The Next Network

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The phrase "network of networks" is one we've found used frequently on Rhizome, especially over the past year. As the conditions of network culture become more pervasive, and more conducive to collaboration, there is an obvious draw to this concept. Artists are creating networks of networks as further means of working together, sharing resources, and promoting each others' work, but there is something more to this notion. In the early days of net art, the work was highly self-reflexive of network conditions, and many of its practitioners were drawn to the borderlessness of the net, as opposed to the rigidity of political borders. In subsequent years, those borders loosened a bit (at least in Europe, with the expansion of the EU), and network conventions became an almost tired subject of exploitation. But this turn in the tide has led to a co-mingling of the notions of networks and social sculpture, so that these social networks of creative people have become artworks in their own right. This seems to be the case with the HACK.Fem.EAST group of artists, programmers, and activists whose work is currently on view at Berlin's Kunstraum Kreuzberg. On June 9th, two of the group's leaders, Tatiana Bazzichelli and Gaia Novati, will present a creative walking tour and "apertivo" of the show. The event happens in conjunction with WOOLOO.org's New Life Berlin Festival, which counts among its aims the goal of fostering connections between artists and considering the creative and cultural impacts of change and globalization upon cities like Berlin. - Marisa Olson