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World-Information.Org @ Amsterdam

November 15 to December 15, 2002
Oude Kerk, Amsterdam

"What exactly is the Internet? Who controls it and how does it work? In what ways do new technologies transform society? What is the impact of these technologies on daily life, work, art and politics? What will the cultural heritage of the future be?”

Once again World-Information.Org explores the fascinating and complex sphere of information production, manipulation, control and distribution and provides the public with clear, high-quality and easily accessible information on the multifaceted interrelations between technology and society, politics, culture, art and economy.

From November 15 through December 15, 2002, World-Information.Org presents its extensive exhibition and conference program in Amsterdam. Visitors are invited to discover the world of information: exhibits and visual diagrams explaining the complex nature of information technologies, interactive installations, digital artworks, lectures, films and workshops.

Venue for the World-Information Exhibition, which outlines the emergence and influence of the expansion of worldwide communication and information networks on various aspects of society and everyday life, is the Oude Kerk .

World-Infostructure imparts the results of the research program that has been carried out in connection with World-Information.Org since autumn 1999. On 32 information displays that represent the contents of World-Information.Org's online knowledge database World-Infostructure describes patterns of the emergence of public opinion, the endangerment of the public domain through recent legal and technical trends in copyright and concentration in media ownership, the power and practices of the ‘data lords’, the evolvement and control structures of the Internet and many more.

Especially after the unfortunate events of September 11, 2001, governments, police and intelligence agencies have reinforced and extended their surveillance and eavesdrop systems. In order to be able to track them the EU has recently decided to scan all immigrants and asylum seekers biometrically, the US authorities have approved the use of electronic ID chips and in Britain an 11-year-old girl is expecting a tracking-chip to be implanted under her skin. World-C4U presents arts projects such as [RT-32] - ACOUSTIC.SPACE.LAB @ IRBENE RADIOTELESCOPE, Electronic Media Monitoring 2002/PACT (Marko Peljhan) or Safe Distance (kuda.org) that examine and question these developments. Moreover World-C4U highlights historic and state-of-the-art security and control technologies and allows hands-on experiences with biometric devices.

Future Heritage concentrates on the critical analysis of electronic networks and their possibilities by artists. It displays the works of renowned and pioneering international artists – amongst others Molecular Invasion (Critical Art Ensemble and Beatriz da Costa), Ministry (Jill Magid), BuBL Space (Arthur Elsenaar & Taco Stolk), The Yes Men, World-Processor (Ingo Gunther) and Boom! (Oliver Ressler & David Thorne) - that experiment and operate with information and communication technology. Future Heritage shows the rich, diverse and vital variety of electronic culture - the cultural heritage of the future.

The wave of new security legislation that has followed the tragic events of September 11, 2001, has made a critical examination of information politics in the network society uncommonly urgent. Therefore accompanying the World-Information Exhibition, on 6 and 7 December, 2002, De Balie will host the World-InfoCon conference 'The Network Society of Control'. This international and interdisciplinary forum will investigate recent developments in information law, policing and surveillance, and intellectual property rights in the digital domain. While the first day is dedicated to the theme ‘Security Paranoia in the World-Info-Sphere’ the second day will focus on the issue ‘Building the Digital Commons’. Speakers will include Ben Bagdikian (media critic and former Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley), Arun Mehta (activist and educator, President of the Society for Telecommunications Empowerment), Andrew Bichlbaum (WTO/GATT.ORG representative, member of The Yesmen, disinformation specialist), Volker Grassmuck (Researcher Humbold University Berlin, initiator of the Wizards of OS conferences) and Joost Smiers (Reader in political science of the arts, Centre for Research, Utrecht School of the Arts).

Rounding off the exhibition and the conference will be the Hybrid Workspace in the Oude Kerk; a temporary media lab, where a series of selected movies related to the topics of World-Information.Org will be shown and discussions, demonstrations from artists, and workshops will take place.

For high school students, World-Information.Org has developed an educational program to support the course ‘CKV’ for both VMBO and HAVO/VWO.


World-Information.Org is an initiative of Public Netbase/t0 and organized in cooperation with Waag Society / for old and new media, De Balie, Centre for Culture and Politics and Netherlands Media Art Institute, Montevideo/TBA.

World-Information.Org is realized with the financial support of The Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology; Netherlands Culture Fund, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Dutch Ministry for Education, Culture and Sciences; Mondriaan Foundation; Culture2000; VSB Fund and the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.

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