How Low Can You Go

Projects that bend and stretch the possibilities of media technology. All levels are possible but we will definitely not fetishize high tech solution s. In fact N5M3 will counter the obsession with high technology. Instead of glitching the high-tech fantasies of many of the international art & tech events, N5M3 will make a vigorous effort to go low-tech.

Most media, and certainly common media, heavily depend on technology. "Media", actually is a term which is very hard to define; in many meanings of the word "media", technology is already implied. N5M3 will focus not only on the tactical potential of (new) media, it also wishes to reflect on the developments of media and media technology. The choice of media that we use, and the way we use these media is not completely self-evident or coincidental. Nor is it fully our own conscious decision. The construction of media technology instead is deeply political and political-economical.


The current techno-hype, propagating the consumption of computer technology with increasing speed, is an example of technology development that is hardly questioned. Even in 'leftist' environments it is taken for granted that every few years all computers must be replaced by brand new ones in order to be able to run the latest Windows or Mac version.

Showing long-forgotten media, redundant computers or provocatively silly machines, N5M3 will ironically glamorize obsolete technology, and thus create some historic awareness and maybe form some kind of antidote to the hype. We will attempt to rewrite media history, perhaps to learn that the technology that survives is not necessarily the best.

Our high-tech hype is not just temporarily bound, but also spatially. What can high-tech computers do in countries where villages hardly have water or food, let alone electricity and phone connections? Which media are most effective in rural mainly illiterate areas in India? How to develop media strategies if high-tech is for economic or political reasons completely absent?

Of course, N5M3 will also look at campaigns where current technology is being used. Can armchair electronic civil disobedience be an effective campaigning strategy? Will the latest generation DV camcorders really contribute to the democratization of the TV image? How can consumer technology be used in a struggle for emancipation or for raising awareness?

The How Low Can You Go Show

On Friday night there will be the grand "How Low Can You Go?" show. This event will bring together a host of ironic, artistic, subversive attempts to ditch the tech barrier. The show will present work of international groups who explore the aesthetics and charm of low-slow-no-tech, and the amazing power of forgotten media. How low can we go? We see no reason to stop until the show is the over, which ultimately means that we will have to go from " low-tech" to "no-tech", which is exactly what we plan to do.

Additional workshop:
1. Tactical Radio Today: small transmitters and narrowcasting.. .The architectures of, both related to live events and sound archives (MPEG 3)... A taskforce to develop an open standard for streaming sounds... Laptop radio stations using and handy phones...