema: taking webvideo out of the domestic realm.

sfeerbeeld-publiek.jpgThe web is changing film. Not only the way film content is being distributed, but also the way film is being produced and watched. The whole interactive process of making, mixing, choosing, uploading, commenting, recommending and reacting is what is truly revolutionizing the industry.

Film is becoming more and more a collaborative, social activity. But unfortunately this activity is taking place behind the computer at home or at work. Which is, let’s face it, not the best possible place to enjoy movies. Film is becoming more and more a collaborative, social activity.

Upload Cinema wants to take this exciting new way of making and sharing film out of the domestic realm, away from the internet and the tiny computer screen and into a space that’s designed for a collective experience: the cinema. Upload Cinema brings the best internet videos to the big screen. Every two months they present a fresh, thematic program of captivating web films, linked to a special theme. The audience submits web films; a team of editors picks the best ones and compiles a programme of around 90 minutes from the bunch, which is screened in cinemas and on special locations.

Win 2 tickets for The Best Webvideos (Amsterdam, 29 January) 2012 on Facebook.

Upload Cinema celebrates the new year at the Stadschouwburg in Amsterdam (Tue 29 January). Lean back and enjoy the most shocking, funniest and best online videos of 2012 on the big screen.
Doc Next Network’s partner Metropolis TV is this years guest editor! You can win 2 tickets for the event on our Facebook Page.

Buy your ticket here.
More about Upload Cinema here.


New Doc Next Theme: Interactive Storytelling.

Introducing a new Doc Next Network featured Theme for December and January: INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING.

At a time when interactivity is redefining the documentary landscape, Doc Next Network, as a movement committed to reimagining the notion of “documentary”, tackles the link between digital interactive technologies and documentary making by zooming in on interactive storytelling practices.

Promoting documentary as tool for communication as well as documentation, and forming a link between traditional media and the constantly developing world of free culture, Doc Next Network investigates interactive storytelling as a new model of exchange between young creators, providing them an alternative space to be inter-active, inter-participatory, and inter-dependent. 

Essentially, the interactive multimedia capability of the Internet provides documentarians with a unique medium to create non-linear and multi-linear forms of narrative that combine photography, text, audio, video, animation and infographics. Beyond that, with the development of new authoring tools, with HTML5 and open video possibilities, media makers are getting enabled to create a wider range of experiences and personal ways for the networked audience to tap into the narrative sphere of a documentary, giving them an active role in the negotiation of ‘reality’.

With the Do-it-with-Others (DiwO) approach deeply ingrained in our network, we believe these practices help the new generation of media makers create meaningful, socially engaged stories in a participatory framework by introducing new ways of interaction, conversation and sharing of ideas between and among their different communities, allowing them to compare the realities of different worlds and ultimately to present in novice ways alternative perspectives on contemporary Europe and beyond.

Social justice through free culture and expanded (media) education.” This is what we seek to promote and accomplish through our work as Doc Next Network. We welcome, investigate and help construct new approaches, methods and tools of storytelling to do just that.

The theme of Interactive Storytelling will run until mid January 2013.


In 2009 the ZEMOS98 Festival (partner in Doc Next Network) investigated the alternatives for formal education and other ways of expressing knowledge. 

This process, in which activists, educators and people from the cultural and social innovation sector participated, took place in the context of the international workshop ‘Educación Expandida’ (Expanded Education). That results were collected and documented on www.educacionexpandida.org, and have served as a starting point for a publication.


The book ‘Expanded Education’ –subtitle: education can happen anytime and anywhere- holds proposals for informal education, social activism and research in participatory processes. Expanded education is a concept that has been aknowledged by institutions and groups from various fields. To ZEMOS98, the greatest achievement isn’t the publication of the book itself, but continuation of the investigative process that began in 2009: ZEMOS98 wants to contribute to the development of expanded education by investing in anti-authoritarian and non-directional projects and methodologies.

Read more about the book here: http://publicaciones.zemos98.org/educacion-expandida-el-libro (download in PDF available)

Institutions changing for the better.

This post Innovation and institutional change for the reinvention of democratic practices (Imagining Europe) is written by Juan Freire and was originally posted on nomada.blogs.com.

imagining_europe_jfreire_1I participated recently in the event Imagining Europe organized by the European Cultural Foundation in Amsterdam. Specifically I was part of the roundtable and debate Reclaiming Public Space – Democratic Practices Reinvented? where we tried to put “[d]emocracy in Europe under the microscope” (here a resume of the activities of the day).

Farid Tabarki (founder and director of Studio Zeitgeist in Amsterdam)  was the moderator of the debate involving Peter Vermeersch (lecturer, poet, G1000 Belgium), Tiffany Jenkins (sociologist and cultural commentator, UK) and myself to explore alternative models for democratic practice in Europe. My intervention was focused in “Innovation and institutional change” trying to present ideas about these two questions:

  • How do the alternative models [organizations and processes based in bottom-up and networked dynamics] connect and / or collide with traditional political and cultural expression?
  • How can new initiatives develop sustainable and long-term ways of participation without losing their innovating character?

The following images (the set in Flickr; see credits below) and notes is a mostly visual resume of my ideas, that I prepared after a conversation with Farid Tabarki (that inspired and provided me with clever ideas):


The new models of organizations and processes based in bottom-up and networked dynamics should be consideredexperimental. The only way to innovate and learn how to make effective the new practices and structures is to make them real and explore their possibilities. This means also that we need to allow failures as the only way to get real innovation. From my point of view, we should look especially to experiments occurring in two fields. Traditionaleducation is suffering a long-lasting crisis but many alternative models based in learning by doing and collaboration are emerging. Also, education is overpassing its traditional limits to be part of the agenda of culture, science or business; thelab is the new concept of space for experimentation, prototyping and learning.


Political activism is other area of intense experimentation. Citizens are using technology and public spaces to organize themselves to discuss and make politics, sometimes in conflict with the traditional politics (represented by institutions and political parties), sometimes opening new opportunities for dialogue. The novelty here is the large scale and diversity of the citizen-driven actions taking place from 2010 worldwide (from Arab revolutions to #15M or the Occupy movements or to activism occurring in Israel or Chile to put only a few examples). These civic movements need spaces for communication, deliberation and collaboration and in this sense are reclaiming the re-appropiation of the public space by citizens.


Alternative models could be not understood without the role of the Internet. They are not only digital phenomena; most of them are eminently analogical processes. However the Internet is a key element at least from 3 points of view. First as an infrastructure that allows the new network organizations and processes to be effective at a large scale.


Second, the Internet has been the driver of the re-emergence of new practices and values, a new digital culture based in ideas as openness, peers, commons or collaboration and the rethinking of intellectual property.


However the Internet is also a risk for these emerging phenomena because it is also a powerful tool for the power to try to control citizens, especially, but not only, in non-democratic countries. This is the other side of the impact of the digital; the balance between the pros and cons is not decided and will depend of the active roles of the different stakeholders.


The new scenario changes the roles and outcomes of the different social collectives. In one side, probably a new class of excluded is emerging that it is very different from the traditional ones. The mid-class professionals usually working for big corporations and institutions are in many cases unable to understand and participate in the new models and as a consequence act as “stoppers” trying to keep their world as usual.


Networked organizations are open and flexible but leadership continues to be necessary. A new kind of leaders emerge with skills different to the leaders of the past. They need to communicate using new media and empowering social networks. They have to develop empathy with the different stakeholders. Finally most of their work is behind the scenes making things happen and, in this sense, promoting collaboration and team work. New leaders are obviously women and men but in many aspects their skills and values are much more close to those that traditionally were assigned to women.


New models are working well at the small scale in the sense that we are getting many learnings and insights from these political experiences. However they attained large scale only during short periods as reactions to extreme situations (as dictatorships in the Arab revolutions) or as sophisticated demonstrations in democracies; but they have no transformed the political system. In contrast in the last decades digital processes have been able to attain large scales (i.e. Wikipedia or the free software communities) transforming for example the production and distribution of knowledge. The main question for the future is how to scale up political processes and organizations. We need dialogue between the traditional representative democracy and the new deliberative and participatory politics. Now in most cases they are operating in different channels and the conflicts continue to be manageable because of the scale, but with increasing complexity new consensus, organizations and institutions are needed and they could only emerge as hybrids of the remix of the old and new ones.


An agenda for transformation needs to identify why, how and what is changing for the better, and to look for a common ground where the new and old processes and institutions could collaborate.

Credits of the images:

  1. Science Gallery (Dublin), workshop in collaboration with Medialab Prado (June 2012)
  2. http://nosoloilustracion.wordpress.com/2011/10/16/cronica-de-un-cambio-anunciado-15m-15o-spanishrevolution/
  3. http://www.cheswick.com/ches/map/gallery/index.html
  4. http://www.psfk.com/2008/12/digital-culture-snub.html
  5. http://censorshipinamerica.com/2011/10/20/china-defends-internet-censorship-against-us-trade-query/
  6. http://vlb.typepad.com/commentary/2006/03/realtime_produc_1.html
  7. http://cryptome.org/info/ows-19/ows-19.htm
  8. http://flowerwatch.net/2010/02/08/how-natures-complexity-is-simple-and-natures-simplicity-is-complex/
  9. http://www.masshumanists.org/changing-for-the-better.htm

Metropolis TV for Spanish speakers.

Hola Amigos!! Do yo have Spanish friends who love our partner’s Metropolis TV’s films, but do not speak Dutch or English? Problem solved! From now on you watch a selection of the best Metropolis reports with Spanish subtitles!

Atención todos los Hispanohablantes! Metropolis esta conquistando el mundo. En nuestra nueva página española encontrarás algunos de nuestros informes favoritos subtítulados al español.

El Reino de los Enanos en China

El Reino de los Enanos es una atracción popular entre los turistas chinos que quieren inaugurar el nuevo año con buen ánimo. Comenzó como una realización de Blancanieves y los siete enanitos, pero se ha convertido en un parque de atracciones, donde viven y trabajan más que cién enanos.

La guardia del puente de Nanjing

El señor Chen en Nanjing da un significado diferente al término “guardián del puente”. Con su moto conduce para arriba y para abajo sobre el puente, para parar a las personas que quieren suicidarse y quieren saltar del puente. Y los hace voluntariamente.