Next 5 Minutes 2

Next 5 Minutes: tactical media was a conference and exhibition that took place at Amsterdam's Balie and Paradiso and at Rotterdam's V2_Organisation from January 18th till January 21st 1996. The conference was officially opened Thursday evening in Rotterdam with a performance of the Critical Art Ensemble from Chicago about the matter of media.

General Subjects

The conference is subdivided into four distinct but closely related subjects.

Tactical Research

The means and ends of tactical research are the theme of a series of presentations from television, radio, phone and computer networks, which question the information monopoly as practised by main stream broadcasting organisations and individual or corporate experts.

Public Domain and access

As 'democratisation' is one of the central claims associated with the tactical media, we will have to assess critically to what extent it can actually be achieved. In this context we also want to discuss the effects that tactical media have on the reconfiguration and revitalisation of our notions of community, as well as the technical, political and ethical aspects of public access and large-scale local connectivity. In addition we propose to use the conference to scrutinise several legal, political, economic and ethical issues about the state policy concerning public and commercial broadcasting.

Metaphorical Languages

For us the question of metaphor is not abstract. It includes and goes beyond issues of representation and asks the strategic question, what language shall we use. We have therefore made the third theme of the conference the use of metaphorical languages. Current metaphors, like the socio-spatial metaphors of digital cities and electronic superhighways, or the biological metaphors of the media ecology of cyborgs and memes, will be evaluated.

Net criticism

Finally the conference will strive to introduce the concept of Net criticism. We imagine this as a form of reflexive critical consciousness about the contents and practice of the communications culture as it has been affected by the emergence of the Net. It will be an investigation of language and metaphor in the electronic age, and it should strive to formulate aesthetic and ethical categories for net and media discourse. The continuous involvement of visual artists with the interrogation of metaphors places their work at the heart of the development of a political poetics for the media age.

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