Subject: MediaShed/Mongrel looking for European partners
Date: October 24, 2006 8:05:13 AM EDT
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;
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Sorry for cross posting: Please pass on to anyone interested.
Mongrel/MediaShed with (Southend-on-Sea Borough Council) are looking for
potential partners to join them in a CULTURE 2007 funding bid to build:
"a coherent, global and complete tool for multicultural cooperation in
Europe that should contribute actively to the development of a European
identity from the grassroots"
We think the best way to achieve this is to work closely with people who
would not normally see themselves as mainstream Europeans.
Mongrel/MediaShed is looking for three or four groups ? from European
'marginal' locations either central/eastern European, immigrant groups,
or economically impoverished. We propose to hold workshops between the
host organisations involved? Create a software scheduler so people can
sign up on line and organise themselves and listen to the archive. Then
we will create three monthly events together. Each event will be edited
down to create an audio CD.
At the end of the project the partners will have created a software
scheduler and a network for people to plugging into that creates a
European platform for cultural participation and exchange.
We propose the project be based on the successful mongrel.org.uk pilot
The idea of SkintStream is to connect audiences and cultural spaces
previously separated by economic, geographic and political factors. The
aim is not to provide a platform for established musicians but to
produce a network for hard-to-reach and disadvantaged groups and grass
roots producers ? a ?poor to poor? network.
SkintStream uses streaming technology to create an audio ?conversation?
between groups separated by different types of distance(physical,
cultural, economic). It also seeks to overcome institutional frameworks
that are designed for passive consumption rather than open invitation
and active collaboration. Passing the mic around the particpant groups
allows us to reflect on the cultural space each sound is coming from and
asks questions like: is geographic isolation a factor in cultural
expression? Can we still think of ourselves as being in margins or
centres when digital technologies allow us to bridge distances and make
our own connections?
Passing the Mic
A SkintStream event takes the form of an internet broadcast or
collaborative radio programme between different groups that are
geographicly seperated by ?passing the mic? between them. For the pilot
broadcast five different community groups around the world, from the UK
to South Africa, each had a half hour slot in which to perform. Their
contributions ranged from live music from local performers, DJ-ing and
conversational pieces describing life in each location and the
importance their music had for them. It was also easy to include
additional sources during the event (such as Voice Over IP chatting
between spaces such as through Skype) and to mix them as it suited.
At the end of each half hour slot the turn was passed to the next space.
During one event several rotations can be completed, allowing
contributors to both take a break and to respond later to other spaces
The first SkintStream event consisted of:
Container Project - Clarendon (Jamaica)
Sound Kitchen Studio/MMC - Johannesburg (South Africa)
Nostalgie Ya Mboka - London (UK)
Cue Music at Southend YMCA - Southend (UK)
Regent Park Focus - Toronto (Canada)
As well as broadcasting their own content, each space also receives
everyone else?s live audio stream and is able to use that to build their
own event, gig or party around the shared material in a way that makes
sense to them. The resultant broadcast is also available to the general
public over the internet using an audio application (like iTunes). The
SkintStream web site describes how each participant can schedule their
slot, documentation on how to stream their contribution and how anyone
can record the live stream for themselves. The pilot event resulted in
an incredibly rich audio CD which is as playable as and more revealing
than an established radio station.
The advantages of the SkintStream model include:
It is a flexible model for collaborative events that can incorporate any
kind of audio content;
It builds international connections yet can take a different form to
suit each participant group;
It is scalable, accommodating more participants or longer events;
It can be expanded into other media such as video, text, etc and other
It is cheap ? using easily available equipment and free open source
The pilot stream went out live on 8 June 2005 between 6pm-11pm GMT. An
edited version of the pilot SkintStream session is available on CD
Mongrel is an internationally recognised artists group specialising in
digital media. We have an international reputation for our pioneering
arts projects, including the first on-line commission from the Tate
Gallery London and work in the permanent collections of the Pompidou
Centre Paris and the Centre for Media Arts in Karlsruhe (ZKM).
Combined with this we usually work with marginalised peoples who are on
low incomes, socially excluded and cultural minorities. We do this buy
helping people to do things for themselves, creating community software
and digital arts based projects that we then promote to a state of high
visibility through our international network of arts connections. The
groups gain a visible voice, self reliance, self confidence and informal
training allowing them to get a foot hold into mainstream training,
education, culture and the economic life most of us take for granted.
The MediaShed is the first "free-media" space to open in the east of
England. It's a place where members can come hang out, learn, propose
some training, create and propose new projects using free-media or show
things they have made on one of our screening nights. The MediaShed is
designed to be as open and accessible as possible, welcoming all.
Free-media is best thought of as a means of doing art, making things or
just saying what you want for little or no financial cost by using
public domain software and recycled equipment. It is also about saying
what you want "freely", using accessible media that can be taken apart
and reused without unnecessary restrictions and controls - "free as in
Interested: then Email: Harwood@mediashed.org and we will pass the
details on to Southend-on-sea BC