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fibreculture meeting 2003

:: fibrepower ::
Currents in Australasian Internet Research and Culture
fibreculture meeting 2003::

Brisbane Powerhouse
Centre for the Live Arts
New Farm Park
11-13 July

Meeting Themes >>>

Meeting Format >>>

Registration (download form) >>>

Meeting Blog >>>

Gallery Space >>>

:: fibreculture :: in association with critical new media studies sections in universities across Brisbane, invites you to a meeting in July 2003 on theory, policy, practice, and education in New Media and the Internet. The meeting, :: fibrepower :: Currents in Australian Internet Research and Culture will bring together practitioners in the academy and industry from around Australia and New Zealand to participate in critically informed debates about new media and its cultures. It follows the ANZCA03 conference at QUT Gardens Point Campus, Brisbane.

:: Themes of the 2003 Fibreculture Meeting :: fibrepower ::

In academic and popular discourses, new media, the Internet, and 'virtual reality' are often described as just this - a 'virtual' reality, an Other, a 'cyberspace' which is somehow disconnected from the 'real' and secondary to 'life' experiences and issues. It is rarely accepted in the dominant Internet discourses of commercial and social culture that the truth is vastly different. New media and networked technologies currently pervadeour lives and connect us ever more closely and solidly as citizens of networked society.

If information and knowledge, in the new economy, are 'power', then the copper, optical, or wireless fibres spanning the networks are conduits for this power; they are full of power, and powerful. Their daily influence and the network's influence on human society is real and tangible.

::fibreculture:: wants to address this continued insistence on conceptualising networked life and Internet cultures as a separate, second-rate or exotic reality, a dichotomy which obscures fact and prevents any in-depth engagement with and critique of the power of 'fibre' over and in our everyday lives.

Set in a literal and figurative locus of power from the previous, industrial, era, the :: fibrepower :: meeting will engage with a range of themes that disclose the unseen power of fibre-culture in the informational age. Outcomes of this event will include a high profile public forum, an online publication of refereed articles, and deeper connections between new media industries, the academy and others. The meeting will be held at the Brisbane Powerhouse from July 11-13, 2003.



Special Public Discussion Forum:
Friday night (from 8 p.m.; registration from 7 p.m.)

:: Fibrepower in the Regions
:: Public Discussion Headed by Gerard Goggin
:: Involving Guest Speakers, Panellists, Q&A and Other Interaction

In Australasia regional and rural areas continue to miss out on reliable and fast access to the global networks. This contributes significantly to the growing digital divide, and carries important implications for public and private policy. How can we increase the fibrepower of the regions, and what are current examples of best practice?

Gerard Goggin ( is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Queensland. He is writing a book entitled *Networked Imaginings: A Cultural History of Australian Internet*, and has long had an interest in rural and regional internet and telecommunications (not least from living in the country himself).

:: Introduction to the Fibreculture List
:: Open Session, M/C Collaboration, fc Webjournal, and other activities
:: Geert Lovink, David Teh, Axel Bruns, and other FC facilitators

**10 p.m. OPENING Art & Music

:: Digital Literacies :: New Media Arts Exhibition
:: Guest djs and vjs. No host bar.

In conjunction with the conference, fibreculture and fAf are offering an online gallery space set up as an opportunity for exploration by artists to explore critical literacies and conference themes.

An A4 gallery of resonant works will also be displayed at the conference venue providing opportunity for practitioners and all to respond visually to the conference themes both beforehand and during the discussions.



8 a.m.::Registration
8:45 a.m.::Welcome

9 - 10:45 a.m.::Session 2: Intellectual Property-Intellectual Possibilities

:: Headed by Esther Milne & Kate Crawford

The exercise of intellectual property rights can stifle the generation of
intellectual property. The U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has been abused on any number of occasions. How can copyright be reconfigured for the networked age? How can creative rights be protected, and innovation ensured? How can fibrepower be harnessed to drive intellectual possibilities?

10:45 a.m. Morning tea & coffee

11:15 - 1 p.m.::Session 3: Information Warfare

:: Headed by Steve Stockwell

Weapons of mass destruction may remain elusive - but weapons of mass disinformation are evident in any political or military conflict, if you know where and how to look. Information warfare adds to the firepower of conventional weapons arsenals. How do we disarm the information warriors? How do we distinguish freedom of information fighters from info-terrorists? How do we keep truth from becoming a battlefield detainee?

1 p.m.LUNCH

2:00 - 4 p.m. ::Session 4: Fibre_Access_Geopolitics_Wired

:: Headed by Guy Redden

Geopolitics are determined by distributed access to the global networks. Power in the global economy is increasingly measured by fibrepower. With Google in China and '' in Australia and numerous other mergers and shifts, who controls the networks? How is that control distributed? How can fibrepower be distributed? Is it time for a United Networks alongside the United Nations - and who holds the veto rights?

4 p.m.:: Warchalking Walk - Methods & Details
Bring laptop with a wireless modem installed.
Anyone with knowledge, please attend.

7 p.m. Fibreculture dinner (optional)


9 a.m. Registration

10 - 11:45 a.m.::Session 5: The Internet Is Not Virtual

:: Headed by Axel Bruns

The myth of a separate, containable 'cyberspace' persists despite all evidence to the contrary. Rather than perpetuating new age visions of
leaving the body behind to virtually 'inhabit' cyberspace, it is important to begin to realise that cyberspace, or fibrespace, already envelops
society; is society. What are the implications of this fact? For example, how can disciplines like teaching and publishing turn to integrating
Internet content, literacies, and technologies as part of their core activities rather than as an adjunct afterthought? In doing so, how can
this 'fibrepower' be released from the strangleholds of outdated mythologies?

11:45 LUNCH

12:45 - 2:30 p.m.Session 6 ::Teaching Fibrepower::

:: Headed by Molly Hankwitz

Schools, colleges, and universities are struggling to keep up with the pace of technology. Teaching methods and approaches to cybercultures often lag behind the actual fibrepower of the networks. Students are often forced to take the initiative into their own hands if they hope to build useful skills sets and acquire an understanding of new media. Whole communities miss out on participating if they cannot make their voices heard. How can teaching institutions redress this situation? What are some excellent practices?

2:30 - 3 p.m. Afternoon Tea

3 - 4:45 p.m.::Open Session::

No set topic. Discussion about the direction of fibreculture.

Support our friends at:


Meeting Sponsors

QUT Creative Industries Faculty

UQ Media and Cultural Studies Centre

M/C - Media and Culture

fineArt forum

Australian Network for Art and Technology

Brisbane Powerhouse for the Arts


Registration details

Download the registration form >>>

Three-day meeting registration includes attendance at all sessions, lunches, morning and afternoon teas. All prices include GST.

:: Three-day registration :: $27.50/$55.00 ::
:: Opening nite forum and art exhibition only :: $10.00/$15.00 ::

(Prices are for students and other concession cardholders / non-students.)

Late registration will be possible at the meeting.
Cheques, cash and money orders only, thank you.