This page was set up to develop a contribution for the 3rd Oekonux conference about indymedia. I've handed in a proposal, and would be interested to discuss it.
Marion Hamm, London
Indymedia - Materiality of web-based communication networks
Taking indymedia as a practical case-study, I would like to discuss some thoughts on the materiality of a web-based project and the potential of a Free_software mode of production to have an impact outside the web. I'm hoping for an informed debate/workshop and would like to feed back critique and encouragement to the indymedia channels.
The Free Software Model has become a bit of a metaphor, an utopian promise, an answer to the question: "what is to be done" Http///www.rekombinant.org/article.php?sid=2264_Matteo_Pasquinelli:_Radical_machines_against_the_techno-empire._From_utopia_to_network. On the other hand, critiques are asking for evidence for the transmittability of the Free Software Project from the web into "real space", for products beyond software.
Indymedia is amongst those projects which allow to trace the contamination of "meatspace" by webspace - and vice versa, to the extend that it becomes difficult to distinguish between both. [Marion Hamm: A r/c tivism in Physical and Virtual Spaces
Indymedia certainly owes a lot to the free software community - the way to produce new code or fix bugs, the actual product -> software, and indirectly the way to self-facilitate email lists and and deal with public archives as well as the entire hotly debated open publishing idea.
Beyond this, web-based communication/collaboration tools like irc, twiki and email lists, web-radio and video are beginning to shape a way to collaboratively produce content, projects and networks that could be interpreted as a qualitative rather than merely a quantitative leap.
I'm experimenting with an understanding of Indymedia as one of these productive machines, a plattform that produces much more than words on the internet.
Looking closely at the ways indymedia is using web-based tools and modes of production that emerged from the web, and comparing them with other collaborative, open projects, I am adressing these questions:
- How to position indymedia between the free software mode of production, immaterial labour and the model of autonomous collective self-organisation?
Does the use of web-based communication tools lead to critical, radical, in-depth production of content, thought, friendship and desire - or to the very managerial, project-based attitude which is at the core of Empire? Http///orwell.ru/library/reviews/burnham/e/e_burnh.htm_George_Orwell:_Second_Thoughts_on_James_Burnham Http///www.rekombinant.org/article.php?sid=2241_Quoted_by_Bifo
- Data flows are physical - How about the materiality of the clearly web-based indymedia project? How does this machine generate material impact, on the levels of subjectivity, politics, networks, technology and maybe even on the utopian level of the oekonux concept about a seed for new modes of production?
How does the Indymedia project connect to other "free networks" such as Yomango, free shops, Wikipedia, free software development and other free things?
Note: sorry again for the delay in proposing this. As a precarious immaterial worker, I had to prioritise paid work in the last 5 days ;-(. I can speak in English or German. I'll try to discuss these questions within indymedia, taking a role similar to a maintainer - and who knows, maybe the result will be a collaborative presentation/workshop...