mikro is a Berlin initiative for the advancement of media cultures, a catalyst and an open and independent platform for projects, discussions and events.
In March 1998, fifteen artists, theoreticians, journalists, organizers and other cultural producers founded mikro e.V., a Berlin-based initiative for the advancement of media cultures. The founding members work mostly in the field of independent media culture – from video art and electronic music, independent radio and TV production, to creative use of the Internet and digital multimedia technologies. What brings this multi-faceted group together is the need for a critical discussion of the cultural, social and political impact of media in today’s society. This discussion takes place not only within the initiative itself, but also during events that address an interested public. In this way, within the last two and half years an independent Berlin-based platform for media critique has emerged.
mikro’s aim is the creation of a democratic media culture. It fosters the development of such a media culture by presenting and discussing the artistic and cultural applications of the digital, computer-assisted media in public events, including panel discussions, project presentations, conferences (Wizards of OS, Berlin, 1999), workshops (net.radio days '98, different spaces in Berlin, June 1998, http://mikro.org/Events/19980606.html) and accompanying publications (Print, Internet, CD-ROM). In the beginning of 2000 mikro initiated Rohrpost, a German-speaking mailing list for media and net culture, as well as the Bootlab (since July 2000), a cooperative work place and media lab located in Berlin-Mitte right next to the WMF club.
Between March 1998 and March 2001 Mikro organized 31 monthly mikro.lounges which took place at the Berlin WMF club deal with specific questions of media culture (from copyright & music on the Net, cryptography & security, diasporic communities, "cooking pot markets" and the gift economy, to net art, political activism on the Net, software patents, and ICANN) and combine the different formats of video screenings, lectures, panel discussions and DJ sets. Besides inviting representatives of Berlin-based cultural initiatives and companies for a presentation of their work, mikro also invites guests from other parts of Germany or the world. In cooperation with national and international partner organisations, mikro invites experts from media culture to Berlin, thereby enriching cultural debates in the city. The consistently increasing number of visitors serves as evidence of the need for these events.
Inke Arns, Tilman Baumgärtel, Andreas Broeckmann, Paschutan Buzari, Florian Clausz, Martin Conrads, Vali Djordjevic, Micz Flor, Golo Föllmer, Volker Grassmuck, Ulrich Gutmair, Anja Heilmann, Jörg Koch, Geert Lovink, Sebastian Luetgert, Diana McCarty, Ellen Nonnenmacher, Thorsten Schilling, Stefan Schreck, Pit Schultz, Cornelia Sollfrank.
- Joanne Richardson. MIKRO - initiative for the advancement of media cultures. Inke Arns interviewed. November 2001.