Next level of networks?

December 7, 2009

Organized by Rix-C in Riga, Organized Networks meeting addressed issues of how arts organizations could better network, and how networks could add to the sustainability of our practices. The event was very productive on multiple levels and further emphasized that networks are fundamentally human, even if supported by different platforms of communication like mailing lists.

One conclusion was that networks are fundamentally about knowledge that is relevant for its participants, including an understanding of different “nodes” in the network. From the perspective of media labs and residencies, it was discussed how we should work more effectively amongst different labs to boost research, and share and support different projects in residence. This is probably done best through rather close-knit networks, not loose and horizontal ones.

As networks have been largely based on meetings and mailing lists, as addressed by Armin Medosch during his skype talk, how to better build continuity rather than short-termism? We are cluttered with e-mail as it is, so new networks is not the answer, but rather, evolved ones. As a solution to difficulty in finding a shared common denominator to a network, I suggested to consider an open channel, where networks are formed according to keyword preferences that may change and evolve over time. Kind of metadata mon amour mesh, where both messages and individuals are matched through tagging. I think there is no other solution in fact to the overflow of contacts and messages, than rather seeing networks through temporaneity and selection, moderated openness and selective closedness (or maybe vice versa).

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