Shared Digital Futures

Date: June 14/15, 2013

Location: Vienna, Kunsthalle Wien / Project Space, Karlsplatz

“Shared Digital Futures” is a two day conference that explores the impact of digital network technologies for cultural production.

Over the last decade digitization has reached deep into our societies, invaded the archives, transformed production and distribution. The established divisions of labor are called into question, and deep challenges emerge to the theory and practice of in many domains of culture. A diverse group of people – artists, researchers, critics, entrepreneurs and an engaged audience – will exchange experiences, debate ideas and reflect on some essential challenges:

  • How can expanded access to digital networks benefit diverse cultural landscapes?
  • What opportunities are offered by the blurring of boundaries between artists and audiences?
  • What does it mean when cultural works are both finished works and material for new works?

The popular resistance against ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) in early 2012 showed that current attempts to support established business models in culture have reached an impasse. Simply expanding copyright legislation and enforcement is not only not working, but also politically no longer viable. This has led to a number of outcries by authors and publishers who see the basis of Western culture threatened, but relatively little in terms of new ideas and approaches how to adapt to the changing times. Is there simply a change from old monopolies, based on copyright, financing and distribution, to new monopolies, based on access, intelligent filtering and interactivity?

But then the future is unwritten and there is an urgent need to examine these issues. “Shared Digital Futures” contributes to this debate from the point-of-view of a new solidarity between artists and audiences, of innovative cultural producers and engaged publics. A view where increased access is matched with increased opportunities.

Participants include: Philipe Agraine (FR), Michel Bauwens (BE), Ewen Chardronnet (FR), Dirk Gehlen (DE), Lena Henningsen (DE), Eric Kluitenberg (NL), Jamie King (UK), Zoe Leela (DE), Jonathan Saldanha (PT), Olivier Schulbaum (SP) a.o.

“Shared Digital Futures” will feature panel presentation, open debates, hands-on workshops and live performances.