Dear Felix, Olia, Susanne and all,

Thanks for your thoughtful responses.

Picking up on Susanne Gerbers last point:

>  Is it not possible, that digital culture, or at least parts of it, in
> the meantime has switched sides and belongs already more to the TTIP
> creators? Then we have to rethink the whole context
> and 'Berührungsangst' would mean something else.

Maybe I should first clarify that this was a quickly written statement
for a presentation of transmediale as a partner in the EMARE, media art
residency exchange programme set up by Werkleitz, a fantastic long
running media art organisation in Halle (and the village of Werkleitz).
This exchange programme has shifting geographical focus but this year
the partners came from Germany, Canada and Australia. So in this
context, my aim was not to say that this type of exchange shares the
same set of values underwriting agreements like TTIP but because of its
international structure could have potential to form an important
enclave in the resistance against this and the other agreements. It
would of course be only one among many initiatives and not the most
significant one, but I do see a lack of transnational coalitions
opposing TTIP in the cultural sector as the debates at least when it
relates to Germany and France seem to follow the usual protectionist
lines of argument, where protecting cultural diversity (in the UNESCO
sense) is foremost about protecting national cultures or European
cultural heritage. I am not arguing against safeguarding
particularities, but it seems to me that what has especially been built
up in parts of the net culture / digital art spheres, perhaps through
tele-presence in a positive sense, are transversal forms of thinking and
practice, that yes, might seem simply to be contingent with the
exploitative planetary networks of the "Three Big T's", but which are
eventually underwritten by completely different values and goals.

This is where Felix rightly points to the key issue of the feeling of
powerlessness of the individual and specialized settings towards these
immense meta-frameworks that seem to challenges everything at once. And
yet we have known for a long time that even without these agreements,
this is where the world is going and maybe it is time to accentuate the
conflicts and differences within what seems to be one big picture or one
big collect it all scheme. As I am pretty sure that even if as Olia
pointed out, it's "Drones yesterday, Snowden today" (or rather the other
way around), the engagement with these topics is not just a
capitalisation from culture professionals of trending social and
economic agendas, but also stemming from a genuine, however at times
misinformed or naive, intention to change our perception, knowledge and
agency in such issues. Many times, this is also a question of developing
new vocabularies instead of trying to bridge the differences or find the
common points of understanding, I think it is now far more relevant to
find ways of making the different positions clear which would amount to
an understanding of the meta-levels - this is what is needed to at all
adress something like the regulation of the regulation and not become
lost in the echo-chambers or opinion against opinion bubbles.


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