:: [Bricolabs] Labs etc.
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Author: Felipe Fonseca
To: Bricolabs startup mailinglist
Subject: [Bricolabs] Labs etc.
Hi there brico-pack

It's been a while since I last wrote here. I hope you're all good. Nice
to see plans for Yogya next year. I still haven't read the whole
discussion, will come back to it later.

As for myself, am still in Ubatuba. Tropixel last october was great,
thanks to all who were here or otherwise interested. Since then, I spent
some months finishing my MA in scientific/cultural diffusion (final text
is portuguese only, except for the bilingual abstract:
http://redelabs.org/blog/redelabs-laborat%C3%B3rios-experimentais-em-rede ).
I've been teaching also, to 14-15 year olds. Great experience, although
severely underpaid here in Brazil (especially in public schools).

Now jumping to current matters. Perhaps some of you remember that four
years ago, me and Maira Begalli worked with the digital culture
coordination in the brazilian Ministry of Culture on a report, a meeting
and policy proposals regarding labs for experimental digital culture. We
had big plans then, but after elections a new Minister was appointed,
Ana de Hollanda, who decided everything free/open/digital was evil and
should be sent to hell. Or something like that.

Well, after that whole time there's now one slight opportunity to
influence things to get back on track. Ana de Hollanda was eventually
fired and the former major of São Paulo Marta Suplicy is the Minister of
Culture since a couple years now. I wouldn't say she has the level of
political awareness about the potential of information technologies when
developed with a free/open cultural approach like Gilberto Gil used to
have. But at least she has invited some good people to work for her, and
has allowed them to do their job. In fact, the Ministry these days is
more concerned with 'creative economy' than with other topics I find
important (and believe some of you do too). But at least there's room to
discuss what the whole 'creative' thing means. Or I hope there is.

Anyway, the brazilian Ministry of Culture is once again interested in
understanding what would be current trends on spaces (either permanent,
nomadical, ephemeral or abstract ones) dedicated to opening
possibilities for cultural/technological articulations. I am more
interested in thinking about spaces intentionally left blank than any
kind of *lab. And definitely willing to move away from regular
commercial entrepreneur shit (as much as I will have to mention these
things, there's no way I will be actively looking into them). We are in
a different moment - institution-wise, advocating free/open is not
enough anymore. On the other hand, I think we can propose a deeper
engagement into urban, social and economic dynamics vis-a-vis a commons

So, I would be glad to learn examples of current configurations that you
brico-minds find worth mentioning today. Be it general forms (the
hacklab/hackerspace/fablab/refabspace/neighbour digital factory), fields
such as critical making (or 'fields' as a field, if Armin is reading),
or even better, concrete examples of spaces, groups, methodologies or
whatever could be seen as ways to transform reality for the better.

On a sidenote (or not, mind you), is anyone here familiar with Tiziana
Terranova's understanding of 'the virtual' as a way to overcome the
cybernetic capture ("a stab at the fabric of possibility, an undoing
of the coincidence of the real with the given")? I've used it somewhere
in my MA when thinking about the blanks spaces I mentioned above... and
would like to read comments on it.

Valeu bando,