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Author: Patrice Riemens
To: Bricolabs
Subject: Re: [Bricolabs] Labs etc.
Gruezi Mittenand!

Again a most interesting mail on this list! Thanks Felipe, and thanks Jean
Noel before!

To begin with Felipe's post: it is fascinating, but also somewhat
disheartening to see how the politics of 'free' (and/or of 'open', but
that's another discussion ;-) are tortuous and apparently never able to
'gel' into some kind of real understanding at the decision-making level.
It is in our parts not very different from in Brazil, though politics in
Brazil is probably more lively.

There is one thing in common: a near desperate desire to make a splash,
and a constant application (usually without understanding) of funky words
and concepts straight out of the PR box. With equally volatile shifts:
e.g. at the moment from 'creativity' (tired!) to 'innovation' (wired!).
And also politicians following the cues from industry/ the economic sphere
- when they are able to pick them up, or think they do - instead of

Which put people and initiatives that want to achieve some change in the
quandary to have to devote so much energy and resources to try to adjust
to these constant moves, and try to find openings in the
administrative-political sphere, itself staffed by people more looking
upstairs and busy saving their ass than interested in content and its

It is in that that the Yogyakarta meet's programme described by Jean-Noel
shows, immo, the way out. Keeping our endeavours firmly local and
community grounded, and working out from there - up to which level I don't
really know. Only that encounter with the big institutions is so
frustrating because their moves and motivations are so instrumental, and
superficial (and also so short-timed as well).

Regarding the upcoming gathering in September 2015, I would like us to see
if it would be possible to make it a extended thing in time, as opposed to
the classic 'summit' model: hundreds of people coming in from afar in
planes (the 'locals', they come by bus), an electric few days, without
sleep if really exciting, and then everyone goes home again. Maybe that it
is impossible to do otherwise, but to me, in view of what we stand for and
want to achieve, it is not satisfying.

My two zillion Zimbucks on a balmy morning.
patrizio & Diiiinooos!

> 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
> perspective.
> 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,
> efe
> http://ubalab.org
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