Mikro e.V. Verein zur Förderung von Medienkulturen in Berlin 
KONTAKT: info@mikro-berlin.org

tel: 0177 225 37 97, fax: 030 4434 18 12 [or] 313 66 78
mikro.termine mikro.self  mikro.linx mikro.home

(r)(tm)ark, USA: "Center for anti-corporate sabotage" <www.rtmark.com>

Florian Schneider, München: "Kein Mensch ist illegal" ("No one is illegal")

Karl-Heinz Schubert, partisan.net, Berlin: "Projekte Archive Radikaler Theorie Info System Alternativer Nachrichten"  ("Projects Archive Radical Theory Info System Alternative News") <www.partisan.net>

Vali Djordjevic, mikro e.V., Berlin

Documentation of the Across the Border Days in the summer of 1997 in Hybrid Workspace, documenta X, Kassel

slip service


mikro.lounge #10: Digital International - Electronic Nets as a Political Medium

WMF, Johannisstr. 19, Berlin-Mitte
Wednesday, 13 January 1999, 20 Uhr

ml #10 on 

Since the earliest days of the Internet, the promise rushed through the digital lines that electronic networks would offer new, previously unknown opportunities for political participation and influence. The promise held for leftist groups gathering in electronic mailboxes all the way to the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace by John Perry Barlow in which the American will to settle unknown wildernesses was joined with a celebratory universalized liberalism -- an odd combination for Europeans. With the increasing commercialization and instrumentalization through ecommerce and advertising, this role for the Net faded from view. Nevertheless, the Net can be an effective tool for communication and the organization of small political groups and coalitions and can expand the reach of resistance activities and actions. In the process, it is used as a medium for both publication and communication.

The evening focused on the various means of political activity. For the guests, these ranged from traditional forms of politicking to actionist performances.

Although they appear again and again in the context of art (Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria, the atonal Festival in Berlin, etc.), the US group (r)(tm)ark doesn't view itself as an artistic group. But they do put theatrical and performative means to use in order to make their political message accessible to as wide an audience as possible. They take their "language" from the fields of marketing and advertising which is made transparent via the exaggerated affirmation of its ideological background. As a means of distribution, the Internet plays a significant role because it is a simple and inexpensive way to establish contacts and distribute press releases and announcements.

Florian Schneider from Munich talked about the work done by the group "Kein Mensch ist illegal" ("No one is illegal"). The group supports illegal immigrants and asylum seekers in Germany. Along with the practical work of supporting refugees, "Kein Mensch ist illegal" also works in the field of theory in that it takes up as a theme the term "border" and the changes in its use. In the summer camps which took place this summer for the second time on the Polish border, immigrants as well as those living in Germany meet to investigate the situation in which a refugee has to live there.

Karl-Heinz Schubert presented "partisan.net", a coalition of various groups from the "traditional" left. The Web server offers magazines, information services and many other projects to a self-determined digital audience. But "partisan.net" doesn't only offer content but also its own technical infrastructure which consists of the Web server and telephone networks for its members. In this way, "partisan.net" remains independent of potential sponsors which could under certain circumstances exert pressure on the content by means of a technical dependency. 

The Internet is "owned" for the most part by organizations close to the government (of the US) and large companies. This shouldn't be forgotten, particularly by those groups which practice a progressive politics. Access to the Net is unjust and unequal. That's why informational and technical projects are important for the further political development on the Internet. On this evening, we were introduced to a variety of activities which may offer an overview of various strategies.