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Videotage is a leading non-profit organisation in facilitating, promoting and presenting new media art in Hong Kong. Since 1986, Videotage has developed itself from an umbrella for media artists to a media art and culture network for cross-disciplinary cultural productions and international exchange of ideas and knowledge.
Citizen Media and the Paradigm Shift in the Visual Culture

Citizen Media and the Paradigm Shift in the Visual Culture
Presented by Videotage and Microwave International New Media Arts Festival

Speaker: Melinda Rackham
Date: 12 November 2011 (Sat)
Time: 2 pm
Venue: Videotage

Convergence of Citizen Media & Citizen Science: right to communicate and exchange data, protocols & kits?
Speaker: Denisa Kera
Date: 13 November 2011 (Sun)
Time: 2 pm
Venue: Videotage

The intersections of art and science are not only found within the academia or institutions. As information becomes easily assessable, many experiments and research and development works are decentralized to a new generation of amateur scientists that are bred from home. As new media art festivals are constantly influenced by external spheres, from creative industries, art and science laboratories to the academia, new relationship between creativity, art, mass media and the society is developed.

Microwave x Videotage present two keynote speakers – Denisa Kera and Melinda Rackham from the region to reflect on how to maintain and carry on the legacy of independent producers and to expose visual culture to all forms of communications and critical interactions.

The talk will be further supplemented by an artist video screening Second -Hand Material Original Works curated by Phoebe Man. The project is an urgent response to the recent Copyright Ordinance review, where the political sensitive “Kuso” style works are considered to be infringement of the law. The review is seen as a revival of Article 23 and hence directly tightening the freedom of speech and limited creativity online. There will be a roundtable discussion on this concern.

Melinda Rackham

21st century art is saturated with the desire to cross species, to mix and match thematic, techniques and technologies from a seemingly endless database of cultural, political and scientific research.

Artists easily recombine chaotic live action role playing games and the rigors of the science laboratory; weave traditional hand crafted practices with environmental and political activism; straddle the worlds of high fashion and responsive sculpture; or meld performance art with synthetic biology.

While contemporary forms of art practice blur and intertwine these formerly distinctly divided worlds, we are challenged to find new modes of exhibition, and to create more inclusiveness and extensible languages of critique.

Convergence of Citizen Media & Citizen Science: right to communicate and exchange data, protocols & kits?
Denisa Kera

Should people have the right to experiment at homes with DIY homemade nuclear reactors?  Do collection and sharing of radiation, CO2 and other data over mobile phones empower citizens to become active participants in their local communities? What other purposes do these DIY experiments, participatory sensing and monitoring activities serve?  How do communities adapt and appropriate technologies in their everyday lives?

By showing examples of recent projects and activities that radically interpret citizen media as participation as sharing of not only information but also expert knowledge, data, kits and science protocols, Dr. Denisa Kera will reason for accepting these activities as a form of experimental science policy initiatives. Citizens do not want to wait anymore for the government institutions or the non-government NGOs to act on their behalf when facing global health and environmental challenges. They want to take science in their own hands and use peer production, sharing and crowdsourcing to negotiate solutions and appropriate actions.

Complex challenges such as the epidemic of obesity, carbon emissions and climate change or spread of diseases can be efficiently solved only when we place this expert knowledge in relation to the everyday practices, belief systems and experiences of individuals and communities, which need to adapt and change.

Melinda Rackham
has engaged with sculptural, performative, distributed, emergent and responsive media artforms as an artist, critic, curator, consultant and cultural producer for twenty‐five years.

Her extensive knowledge of the field is drawn from participation in the major international media art exhibitions and festivals either as an exhibiting Artist, a Conference speaker, or as member of Selection Committee or Jury. Dr Rackham’s perspectives on emerging art practices appear in diverse academic and arts industry publications online and in print.

In 2002 Melinda established ‐empyre‐, one of the world’s leading online critical media art theory forums, and was the first Curator of Networked Media at the Australian Centre for Moving Image. As Director of Australian Network for Art and Technology from 2005 till 2009 Melinda forged significant industry partnerships, and elevated public engagement and critique of research and practice in art, science and new technologies.

Currently Adjunct Professor at RMIT University, Dr Rackham’s focus is curating and writing on the emerging art and cultures manifest across networked, responsive, biological and wearable practices and distributed and public environments, and their impact on our everyday lives.

Denisa Kera is Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore and Asia Research Institute fellow.  In her present research she is bringing together Science Technology Society (STS) studies and interactive media design. She builds design prototypes and critical probes to reflect upon issues in STS and create tools for deliberation and public participation in science.   She also studies science community labs and alternative R & D places (Hackerspaces, FabLabs) across the world following the convergence of web technologies and biotech around (Do It Yourself) DIYbio movements, consumer genomics and various citizen science projects.  She has extensive experience as a curator of exhibitions and projects related to art, technology and science in EU (ENTER3, TransGenesis: festival of biotechnology and art, and previous career in internet start-ups and journalism.

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