Monoskop/Prague 2006 presentation
(Note: variation of this text was presented at New Media programs in the Czech Republic seminar in Prague in February 2006 and appeared in the Mag.Net publication in March 2006. Written by User:Dusan.)
Two years ago we started BURUNDI media lab in Bratislava with the main focus on new media. Among other things we have been taking part in organization of Multiplace festival anually. There was a number of people who were confused about what we do and actually we sort of based our activities on confusion about the term 'new media'. In summer 2004 we set up a wiki in order to store the information connected to what we understand as media art and we do it since then.
The structure of Monoskop is not really complex. On the frontpage there is a list of cities. Currently most evolved ones are three of them: Bratislava, Prague, and Brno. Under each city there are listed the current and past initiatives, festivals, events, conferences, symposiums, ateliers or academic programs, media, and individuals. If you go further, these nodes consist of description of what it is, when it started or takes place and where. Then there is a summary of organizers, program, and links to articles and homepage. Everything is linked to other nodes. You can edit each node easily.
Although Burundi dissolved last year, we keep using this site. My approach to Monoskop is to make notes from the personal contacts or from internet research. For instance, with the help of others and based also on the field research i compiled the wide overview of history of media art in Slovakia (see the node Media art in Slovakia). There are also other uses besides the database or a notepad one. Friend of mine, audiovisual artist Guy van Belle is creating here together with Barbara Huber text-based media piece Kurt vonnegut suite. Then there are people who prefer sort of freeform rather than portfolio- or CV-based homepage, these kind of information you can easily store here, and also save money on design and programming. This advantage took up the artist Michal Murin who continuously edits also other items in Monoskop.