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A presentation by Dutch political activist Wam Kat about the war situation in the Balkans, Metaforum II, Intermedia Department (Room 13), Budapest, 6 Oct 1995. From left to bottom: Andreas Kallfelz (verein 707), Tom Bass, Noel Villers, János Sugár, Diana McCarty, Walter van der Cruijsen, Zoltán Szegedy-Maszák, Dani Molnár (B2Men), Ákos Maróy (EastEdge), E. "Gomma" Guarneri (Decoder), Matthew Fuller (IOD), Ferenc Gerlóczy, John Perry Barlow (EFF), Wam Kat (Zamir), Vuk Ćosić. Photo: Miklós Bölcskey. (Source)

MetaForum was a series of annual conferences organised by the Media Research Foundation from 1994-1996 in Budapest. The organising committee included Geert Lovink, Diana McCarty, and János Sugár.

"The series, primarily organised by the Media Research Foundation, began in 1994, with the topic of multimedia. This small, chaotic event included CD-ROM and the World Wide Web, which was just gaining attention in the explosive hype of the Internet. There were no commercial Internet providers in Hungary, and just three Hungarian CD-ROMs. The lack of a working Internet connection during the event led to a heated debate between representatives of the Hungarian Telecom and EastEdge, a group of Hungarian students well acquainted with the Internet. This debate led to MetaForum II/NO BORDERS/Budapest Networking Conference in 1995. These were international topics, and perhaps even more important in Hungary, where bad telephone lines and a general lack of expendable wealth magnify the issues of new communication technologies in the West. MetaForum III followed with the subject of content, which has become the crucial element in the new media discourse. " (organisers, 1996)

The participants included Richard Barbrook, John Perry Barlow, Konrad Becker, Tamás Bodoky, Heath Bunting, Vuk Ćosić, Nina Czegledy, Hans-Christian Dany, Erik Davis, Manuel DeLanda, Matthew Fuller, David Garcia, Ferenc Gerlóczy, Mieke Gerritzen, Rop Gongrijp, Debra Guzman, E. "Gomma" Guarneri, John Horvath, Heiko Idensen, Gábor Kelemen, Max Kossatz, Attila Kotányi, George Legrady, Olia Lialina, Alpár Losoncz, Eveline Lubbers, Oliver Marchart, Masuyama, András Nyírő, Benjamin Perasovic, Miklós Peternák, Gereon Schmitt, Pit Schultz, Alexei Shulgin, Cornelia Sollfrank, ]Mark Stahlman, Marleen Stikker, Barbara Strebl, Tamás Szalay, Katalin Timár, Jozsef Tillman, László Tölgyes, Toshiya Ueno, Walter van der Cruijsen, Salvatore Vanasco, Willem Velthoven, Charles Wessel, and Peter Lamborn Wilson (Hakim Bey).

An exhibition showcasing the MetaForum and Nettime-l documentation, entitled Select All, was held in June 1997 in Budapest. Included were video clips, texts, and other memorabilia tracing major topics that fueled the growth of the Internet and World Wide Web.




  • Geert Lovink, "The Budapest Debate", in Lovink, Dynamics of Critical Internet Culture, 1994-2001, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2009, pp 99-101.