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EVENT

Call for Papers: 'free'


Dates:
Mon Jun 26, 2006 00:00 - Wed Apr 26, 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 26 April 2006

M/C - Media and Culture
http://www.media-culture.org.au/
is calling for contributors to the 'free' issue of

M/C Journal
http://journal.media-culture.org.au/

M/C Journal is looking for new contributors. M/C is a crossover journal
between the popular and the academic, and a blind- and peer-reviewed
journal.

To see what M/C Journal is all about, check out our Website, which contains all the issues released so far, at .
To find out how and in what format to contribute your work, visit
.

Call for Papers: 'free'
Edited by Trebor Scholz and Rachel Cobcroft

Today, freedom is far from free. Network and hardware access bears often
ignored costs. 'Free and open' at times means 'closed and expensive'.
Freedom can be conceptualised to fit innumerable agendas. Freedom is the
freedom to say no, to withdraw your collaboration, to refuse friendly
cooperation. To be free is to live one's contradictions. But whose freedom do we praise? There is no solace in the liberty of being employed but poor, surveilled and uninsured.

For Stewart Brand the central hacker ethos indicates that 'information
wants to be free'. Lessig's Free Culture and Stallman's Free Software mark the tension between proprietary and open source domains - the battle between intellectual 'property' and creativity. The flood of civic, participatory technologies such as the blog contributes to a larger number of voices being heard. Online, commons-based peer production creates novel, economic realities that no venture capitalist can kill.

For Yochai Benkler these alternative economies are not fads but real facts. They are not utopian dreams but lived reality. Sociable Web media allow for larger individual freedom and the potential to co-create society. The freedom to remix, to mash up, to reconceptualise, recontextualise, hybridise, breathes in free cultural formations. Knowledge repositories like Wikibooks allow for knowledge-on-call, albeit bringing access which is at times partial and exclusive. Such openly accessible initiatives out-collaborate even the best-paid Britannica editors.

Freedom is an inalienable right that has often been overruled in the name of justice and liberty. Citizens worldwide are armchair passengers on the nightly news train or watch reality TV shows such as 'Big Brother'. They dream of their lives as thankfully being 'free'. After all, to be free is a guaranteed human right, as enshrined by the United Nations in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Captured in this document is the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; freedom of expression and opinion; and the right to life, liberty, and security of person.

This issue of M/C Journal asks a question which intentionally traverses
politics, media, philosophy, techno-studies, and new media art: to what
extent are we, and can we expect to be, free?

The United States' statesman Benjamin Franklin reminds us that 'they that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.' Bertolt Brecht associated a blue sky with freedom. How much space is there for freedom in spaces of your actions, thoughts and feelings, online and off? Ubiquitous multinationals sell us the freedom to customize as privilege of the user. Increasingly, companies give away things for free. Enticing 'free gifts' must be paid back in the long run to the Googles and Ebays. We buy into the hierarchies of sharing and exchange.

Are freedom, independence and autonomy merely illusions in the
participatory panopticon? The potential of being on the loose is the power to shape civic society while learning to live with hybridity. Which threats to freedom are we prepared to accept in the pursuit of the rhetoric of freedom? Can we live with the cruel lie that to preserve freedom, one must strike pre-emptively?

We invite contributions from theorists, practitioners, and all those who
dare to reclaim the discourse of freedom.

Feel free to contribute! Send 1000-1500 word articles to
free@journal.media-culture.org.au.

For more information: free@journal.media-culture.org.au

Article deadline: 26 June 2006
Issue release date: 23 Aug. 2006

M/C Journal was founded (as "M/C - A Journal of Media and Culture") in 1998 as a place of public intellectualism analysing and critiquing the meeting of media and culture. Contributors are directed to past issues of M/C Journal for examples of style and content, and to the submissions page for comprehensive article submission guidelines. M/C Journal articles are blind peer-reviewed.

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Further M/C Journal issues scheduled for 2006:

'collaborate': article deadline 6 March 2006, release date 3 May 2006
'street': article deadline 1 May 2006, release date 28 June 2006
'free': article deadline 26 June 2006, release date 23 August 2006
'filth': article deadline 21 August 2006, release date 18 October 2006
'jam': article deadline 16 October 2006, release date 13 December 2006

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M/C - Media and Culture is located at .
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M/C Journal is online at .
All past issues of M/C Journal on various topics are available there.